11 NCAA Div. III individual championships
DECORAH — Central College placed four athletes in the multi-events at the Iowa Conference track and field championships Friday.
Jaemin Powell (sophomore, Wellman, Mid-Prairie HS) was second in the decathlon with 6,013 points while Conner Freeman (junior, Urbandale) was seventh with 5,268, after failing to score in the pole vault.
“I’m very proud of Jaemin,” coach Joe Dunham said. “He competed hard. It was a tough day for Conner, but he also battled hard. I was proud of the way he responded after the pole vault.”
Freshmen Emma Drees (Waukee) and Morgan Koenigs (Mapleton, Maple Valley-Anthon Oto) were fourth and eighth, respectively, in the women’s heptathlon. Drees had 4,145 points and Koenigs had 3,619.
“It’s certainly exciting to have two freshman placewinners,” Dunham said. “They did great.”
Heading into the final day the men are in second place with 49, well behind meet favorite Wartburg, which has 112.5. Loras is third with 43. Central is fifth in the women’s standings with 23 points, a point back of Dubuque. Luther leads with 82 points although Wartburg, six points back, remains a heavy favorite to prevail Saturday.
Central, which has won 15 men’s crowns, including four since 2009, has endured an injury-battered season and didn’t get any healthier Friday.
“It was a tough day,” Dunham said. “We had a couple of guys pull up with hamstring injuries and it just seemed like we were a little flat. But we had some good performances.”
Dunham cited some of his teams’ efforts in preliminary events, such as the men’s and women’s 800 meters, and another strong showing in the 100 and 200 meters from Abi Davis (sophomore, Des Moines, Dowling Catholic HS).
In finals events, Hilary Hotz (junior, Fort Dodge, St. Edmond HS) was fourth in the high jump (5 feet, 2.5 inches) and April McCarthy (sophomore, Stoughton, Wis.) was sixth in the hammer throw (135-1) while the 4x800-meter relay unit of Kasey Wiedmaier (freshman, Indianola), Sarah Mueller (junior, Urbandale), Andie Arthofer (freshman, Dubuque) and Molly Bramble (sophomore, Waukee) was third in 9:37.42.
For the men, Steven Messerschmidt (senior, Neola) was second in the hammer throw (177-3) and third in the shot put (49-1.5). Gunnar Johnson (junior, Ankeny, Johnston HS) was fifth in the shot put (48-8.75). Cole Decker (sophomore, Des Moines, Dowling Catholic HS) was fifth in the 10,000 meters (31:26.12).
The 4x800-meter relay team of Jamie Vander Veer (junior, Knoxville), Kyle Nuehring (sophomore, Waukee), Eli Horton (junior, Runnells, Southeast Polk HS) and Drew Jackson (junior, Johnston) took second in 7:38.61, a school mark and better than the previous conference record but 0.17 seconds behind Wartburg.
Dunham said his squad is looking for a productive Saturday.
“Whatever happened today happened,” Dunham said. “We’ve got another big day tomorrow and we can control that. We have to get ready to compete.”