15 NCAA Div. III individual championships
PELLA—The Central College track and field teams dominated Saturday’s Central Invitational, as the No. 6-ranked men scored 239 points en route to the team title, while the women matched their feat with 214 points.
The Dutch men bested a nine-team field, while the women topped a seven-team field. Both included full squads from William Penn, Simpson and Clarke.
“It’s always great to be running at home in front of our crowd,” coach Joe Dunham said. “Overall we had great performances across the board. I was really happy with the effort today.
“I was proud of how the student-athletes represented Central College. The support staff and coaches did a great job as well. I’m truly blessed to coach Dutch track and field.”
The invitational also served as the track and field debut for the Daktronics video display scoreboard, which was installed this fall thanks to a significant gift from PPI (Precision Pulley & Idler, Inc.) of Pella. Coach Dunham said it improved the student-athlete and fan experience alike.
“The video board was an incredible addition,” said Dunham. “To see live video of races and results immediately following each race really added to the overall experience.”
Next the Central track teams journey to Des Moines for Friday and Saturday’s Jim Duncan Invitational hosted by Drake University.
Dutch men’s distance contingent makes waves—It was all Dutch in the 1,500-meter run, led by juniors Drew Jackson (Johnston) and Eli Horton (Runnells, Southeast Polk HS) who finished in 3:55. It’s a personal record for Jackson, who edged out Horton at the tape by 0.13 seconds. Both times rank in the top eight nationally. Junior Jamie Vander Veer (Knoxville) was third, followed by senior Austin O’Brien (Bettendorf, Pleasant Valley HS) in fourth.
Sophomore Dan Roemerman (Iowa City, City High HS) won the 110-meter hurdles in 14.90 seconds, a personal best and currently the sixth-fastest time in the nation. Roemerman was also fourth in the 400-meter hurdles in 58.63.
Senior Mitch Wagoner (Iowa Falls, Iowa Falls-Alden HS) finished first in the 200-meter dash in 22.54 seconds. Wagoner was also third in the 100-meter dash in 11.17.
Senior Michael Mackin (Manly, Central Springs HS) was tops in the long jump with a leap of 20-9, while junior Nick Lemmon (Auburn, Wash., Kent-Meridian HS) was best in the pole vault, clearing 12-9.5
In the javelin throw, sophomore Kody Dailey (Iowa City, City High HS) and senior Levi Ross (Wellsburg, Grundy Center HS) finished 1-2 with marks of 159-8 and 150-9.
Junior Connor Freeman (Urbandale) and freshman Logan Mulford (Mount Pleasant) tied for second in the high jump, clearing 6-2, with Mulford earning eight points and Freeman earning six.
Senior Steven Messerschmidt (Neola, Tri-Center HS) was third in the hammer throw with a toss of 166 feet even, while junior Gunnar Johnson (Ankeny, Johnston HS) placed third in the shot put with a mark of 47-11.
Dunham also pointed out the effort of junior Timothy Shepherd (Knoxville), who competed for the first time since cross country season and finished third in the 5,000-meter run in 15:59.08 and was involved in the 4x400-meter relay.
Central women’s sprinters set pace—Sophomore Abi Davis (Des Moines, Dowling Catholic HS) topped last week’s 400-meter dash time with 58.46 for first place. The time ranks No. 13 in the nation. The Dutch posted six of the top-seven times in the event.
Junior Hillary Hotz (Fort Dodge, St. Edmond HS) cleared 5-0.25 for first place in the high jump, while senior Maddy Frehe (De Soto, Kan.) was tops in the pole vault, clearing 9-0.25, 0.25 inches shy of her career best.
Junior Taylor Beckman (Panora, Panorama HS) and freshman Emma Drees (Waukee) finished 1-2 in the long jump with marks of 17-2 and 16-2.5, respectively. Beckman’s leap is a personal best by more than six inches.
Senior Whitney Pavlat (Pella) won the javelin throw with a toss of 121 feet even. It just shy of her personal record from last week’s Washington-St. Louis Invitational.
Junior Alyssa Eaves (Johnston) was runner-up in the 1,500-meter run in 5:04.47. Sophomore Molly Bramble (Waukee) finished less than one second later in third, followed by senior Emma Jo Nelson (Hedrick, Pekin HS) in fourth.
Coach Dunham recognized the effort of junior Meredith Zimmerman (Urbandale), who competed in four events on the day. Zimmerman was third in the 100-meter hurdles in 15.60, third in the 400-meter hurdles in 1:09.88, sixth in the javelin and ran the 4x400 relay.
He also noted freshman Lorell Stuht (Loveland, Colo.), who finished fifth in the hammer throw with a toss of 135 feet even and sixth in the discus with a toss of 113-04.