15 NCAA Div. III individual championships
DECORAH—The Central College men’s track and field team leads the Iowa Conference indoor championship after Friday’s two-title performance, led by distance runner Eli Horton (junior, Runnells, Southeast Polk HS), who shattered a five-year-old record in the 5,000-meter run en route to his league crown, while the women’s team reached the podium in one event and sits sixth.
Through six events at the Iowa Conference indoor track and field championships, the Dutch men lead the way with 63 points, followed by Wartburg with 52, Loras with 36 and Dubuque with 33.
"The men had a great day," coach Joe Dunham said. "I was really proud of their performance. But the day starts over tomorrow. There's a lot of finals and a lot of points to be scored.
"We need to continue to press and have a sense of urgency."
Through seven events, the women are in sixth with 16 points. Wartburg is in front with 92 points, followed by Loras with 57, Luther with 39 and Dubuque with 30.
"Overall, I'm really pleased with the effort today," said Dunham. "Our coaching staff did a great job preparing our athletes and it showed once again on the track.
"But tomorrow is another really big day."
Competition resumes Saturday morning at 9 a.m. with the final three heptathlon events and other field events. Running events are slated to begin at noon.
Horton, distance cohort score big—Horton shattered the league championship record in the 5,000-meter run by more than 17 seconds, crossing the line in 14:27.80. Horton’s time ranks No. 3 nationally. The event proved even more fruitful for the Dutch, who finished 1-2-4-5 individually en route to 27 team points. Senior Austin O’Brien (Bettendorf, Pleasant Valley HS) finished runner-up in 14:46.04, while sophomore Cole Decker (Des Moines, Dowling Catholic HS) and freshman Isaac Steffensmeier (St. Paul, Fort Madison HS) finished in 14:54.19 and 15:03.28, respectively. Horton and O’Brien earned all-league recognition with their top-three finishes.
"Our distance runners ran really well," Dunham said. "I was pleased with that result. Eli ran away with it."
Central’s distance medley relay team of Jamie Vander Veer (junior, Knoxville), Jordan Sump (senior, Grimes, Dallas Center-Grimes HS), Kyle Nuehring (sophomore, Waukee) and Drew Jackson (junior, Johnston) won the league title in 10:10.25, less than one second in front the second-place team.
Throwers Steven Messerschmidt (senior, Neola, Tri-Center HS) and Gunnar Johnson (junior, Ankeny, Johnston HS) placed second and third in the shot put with tosses of 51-1.75 and 50-10, respectively. Both were personal records.
"Gunnar and Steven had a great day for us," said Dunham.
Multi-eventer Jaemin Powell (sophomore, Wellman, Mid-Prairie HS) finished third in the open long jump with a leap of 21-11.75, a personal-best distance garnering all-league honors. Powell also leads in the heptathlon through four events with 2,693 points. Long jumper Mike Mackin (senior, Manly, Central Springs HS) placed eighth, while multi-eventer Conner Freeman (junior, Urbandale) sits third in the heptathlon with 2,504 points.
Pole vaulter Nick Lemmon (junior, Auburn, Wash., Kent-Meridian HS) placed sixth clearing a height of 12-8.
The Dutch 4x200-meter relay team of Mason Zimmerman (junior, Urbandale), Mitch Wagoner (senior, Iowa Falls, Iowa Falls-Alden), Spencer Hammack (sophomore, Ottumwa) and Dan Roemerman (sophomore, Iowa City, City High HS) finished seventh in 1:34.83.
Roemerman and fellow hurdler Jake Forgie (junior, Le Claire, Pleasant Valley HS) qualified for Saturday’s 55-meter hurdles final in 7.83 and 8.26 seconds, respectively. The times rank second and eighth in the preliminary heats. Roemerman also qualified for Saturday’s 55-meter dash final with a seventh-place 6.66.
Davis leads relay, posts top prelims time—Central’s 4x200-meter relay team of Abi Davis (sophomore, Des Moines, Dowling Catholic HS), McKenna Zimmerman (junior, Urbandale), Melanie Nielsen (sophomore, Atlantic) and Monica Ruiz (sophomore, Hudson) earned all-league honors with its runner-up finish in 1:46.08.
Davis also posted the top time of 7.20 in the 55-meter dash preliminary heats, qualifying for Saturday’s final.
"Abi ran really good races," said Dunham. "The entire 4x200 team competed hard."
The Dutch distance medley relay team of Molly Bramble (sophomore, Waukee), Allie McBroom (junior, Runnells, Southeast Polk HS), Kasey Wiedmaier (freshman, Indianola) and Andie Arthofer (freshman, Dubuque, Senior HS) finished fifth in 12:58.67.
Multi-eventer Emma Drees (freshman, Waukee) placed sixth in the pentathlon with 2,881 points and eighth in the open long jump with a leap of 16-1.5.
McKenna and Meredith Zimmerman (junior, Urbandale) qualified for Saturday’s 55-meter hurdles final 8.87 and 8.91 seconds, respectively. Their times were sixth and seventh in the preliminary heats.