15 NCAA Div. III individual championships
DUBUQUE — The Central College men’s and women’s track and field squads cracked a pair of school records in the second day of competition at the Iowa Conference championships Friday.
Coleman leads women—Felicia Coleman (Houston, J. Frank Dobie HS) continued her dominating senior campaign in her final league championship appearance. She was the top qualifier in the 100-meter dash with a time of 12.19 seconds before crossing the line of the 200-meter dash in 24.61 seconds to reset her own school record.
“Felicia look extremely smooth in the 200,” said coach Joe Dunham. “It’ll be exciting to watch what she does tomorrow.”
Shanna Aberson (senior, Orange City, MOC-Floyd Valley HS) used a big season’s best performance in the javelin throw to capture the first victory of the meet for the Dutch women. Her mark of 118 feet, three inches was almost seven feet further than previous 2013 best and eight inches better than second place.
“Shanna had a great conclusion to her collegiate career with that win in the javelin,” said Dunham. “I couldn’t be happier for her.”
Distance running mainstay Mel McDermott (senior, Britt, West Hancock HS) claimed runner-up honors in the 10,000-meter run with a time of 39:08.08 while the 4x800-meter relay squad of Molly Bramble (freshman, Waukee), Amanda Dunkin (junior, Pella), Amanda Lamb (senior, Fairfield), and Sarah Mueller (sophomore, Urbandale) took third (9:38.52). Both performances earned all-league honors by virtue of a top-three finish.
Other notable performances include a fifth-place finish for Jess Fevold (senior, Webster City) in the hammer throw (136-7) and a seventh-place finish for Hillary Hotz (sophomore, Fort Dodge, St. Edmond HS) in the high jump (5-0.25). Morgan Sharp (senior, Grinnel) was fifth in the javelin throw (111-5) with Whitney Pavlat (sophomore, Pella) close behind in seventh (104-10). Sharp, Kaitlyn Gillett (sophomore, Cedar Falls), and Hotz placed fourth (3,998), seventh (3,706), and eighth (3,416) respectively in the heptathlon.
The Central women also qualified for several spots in Saturday’s finals. Katie Sunderman (freshman, Pella) was the seventh qualifier in the 200 meters (26.13) while Camie Kibbee (sophomore, Mason City) was sixth in the 400-meter preliminaries (59.75) and Meredith Zimmerman (sophomore, Urbandale) was eighth in the 100-meter hurdles (15.69). Elin Phipps (freshman, Boone) earned a spot in the 800-meter final (3rd, 2:21.74) along with Mueller (eighth, 2:19.27) and Bramble (ninth, 2:22.7).
Freeman takes decathlon—Sophomore Conner Freeman (Urbandale) turned a first-day lead into a victory in the decathlon, scoring a personal-best 5,976 points for Central’s first individual victory.
“Conner showed a lot of fortitude in the decathlon,” said Dunham. “He had multiple personal bests and it isn’t easy to string those together.”
Meanwhile, a record-breaking performance in the 4x800-meter relay from Ben Schornack (senior, Urbandale), Nick Barnes (junior, Altoona, Southeast Polk HS), Eli Horton (sophomore, Runnells, Southeast Polk HS), and Drew Jackson (sophomore, Johnston) was good for second place in Friday’s final event. Their time broke an eleven-year old record (7:42.3) held by Scott Barth, Ryan Fagan, Nate Smith, and Kevin Hackert. It was also nearly 14 seconds faster than the previous conference record set by Central’s squad in 2012.
“The men’s 4x800 relay ran a heck of a race,” said Dunham. “It’s disappointing to not win but you can’t question the effort.”
Eric Larson (sophomore, Waverly, Waverly-Shell Rock HS) recorded a pair of runner-up finishes in the high jump (6-7) and long jump (23-10.75). His long jump mark is currently ninth on the Division III performance list.
“Eric looked great in the long jump,” said Dunham. “He had a very good series with three jumps over seven meters.”
Cole Decker (freshman, Des Moines, Dowling Catholic HS) was second in the 10,000-meters (32:14.51) while Josh Fleming (senior, Caseyville, Collinsville HS) earned all-league honors after placing third in the hammer throw (166-8) with Steven Messerschmidt (junior, Neola, Tri-Center HS) taking fifth (160-9). Schornack tied for seventh in the high jump (6-1.25) while Tim Shepherd (sophomore, Knoxville) was eighth in the 10,000 meters (33:11.92).
The Central men qualified runners in all of Saturday’s finals. Mitch Wagoner (junior, Iowa Falls, Iowa Falls-Alden) was sixth in the 100 meters (11.03), Logan Danko (senior, Centerville) was third in the 200 meters (22.3), Austin Roberts (freshman, Bloomfield, Davis County HS) was seventh in the 400 meters (49.88), while Kyle Nuehring (freshman, Waukee), Schornack, and Barnes were second (1:55.64), sixth (1:56.95), and seventh (1:56.17) respectively in the 800-meter preliminary. Dan Roemerman (freshman, Iowa City) was second (15.13) in the 110-meter hurdles and Larson was fifth (15.36), while Drake Hickok (freshman, Cedar Rapids, Washington HS) was the top qualifier (54.48) in the 400-meter hurdles while Austin Stubbs (freshman Pleasant Hill, Des Moines Christian HS) was fifth (55.43).
The Dutch men are in second after scoring 54.5 points in the first day. Wartburg College leads with 72. Central’s women are sitting in third with 44 points while Luther College leads with 90 and Wartburg scored 59.
“We had a lot of good things happen but we also had some adversity,” said Dunham. “We’ve been saying all year that our level of success will depend on how we handle adversity. The coaching staff is proud of how we competed today.”
The meet resumes Saturday at 10 a.m. with field events. Running events are scheduled to being at 1 p.m.