11 NCAA Div. III individual championships
DECORAH—Sprinter Abi Davis (sophomore, Des Moines, Dowling Catholic HS) led the Central College women’s track and field team with the 55-meter dash title and runner-up finishes in the 200-meter dash and two relays en route to a fifth-place team finish at the Iowa Conference indoor track and field championships this weekend at Decorah.
Central scored 83 points to finish fifth. Wartburg won the team title with 292 points, followed by Loras with 97, Dubuque with 90 and championship host Luther with 88. Simpson, Buena Vista and Coe completed the standings.
“Our assistant coaches did a spectacular job,” coach Joe Dunham said. “Our athletes were ready and posted a lot of great times and marks. Our program would not be where it is today without our coaching staff. I’m very blessed to be a part of that and they deserve a lot of credit.”
Abi Davis (sophomore, Des Moines, Dowling Catholic HS) won the 55-meter dash in 7.20 seconds, 0.12 seconds ahead of the runner-up. Davis followed the performance with a runner-up finish in the 200-meter dash in 25.73 seconds. Fellow sprinter Monica Ruiz (sophomore, Hudson) was sixth in 26.87.
“Abi had a great meet,” said Dunham. “It was one of the best performances by any runner on the track this weekend. It was a busy weekend for her and she represented Central really well. And she was smiling all weekend.”
Davis, McKenna Zimmerman (junior, Urbandale), Melanie Nielsen (sophomore, Atlantic) and Ruiz earned all-league honors combining for a runner-up 1:46.08 in Friday’s 4x200-meter relay. The 4x400-meter relay team of Davis, Nielsen, Taylor Beckman (junior, Panora, Panorama HS) and Camie Kibbee (junior, Mason City) also finished runner-up in 4:00.48.
Jumper Hillary Hotz (junior, Fort Dodge, St. Edmond HS) placed third in the high jump, clearing a height of 5-2.5. Mid-distance runner Elin Phipps (sophomore, Boone) was also a third-place finisher in the 800-meter run in 2:16.20, only 0.15 seconds off of the school record.
“Elin’s 200 was another top performance from the weekend,” Dunham said. “It was good to see her compete hard and get back to form. I was proud of her effort.”
Central’s 4x800-meter relay team of Andie Arthofer (freshman, Dubuque, Senior HS), Kylie Bradley (freshman, Urbandale), Sarah Mueller (junior, Urbandale) and Molly Bramble (sophomore, Waukee) finished third as well, crossing the line in 9:53.47.
“The 4x800-meter relay team ran an incredible race,” said Dunham. “They all fought hard and ran really well.”
Kibbee and Nielsen finished fifth and seventh, respectively, in the 400-meter dash 59.74 and 1:01.26. Thrower Lorell Stuht (freshman, Loveland, Colo.) placed fifth in the weight throw with a personal-best toss of 45-1.75, while April McCarthy (sophomore, Stoughton, Wis.) was eighth.
“Lorell had a very good effort in the weight,” Dunham said. “She exceeded her potential this weekend. I can’t wait to see what she does in the outdoor season.”
McKenna and Meredith Zimmerman (junior, Urbandale) placed sixth and seventh, respectively, in Saturday’s 55-meter hurdles with times of 8.92 and 9.22.
“McKenna covered a lot of events this weekend and competed really hard,” said Dunham. “She answered the call and scored points.
“And now it’s time to tune up for the national meet.”
The Dutch will send a handful of athletes to Saturday’s Pointer Qualifier at Stevens Point, Wis., in hopes of qualifying for the NCAA Division III championships March 14-15 at Lincoln, Neb. Numerous Central athletes already own strong qualifying times and will stand pat over the next week.