15 NCAA Div. III individual championships
DUBUQUE — The Central College men’s and women’s track and field teams rolled up eight more victories on the final day of competition at the Iowa Conference championship meet Saturday.
After a string of four consecutive league championships, the Dutch men settled for second place with 187.5 points while Wartburg College took the win with 221. Central’s women placed third with 119 points behind Wartburg (286) and Luther College (180).
“We had two very exceptional performances this weekend,” said coach Joe Dunham. “Things might not have played out how we would have liked on paper, but I couldn’t more proud of the effort.”
Horton doubles up again—For the second consecutive year, Eli Horton (sophomore, Runnells, Southeast Polk HS) swept the 1,500 and 5,000-meter runs. He easily won the 1,500 meters in three minutes, 53.3 seconds before cruising to a victory in the 5,000 meters in 15:08.36.
Freshmen Dan Roemerman (Iowa City, City HS) and Drake Hickok (Cedar Rapids, Washington HS) garnered titles in their outdoor conference debuts. Roemerman won the 110-meter hurdles title in 15.05 while Hickok used a personal-best effort of 54.1 to capture the win in the 400-meter hurdles. Drew Jackson (sophomore, Johnston) earned his first conference victory in the 3,000-meter steeplechase in 9:25.2 while Josh Fleming (senior, Caseyville, Collinsville HS) won the discus throw with a mark of 166 feet, five inches.
Kyle Nuehring (freshman, Waukee) earned two all-league medals on the day, following Horton to place second in the 1,500-meters (3:56.45) before taking third in the 800 meters (1:57.11). Ben Schornack (senior, Urbandale) was close behind in fourth (1:57.47) while Nick Barnes (junior, Altoona, Southeast Polk HS) was sixth (1:58.46). Jackson and Cole Decker (freshman, Des Moines, Dowling Catholic HS) were fourth (15:20.72) and sixth (15:24.11) respectively in the 5,000 meters. Eric Larson (sophomore, Waverly, Waverly-Shell Rock HS) crossed the line fifth in the 110-meter hurdles (15.28) while Austin Stubbs (freshman, Pleasant Hill, Des Moines Christian HS) took fifth in the 400 hurdles (55.35).
Both Central relays earned all-league honors with third-place finishes. The 4x100-meter squad of Mitch Wagoner (junior, Iowa Falls, Iowa Falls-Alden HS), Logan Danko (senior, Centerville), Roemerman and Larson finished in 42.64 while the 4x400-meter team of Mason Zimmerman (sophomore, Urbandale), Austin Roberts (freshman, Bloomfield, Davis County HS), Tyler Westphal (senior, Le Mars) and Spencer Hammack (freshman, Ottumwa) crossed the line in 3:18.61. Both marks represented season’s bests. Meanwhile, Wagoner was seventh in the 100 meters (11.39), Danko was third in the 200 meters (22.43), and Roberts was fifth in the 400 meters (50.17).
Off the track, Steven Messerschmidt (junior, Neola, Tri-Center HS) led a trio of Central throwers in the shot put with a fourth-place finish (48-8.75). Gunnar Johnson (sophomore, Johnston) was seventh (46-10) and Fleming was eighth (46-8.75). Josh Tack (sophomore, Hudson) was eighth in the discus throw (138-6) and Emery Davis (senior, Winfield, Winfield-Mt. Union HS) took seventh in the triple jump (42-8).
Coleman impressive in league finale—Felicia Coleman (senior, Houston, J. Frank Dobie HS) continued winning Saturday, sweeping the 100 and 200-meter dashes and running a leg on the 4x100 and 4x400-meter relays. She crossed the line in 12.17 seconds in the 100 meters before a 24.75-second performance in the 200 meters. Coleman anchored the runner-up 4x400-meter relay in a time of 3:58.65 along with Camie Kibbee (sophomore, Mason City), Taylor Beckman (sophomore, Panora, Panorama HS) and Katie Sunderman (freshman, Pella) and ran the third leg of the fifth-place 4x100-meter relay (49.04) with Monica Ruiz (freshman, Hudson), McKenna Zimmerman (sophomore, Urbandale) and Sunderman.
Elin Phipps (freshman, Boone) garnered all-conference recognition twice, finishing third in the 1500 meters (4:50.13) before a runner-up showing in the 800 meters (2:16.35). Kibbee finished in the 400 meters (59.05) while Alyssa Eaves (sophomore, Johnston) was third in the 3,000-meter steeplechase (11:44.79). Both marks were lifetime bests.
Other notable performances include Jess Fevold (senior, Webster City) in the shot put (fourth, 39-5.25), Mel McDermott (senior, Britt, West Hancock HS) in the 5,000 meters (fourth, 18:15.72), Sarah Mueller (sophomore, Urbandale) in the 800 meters (seventh, 2:23.52), Meredith Zimmerman (sophomore, Urbandale) in the 100-meter hurdles (seventh, 15.88), Molly Bramble (freshman, Waukee) in the 1,500 meters (eighth, 4:59.39) and Sunderman in the 200 meters (eighth, 26.7).
With the conclusion of the conference meet, Dunham was quick to compliment to his senior class.
“I need to point to our leadership,” said Dunham. “Our seniors have done a great job of leading these teams and I am so grateful for what they’ve given the program. They will be missed.”
Dunham also cited his coaching staff.
“The coaches have put in a lot of hard work over this past year,” said Dunham. “It takes a great deal of time and energy to do a good job and I couldn’t be happier with the people we have on out staff. We also get great support from Shelli Green. She does a fantastic job making sure our athletes stay healthy.”
The Dutch will now set their sights on the NCAA national championship meet May 23-25 in La Crosse, Wis. A small group of athletes will compete at the Wis.-La Crosse Last Chance Qualifier and North Central (Ill.) Gregory Invitational next week Thursday and Friday to improve potential qualifying marks.
“We’re looking forward to continuing the season and getting as many athletes to the national meet as possible,” said Dunham. “We’ll have a couple of chances to do that next week and we’re looking forward to it.