15 NCAA Div. III individual championships
PELLA—The Central College men’s track and field team is ranked No. 16 in the U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA) preseason Division III indoor national rankings released Wednesday.
The Dutch, who tied for ninth place at last year’s NCAA Division III national indoor championship meet, also captured the Iowa Conference indoor crown for the third time in four years.
Led by sixth-year coach Joe Dunham, the 2013 conference indoor track and field coach of the year, Central returns two NCAA indoor meet qualifiers in heptathlon national champion Eric Larson (junior, Waverly, Waverly-Shell Rock HS) and Eli Horton (junior, Runnells, Southeast Polk HS), who placed fourth in the mile run at last year’s indoor national meet.
Wis.-La Crosse, the 2013 indoor national champion, is the top-ranked team in the preseason poll, followed by Mount Union, Wis.-Eau Claire, Wis.-Whitewater and Wis.-Oshkosh. Wartburg is the only other Iowa Conference school in the top-25, opening the season at No. 13.
Both the men’s and women’s teams kick off the 2014 campaign Jan. 24 at the Dutch Athletics Classic in H.S. Kuyper Fieldhouse.