11 NCAA Div. III individual championships
LA CROSSE, WIS.—Racking up a first-day career-best score of 3,744 points, Central College sophomore Eric Larson (Waverly, Waverly-Shell Rock HS) grabbed a narrow lead in the decathlon competition at the NCAA Division III track and field championships Thursday.
Larson topped the field in two events, including a career-best mark of six feet, 8.25 inches in the high jump and a 22-10.5 performance in the long jump. He started the day with a lifetime-best time in the 100 meters of 11.2 seconds and also recorded marks of 36-9.75 in the shot put and 52.08 in the 400 meters.
“Eric really came dialed in today,” said coach Joe Dunham. “He had some very good events and put himself in good position heading into the second day.”
Larson also competed in the long jump, but narrowly missed making the finals, finishing 11th with a leap of 23-2.75. Teammate Josh Fleming (senior, Caseyville, Collinsville HS) nearly made the cut in the discus throw, but settled for 10th place with a toss of 165-2. The top nine advance to the final.
Eli Horton (sophomore Runnells, Southeast Polk HS) finished 14th in the preliminary round of the 1,500 meters (3:54.37) while Cole Decker (freshman, Des Moines, Dowling HS) encountered some bad luck in the 10,000 meters, losing a shoe in the early laps before finishing 16th (31:19.98).
Felicia Coleman (senior, Houston, Texas, J. Frank Dobie HS) represented the women’s squad in the 200 meters, crossing the line in 16th place with a time of 24.83.
“We had some disappointments today, but it wasn’t for a lack of effort,” said Dunham. “We’re at the national meet and everyone is good. Our success for the rest of the week will depend upon how we respond to adversity.”
Friday, May 24
2 p.m. – Decathlon, 110-meter hurdles (Larson)
6:30 p.m. – Women’s 100 meters (prelims) (Coleman)
Saturday, May 25
4 p.m. – Women’s 100 meters (Coleman)
5:55 p.m. – Men’s 5,000 meters (Horton)