15 NCAA Div. III individual championships
DUBUQUE—The Central College men’s and women’s track and field teams kicked off the first day of competition at the Iowa Conference championship meet with seven all-conference performances.
Through six events the men’s squad is in second with 56 points while Wartburg leads with 58 points. The women’s squad is sitting in fourth after collecting 37 points with Wartburg first after scoring 80 points.
Dutch men take distance medley—Central scored a come-from-behind victory in the men’s distance medley relay Saturday, with the quartet of Kyle Nuehring (freshman, Waukee), Philip Heisterkamp (senior, Jefferson, Jefferson-Scranton HS), Ben Schornack (senior, Urbandale), and Drew Jackson (sophomore, Johnston) crossing the line in ten minutes, 14 seconds. Central and Wartburg exchanged the lead four times before a blazing bell lap from Jackson secured the win.
Meanwhile, Eric Larson (sophomore, Waverly, Waverly-Shell Rock HS) had a big first day with a pair of runner-up finishes in the pole vault (13-9.25) and the long jump (22-3). Eli Horton (sophomore, Runnells, Southeast Polk HS) and Cole Decker (freshman, Des Moines, West Des Moines Dowling HS) took second (15:24.82) and third (15:29.63) respectively in the 5,000 meters, while the 4x200-meter relay team of Mitch Wagoner (junior, Iowa Falls, Iowa Falls-Alden HS), Logan Danko (senior, Centerville), Spencer Hammack (freshman, Ottumwa), and Mason Zimmerman (sophomore, Urbandale) earned all-conference honors with a third place finish (1:30.58). Steve Messerschmidt (junior, Neola, Tri-Center HS) was fourth (48-1.75) in the shot put with teammate Gunnar Johnson (sophomore, Johnston) seventh (46-4.75). Aaron Fuller was sixth in the pole vault (13-9.25)
Heading into the second day of competition, Conner Freeman (sophomore, Urbandale) leads the heptathlon with 2,613 points, with Jaemin Powel (freshman, Wellman, Mid-Prairie HS) in third (2,607 points) and Fuller in eighth (2,233 points). The Dutch also qualified a trio of men for the 55-meter hurdles finals. Larson and Drake Hickok (freshman, Cedar Rapids, Washington HS) won their heats in 7.85 second and 7.86 seconds respectively to earn automatic qualify spots, while Dan Roemerman (freshman, Iowa City, City HS) earned an at-large bid with a time of 7.88 seconds.
New school record for women’s 4x200 relay—In the evening’s final event, the foursome of Melanie Nielsen (freshman, Atlantic), Felicia Coleman (senior, Houston, Texas, J. Frank Dobie HS), Camie Kibbee (sophomore, Mason City), and McKenna Zimmerman (sophomore, Urbandale) cracked Central’s school mark in the 4x200-meter relay en route to a second-place showing (1:44.57).
Meanwhile, the distance medley squad of Molly Bramble (freshman, Waukee), Taylor Beckman (sophomore, Panora, Panorama HS), Emily Saville (sophomore, Cedar Rapids, Linn-Mar HS), and Amanda Dunkin (junior, Pella) finished in fourth (12:57.89), while Mel McDermott (senior, Britt, West Hancock HS) and Alyssa Eaves (sophomore, Johnston) were fourth (18:36.52) and eighth (19:18.98) respectively in the 5,000 meters. Kaitlyn Gillett (sophomore, Cedar Falls) took fifth (2,774 points) in the pentathlon, while Morgan Sharp (senior, Grinnell) was seventh (2,753 points). Sharp was also seventh in the long jump (16-6) and Jess Fevold was fourth in the shot put (39-2.5).
Zimmerman used a big personal-best to qualify for the finals of the 55-meter hurdles (8.65) while Coleman was the top qualifier in the 55-meter dash (7.24).
Competition resumes Sunday at 9 a.m. with the men’s heptathlon while the running and field events are slated for noon.