11 NCAA Div. III individual championships
PELLA— Thirteen Central College athletes have qualified in 12 events for the NCAA Division III outdoor track and field championships at Claremont, Calif.
The meet will be staged Thursday through Saturday at Claremont-Mudd-Scripps. The field was announced Sunday afternoon.
Men aiming high—Seven veterans return to the national meet for the Dutch, who finished seventh last year. Central, which recently captured its fourth straight Iowa Conference title, has placed in the top 10 six times, including a program-best third-place finish in 2000.
“Being experienced is definitely a benefit and it will hopefully pay off for us,” coach Joe Dunham said.
Ethan Miller (senior, Seymour) will defend his national decathlon title and bid to become a three-time all-American. Miller is the top seed with 7,076 points. A year ago he won the event with a school-record 7,170 points. A three-time league MVP, Miller is also seeded 16th in the 110-meter hurdles (14.61 seconds).
“Ethan has a lot of people coming after him,” Dunham said. “It’s been a long road for him coming back after his injury in the indoor season but it’s been exciting to see him get better every week.”
Joining Miller in the decathlon is freshman Eric Larson (Waverly, Waverly-Shell Rock HS). Larson scored a personal-best 6,430 points last week to gain the No. 8 seed. He already has all-America hardware, placing eighth at the indoor championships earlier this year.
Central sends two relay events to California. The 4x100-meter relay squad of Mitch Wagoner (sophomore, Iowa Falls, Iowa Falls-Alden HS), Logan Danko (junior, Centerville), Kyle Wood (senior, Newton) and Allen Scovel (senior, Runnells, Southeast Polk HS) is ranked eighth (41.36 seconds). Wagoner, Wood and Scovel brought home an all-America plaque last year after placing fifth. The 4x400 relay squad of Scovel, Wood, Veach and Alex Edwards (freshman, Knoxville) is seeded 12th (3:14.33).
Scovel, the league’s track events MVP, will also run the 100 meters and is seeded ninth (10.60 seconds).
In field events, Phil Miller (senior, Vinton, Vinton-Shellsburg HS) qualified in the shot put while Tyler Crouse (senior, Hedrick, Pekin HS) will compete in the hammer throw. Miller makes his NCAA debut as the 12th seed with his school-record toss of 55-0 and Crouse, a two-time NCAA participant, is seeded 13th (187-8).
Women building on league momentum—Central’s women head into the national meet after a stunning second-place finish at the conference meet. The Dutch scored in 13 events to snag their seventh consecutive top-three finish and first runner-up finish since 2009.
“The women are coming off a good conference meet and it’s exciting to see what they’ll be able to do at the national level,” Dunham said.
Caitlin Wilson (senior, Oakland, Riverside HS) makes her third trip to the NCAA outdoor meet in the heptathlon. She’s earned all-America distinction twice, placing fourth in the pentathlon at the indoor championships earlier this year and finishing eighth at the outdoor meet last year. Wilson is seeded eighth with 4,520 points.
Morgan Darrow (senior, Newell, Storm Lake HS) returns in two events. She’s seeded sixth in the shot put (45-11.75) and sixth in the hammer throw (178-2). Both marks are school records. Darrow competed in the same events last year, finishing 15th in the shot put and 21ist in the hammer throw.
Felicia Coleman (junior, Houston, Texas, J. Frank Dobie HS) also qualified in two events. Coleman, a two-time 4x400 relay all-American, is seeded 20th in the 100 meters (12.11 seconds) and 19th in the 200 meters (24.77 seconds).
Central placed 17th last year, its highest finish since taking 14th in 2004. The program has nine top-25 national team finishes.
Meet schedule for Central athletes
(Pacific Time listed; running events are preliminaries)
2 p.m.—decathlon (Ethan Miller, Eric Larson)
2:30 p.m.—heptathlon (Caitlin Wilson)
4:15 p.m.—men’s 4x100-meter relay (Mitch Wagoner, Logan Danko, Kyle Wood, Allen Scovel)
5:45 p.m.—women’s 200 meters (Felicia Coleman)
9:15 p.m.—men’s 4x400-meter relay (Kyle Wood, Trevor Veach, Alex Edwards, Allen Scovel)
2:05 p.m.—men’s hammer throw (Tyler Crouse)
5 p.m.—women’s hammer throw (Morgan Darrow)
5:25 p.m.—men’s 110 hurdles (Ethan Miller)
6:30 p.m.—women’s 100 meters (Felicia Coleman)
6:50 p.m.—men’s 100 meters (Allen Scovel)
1 p.m.—women’s shot put (Morgan Darrow)
4:05 p.m.—men’s shot put (Phil Miller)