15 NCAA Div. III individual championships
LA CROSSE, WIS. — Hopes for national track and field meet berths for Central College were dampened by the weather at the Wis.-La Crosse NCAA Qualifier Thursday evening.
In a meet where athletes are more concerned about the stopwatch and the tape measure than the competition, a cold, steady rain and wind provided the biggest obstacle. Individuals were hoping to gain a spot in the NCAA Division III championship meet May 22-24 in Delaware, Ohio.
Central sent several athletes, but none were able to make much of a move on the qualifiers list.
“It was a great competitive effort but it’s just tough when the wind’s blowing 15 mph and it’s raining and cold,” coach Joe Dunham said. He noted that the Dutch had just completed final exams as well. “It’s a tough week for them but overall, I’m really proud of their effort.”
Despite the conditions, Jamie Vander Veer (junior, Knoxville) notched a personal best in the 800 meters, placing 10th in 1:52.82.
“Jamie did a great job,” Dunham said.
Dunham said another good showing came from Kody Dailey (sophomore, Iowa City) in the javelin. He finished fourth at 172 feet, 1 inch.
“Kody looked really good in the javelin,” Dunham said. “It wasn’t a great day for throwing.”
Jaemin Powell (sophomore, Wellman, Mid-Prairie HS) was fifth in the long jump (22-5) while Isaac Steffensmeier (freshman, St. Paul, Fort Madison HS) was third in the 5,000 meters (15:14.52).
Dan Roemerman (sophomore, Iowa City) was sixth in the 110 meter high hurdles (14.92 seconds). Roemerman ran 14.75 seconds earlier, but needs to get down to at least 14.72 seconds to get to Ohio.
Abi Davis (sophomore, Des Moines, Dowling Catholic HS) finished fifth in the 200 meters (25.10 seconds). That won’t make the final national meet cut, but she’s still in solid position for NCAA berths in the 100 and 400 meters based on previous efforts. She stands eighth nationally in the 100 (12.00 seconds) and 13th in the 400 (56.35 seconds).
Hilary Hotz (junior, Fort Dodge, St. Edmond HS) finished seventh in the women’s high jump (5-1.25) and remains on the bubble after a previous jump of 5-6.
Dunham said the Dutch opted to not compete in the women’s 4x400-meter relay because he wanted to hold out one of the runners as a precaution, and the unit is still in good shape, standing 11th nationally (3:50.71).
Roemerman will take one more run at a berth in the hurdles Friday at the Gregory Invitational at North Central College in Naperville, Ill., but the rest of the squad is returning to Pella.
“He’s just got to go do it,” Dunham said. “He put forth a great effort tonight and we’re going to give him one more shot tomorrow.”
The NCAA meet field will be determined at the close of Friday’s competition.