Back-to-back Iowa Conference champions (2012, 2013)
PELLA—Central College sophomore and Iowa Conference cross country MVP Eli Horton (Runnells, Southeast Polk HS) is the league’s male athlete of the week.
Meanwhile, Kevin Sheldon (sophomore, West Des Moines, Valley HS) is the special teams football player of the week and Liz Daniels (sophomore, Oconomowoc, Wis.) is the women’s soccer defensive player of the week.
Horton captured the individual title at the conference meet Saturday and paced the Dutch to their first team championship in 53 years. He led the 8,000-meter race from start to finish and crossed the line in 25 minutes, 21.5 seconds. Horton is Central’s first league champion since 1994. The Dutch swept the top three spots and tallied 33 points.
It’s the fourth time this season Horton has been honored as the men’s cross country performer of the week and his first time as the athlete of the week. The Dutch, last ranked No. 24 in the national coaches’ poll, return to action Nov. 10 at the Central Region championships in Northfield, Minn.
Sheldon kicked a pair of field goals and made three extra-point tries in Central’s 27-10 triumph against Loras College. He also had six kickoffs for 322 yards, averaging 53.7 yards per kick. Sheldon leads the league in both PAT percentage (20-for-20) and field goal percentage (9-for-11, 81.8 percent). The Dutch (4-4) close out the home schedule Saturday, hosting Wartburg College at 1 p.m.
Daniels headed in the game-winning goal off a corner kick in the final five seconds of regulation, lifting Central to a thrilling 2-1 win against Simpson College in the first round of the league tourney. Daniels also netted the game-tying goal from 40 yards out in a 1-1 double-overtime draw with Coe College in the regular season finale. Daniels anchors a Central defense that ranks second in the league in goals allowed (18), goals-against average (0.93) and shutouts (7). Central (12-5-2) faces Loras College at 5 p.m. Wednesday in the conference tournament semifinal.
Photo courtesy of Josh Schroeder, Iowa Conference Office