11 NCAA Div. III individual championships
DELAWARE, OHIO —A school-record effort launched Central College sophomore Abi Davis (Des Moines, Dowling Catholic HS) into the finals of the 200-meter dash at the NCAA Division III Women’s Track and Field Championships Thursday evening.
Davis clocked in at 24.37 seconds, the best time in her heat and the third-fastest time overall. It easily surpasses her previous best of 24.89 seconds and also eclipsed the school mark of 24.61 seconds set by Felicia Coleman last spring.
The finish places her in the eight-person finals Saturday at 4:25 p.m. (Eastern Time) and all but assures her of attaining all-America status. She previously earned all-America honors at the NCAA indoor meet in March by placing second in the 60-meter dash.
"Abi got out real fast," coach Joe Dunham said. "That's the first time this year that she really went out hard in the first 100 (meters) and it paid off. She's a strong runner, she just needs to believe it."
Davis also ran on Central’s 4x400-meter relay squad, but the unit did not advance, finishing 15th overall in 3:52.51. The Dutch had qualified earlier in 3:50.71. Davis ran the second leg behind Allie McBroom (junior, Runnells, Southeast Polk HS), then followed by Iowa Conference 400-meter champ Camie Kibbee (junior, Mason City) and Monica Ruiz (sophomore, Hudson).
"They were disappointed but it was a great experience for them," Dunham said. "I told them after the race that we certainly plan to be back here next year. It was good that they got her, went through the routine of running at a national meet and get a feeling of what it's like to run with athletes like these. I'm very proud of them."
Davis is back in action Friday, running the 100-meter dash preliminaries at 7:30 p.m. She ranks seventh with a qualifying time of 12.00 seconds.
Hillary Hotz (junior, Fort Dodge, St. Edmond HS) will compete in the high jump Friday at 2 p.m. Hotz ranks 21st in the 22-athlete field with a qualifying mark of 5-feet, 6-inches (1.68 meters).
"Hillary's in a field with a lot of athletes who are very close coming in," Dunham said. "It's going to be an exciting day."