15 NCAA Div. III individual championships
DES MOINES—The Central College men’s and women’s track and field squads contested four events Saturday morning at the Drake Relays and came away with a pair of school records.
The women’s sprint medley squad of Monica Ruiz (freshman, Hudson), Katie Sunderman (freshman, Pella), Felicia Coleman (senior, Houston, Texas, J. Frank Dobie HS), and Elin Phipps (freshman, Boone) finished seventh and brought down the first school mark with an effort of four minutes, 4.17 seconds, just nipping the previous record set in 2010 (4:04.4) by the foursome of Rachel Purdy (senior, Ankeny), Emily Teas, Jill Ziskovsky, and Rachelle Tipton.
“Our women ran great in the sprint medley,” said coach Joe Dunham. “Elin Phipps ran a great anchor leg (2:13.9) and Felicia Coleman capped off her Drake Relays career by getting her name up on the board one more time.”
The men’s squad nearly won the distance medley relay. Drew Jackson (sophomore, Johnston), Philip Heisterkamp (senior, Jefferson, Jefferson-Scranton HS), Ben Schornack (senior, Urbandale), and Eli Horton (sophomore, Runnells, Southeast Polk HS) ran near the front of the pack in every leg before falling to the defending indoor national championship team of Wis.-La Crosse. Their time of 9:55.87 was nearly eight seconds faster than the record set last year (10:03.25) by Jackson, Alex Edwards, L.J. Lipscomb (sophomore, Johnston), and Horton.
“It was a very good all-around effort from the men’s distance medley,” said Dunham. “Drew had to navigate some traffic in the lead-off spot but ran a very smart race to get us into third. Phil and Ben did a great job of defending our position and Eli made a bid for the win. He had to run a very fast first lap to catch the leaders, but recovered well and nearly won the race for us.”
The men also competed in the 4x110-meter shuttle hurdle relay. Eric Larson (sophomore, Waverly, Waverly-Shell Rock HS), Dan Roemerman (freshman, Iowa City, City HS), Jake Forgie (sophomore, Le Claire, Pleasant Valley HS), and Drake Hickok (freshman, Cedar Rapids, Washington HS) crossed the line in 1:02.67 and finished 11th. The sprint medley team of Mason Zimmerman (sophomore, Urbandale), Logan Danko (senior, Centerville), Tyler Westphal (senior, Le Mars) and Riley Wattier (freshman, Des Moines, Waukee HS) was 20th (3:33.93).
“It was the first time in a few years that we had run the shuttle hurdle relay,” said Dunham. “It wasn’t a totally clean race but when you run so early in the morning that is tough to do. I was pleased that they could get the experience because I think we’ll see some special things from that group of hurdlers in the coming years.”
Central also sent a large contingent to the Simpson Kip Janvrin Open Friday. Notable performances included Hickok in the 400 hurdles (54.91), Shanna Aberson (senior, Orange City, MOC-Floyd Valley HS) in the javelin throw (111-8), Alyssa Eaves (sophomore, Johnston) in the 3,000-meter steeplechase (11:50.56), Romerman in the 110-meter hurdles (14.98), Steve Messerschmitt (junior, Neola, Tri-Center HS) in the hammer throw (158-2) and Gunnar Johnson (sophomore, Johnston) in the javelin throw (149-8).
The Dutch will be return to action Saturday at the Monmouth Invitational in a final tune-up before the Iowa Conference championships.
“We’re looking forward to the meet at Monmouth next week,” said Dunham. “Everything comes down to the championship part of the season and we’re almost there. We’ll be preparing to represent the Dutch well.”