15 NCAA Div. III individual championships
DES MOINES—The Central College distance medley relay squad of Drew Jackson (freshman, Johnston), Alex Edwards (freshman, Knoxville), L.J. Lipscomb (freshman, Johnston), and Eli Horton (freshman, Runnells, Southeast Polk HS) cracked a 32-year school record at the Drake Relays track and field meet Saturday.
The all-freshman quartet crossed the line in 10 minutes, 3.25 seconds, good for fifth place in the college division. It was over seven seconds faster than the previous record of 10:10.47 set in 1980.
“To run that fast with four young guys is a lot of fun,” said coach Joe Dunham. “Competing at the college level is a big step up from high school, but they weren’t intimidated and did a great job on a big stage.”
The Dutch also contested the finals of the 4x100 relay, with the team of Trevor Veach (senior, Grinnell), Logan Danko (junior, Centerville), Kyle Wood (senior, Newton), and Allen Scovel (senior, Runnells, Southeast Polk HS) taking fourth in the college division with a time of 41.39. That time is just shy of their season’s best (41.32), but Dunham was impressed with the performance.
“They had two very solid races this weekend,” said Dunham. “And the conditions weren’t great either day. They can run faster.”
The Dutch also sent a contingent to the Kip Janvrin Open Friday night highlighted by a pair of women’s shot put performances. Morgan Darrow (senior, Newell, Storm Lake HS) made a strong bid for a national berth with a mark of 44 feet, 5.5 inches to take second overall while teammate Bry Pierce (freshman, St. Clair, Mo.) was fourth with a mark of 42-4.75. Those performances rank them ninth and 27th respectively in Division III. The top 22 women earn NCAA bids.
“This is the time of year where we see a lot of breakthrough performances,” said Dunham. “The women’s shot put went particularly well and there were several other events that saw good results.”
Horton grabbed a victory in the 1,500 meters (3:56.02) and Nathan Thiessen (freshman, Davenport, North HS) won the 10,000 meters (35:27.09).
Dunham also cited the men’s 5,000-meter runners and triple jumpers.
“The triple jumpers were battling a strong headwind,” said Dunham. “And wind is never good for a distance race, but we still had a lot of good things happen.”
Matt Strey (freshman, Pella, St. Peter (Minn.) HS) led the Dutch triple jumpers with a mark of 42-9 to take fourth, while Brent Ewing (junior, Centerville) was eighth in the 5,000 meters, crossing the line in 15:43.78.
Central will travel to Monmouth, Ill. next weekend for the Monmouth Invitational, the final regular season meet before the Iowa Conference championships May 10-12.
“I really feel like our team is coming together well,” said Dunham. “We’re well-rounded across all the events and we have high expectations for the rest of the season.”