15 NCAA Div. III individual championships
PELLA—The Central College men’s track and field team is back in the top 10 at No. 10 in the most recent U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA) Division III indoor national poll.
The Dutch climbed as high as No. 9 Jan. 29, but dropped in two consecutive polls to No. 16. Central moved up after top performances at the Tufts University Cupid Challenge and the Boston University Scarlet and White Invitational at Boston, Mass., Saturday. The team also posted a handful of top-five finishes at the Fighting Scots Indoor Invitational hosted by Monmouth College (Ill.) that same day.
The distance medley relay team, led by Iowa Conference men’s track events performer of the week Austin O’Brien (senior, Bettendorf, Pleasant Valley HS), combined for a school-record time of 9:58.23 in a third-place finish at Tufts. The time set by O’Brien, LJ Lipscomb (junior, Johnston), Drew Jackson (junior, Johnston) and Eli Horton (junior, Runnells, Southeast Polk HS) also ranks No. 3 nationally. O’Brien followed up the relay record with an individual record in the 5,000-meter run in 14:26.62 at Boston University, more than 11 seconds ahead of teammate Horton’s mark from 2012. The winning time ranks No. 6 nationally.
Wis.-La Crosse, the 2013 indoor national champion, is the top-ranked team for the fifth consecutive week. Wis.-Oshkosh, North Central (Ill.), MIT (Mass.) and Wis.-Eau Claire are Nos. 2-5, respectively. It marks the first time this season that Wis.-Eau Claire and Mount Union (Ohio) do not hold the Nos. 2 and 3 rankings. Haverford (Pa.), Mount Union, Tufts (Mass.) and Wis.-Stout complete the top 10. Wartburg remains the only other league school in the top 25, moving up two spots to No. 17.
The Dutch are scheduled to compete in a pair of competitions Friday. Central will send athletes to both 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.