15 NCAA Div. III individual championships
PELLA—Central College men’s track and field distance runner Austin O’Brien (senior, Bettendorf, Pleasant Valley HS) was named men’s indoor track performer of the week following a record-setting weekend at the Tufts University Cupid Challenge and the Boston University Scarlet and White Invitational in Massachusetts.
The Dutch distance medley relay team of O’Brien, LJ Lipscomb (junior, Johnston), Drew Jackson (junior, Johnston) and Eli Horton (junior, Runnells, Southeast Polk HS) combined for a school-record time of 9:58.23 in a third-place finish at Tufts, outpacing the previous best set in 2006 by 0.89 seconds. Because the race was run on a flat track and the 2014 NCAA Division III Indoor Championships are being contested on a banked track, the time was converted to 9:50.22, the third-fastest time in the nation this season.
Following the relay, O’Brien led the Central contingent with a school-record time of 14:26.62 in the 5,000-meter run at Boston University, breaking teammate Horton’s 2012 record by more than 11 seconds. The Dutch finished 1-3-4-6 individually in the event.
It’s the third career men’s track performer of the week award for O’Brien, who was an All-America honoree with his 11th-place finish at the NCAA Division III cross country championships last fall. Central has won the past four men’s track performer of the week awards, with Horton taking last week’s honor and all three of O’Brien’s honors coming this season.
The Dutch are scheduled to compete in a pair of competitions Friday. Central will send athletes to the Nebraska Tune-Up at Lincoln, Neb. and the Iowa Invitational at Iowa City. Meet times are set for 12:30 and 4:30 p.m., respectively.