15 NCAA Div. III individual championships
PELLA—Central College distance runner Eli Horton (junior, Runnells, Southeast Polk HS) has been named U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA) Division III Central Region men’s track athlete of the year, while sixth-year head coach Joe Dunham was named Central Region men’s coach of the year.
Horton led the Dutch distance contingent with three individual titles, all in championship-record-setting fashion, and the track events MVP award in Central’s runner-up team finish at the Iowa Conference indoor track and field championships Feb. 28-March 1 at Decorah.
Central scored 72 of its 169.5 points in the three distance events Horton won.
Horton is ranked in the top 15 in the mile, 3,000- and 5,000-meter runs, highlighted by a No. 4 ranking in the 5,000 meters. He will compete in the 3,000-meter run and the distance medley relay at this weekend’s NCAA indoor championships.
Dunham’s squad opened and closed the season ranked No. 1 in the region. The Dutch earned three bids into the national meet and had athletes ranked in the top 50 nationally in 10 events. It is Dunham’s fourth regional award, including his second straight indoor honor.
Hosted by Nebraska Wesleyan at Lincoln, Neb., the national meet begins Friday inside Devaney Sports Center at 11 a.m. with heptathlon and pentathlon events.