All the news from Division III Mens and Womens Track.

Alana Enabnit-Clear Lake-Wartburg
©Jim Kirby

Catching Up With Alana Enabnit

Alana Enabnit-Clear Lake-Wartburg ©Jim Kirby

Alana Enabnit-Clear Lake-Wartburg
©Jim Kirby

Here at Next Level Iowa, we are a sucker for a “feel good story” and this is one that really warms our hearts.

Alana Enabnit graduated from Clear Lake high school in May of 2011 after winning 3A state championships in the 3,000 and 1500 meter runs.

She accepted Coach Steve Johnson’s offer to attend Wartburg College in Waverly and become a part of their storied program. Her college career could not have started off any better. In her freshman year she won the Iowa Conference cross country title, was 7th nationally; won the IIAC indoor 5k title, was the D3 runner-up in the indoor 5k; won the IIAC 5k and 10k outdoor and capped off this unbelievable opening season with D3 outdoor titles in both the 5k and the 10k.

Simply one of the best freshman seasons ever, in any division.

But leg injuries became the norm for this spunky, always smiling star and not only did victories almost become merely a memory, completing simple workouts did too.

After watching Alana, painfully, try to compete in a couple of races for Wartburg like she did in the past, in seemed quite apparent that her successful, albeit short, running career had come to an uneventful end.

But those people, me included, who thought Alana was done, do not know here well enough.   Her confidence is strong and her faith is even stronger.

“Last spring when I was in the process of looking for XC/track GA positions at various colleges and universities I had already kind of established that I was probably not going to compete again”, said the former Wartburg All American.

“But I kept getting nudges and encouragement from a few people to use my last year of eligibility. I was honestly scared to do it because I wanted to be able to work back in to running at my own pace and not put my body through another injury, but with much prayer and consideration it was clear to me that if the opportunity presented itself I needed to take it”, Enabnit added.

Now healthy and running again with a smile, Enabnit has found herself in the far west at Division 2 California Baptist University, one of the top Christian Colleges in the nation. CBU is a private Christian university located near Los Angeles in Southern California.

Enabnit said, “CBU came into the picture and it was the type of program I was looking for. I could get my Masters in Higher Education and Student Development and run again. Since May I have been running 100% pain free and have had the longest block of training I have had in a long time since we eased slowly back into it. The team and coaching staff in incredible and they are just a wonderful group of people. I have been blessed with another great running family and another shot to do what I love”.

The Lancers compete in the Pac West conference and are currently ranked 14th in Division 2.

In their season opener the 14th-ranked Lancers comfortably, beat out the four other teams — Riverside Community College, Chaffey College, Azusa Pacific and Concordia — in the 4K event, grabbing 26 points with six of the top nine finishers donning Lancer uniforms, one of which was Alana Enabnit who finished 4th in 14:24, just 7 seconds behind her winning teammate, Caroline Barkechir, and there is no doubt she had a smile on her face!

Rebecca Diemer-Waukee-Simpson and Nick Yeager-Boone Simpson
©Storm Athletics

Diemer and Yeager Lead Storm in Opener

 Rebecca Diemer-Waukee-Simpson and Nick Yeager-Boone Simpson ©Storm Athletics

Rebecca Diemer-Waukee-Simpson and Nick Yeager-Boone Simpson
©Storm Athletics

The Simpson cross country teams opened the 2015 season at the annual Augustana Twilight on Friday evening. The women placed 10th of 20 teams while the men came in 15th of 20.

A large field of nearly 500 competitors sweated through a hot, humid night at the Yankton Trails. The men’s field consisted of 266 runners and the women’s race featured 211 runners coming from all divisions.
A pair of newcomers in Rebecca Diemer and Stacie Ahlers paced the women’s squad. A junior transfer from Iowa State, Diemer took 22nd overall, navigating the 3-mile course in 18:12.20. Ahlers, another junior who transferred from AIB, placed 46th in 18:44.20.

Top returner Briana McCloskey came in 88th (19:31.60), as Simpson was without two of its top sophomores. Sadie Timms and Courtney Neuendorf missed the meet due to illness.

“Tonight was a great start for our ladies,” head coach Heath Moenck said. “We were short-handed, but it was great to see a couple of newcomers make an immediate impact. Rebecca’s race was exceptional.

Simpson finished with 316 points, 75 ahead of the No. 9 team in the North Region, Minnesota-Morris.

Augustana won the college division race with 46 points and Nebraska won the university division with 26 points. Nebraska’s Bonnie Smith won the individual competition, breaking the tape in 16:48.40.

Women’s 3-Mile Top Finishers: 22. Rebecca Diemer, 18:12.20; 46. Stacie Ahlers, 18:44.20; 88. Briana McCloskey, 19:31.60; 92. Jessica Gronke, 19:39.60; 108. Breanna Gaster, 19:53.40; 124. Shelby Hunemiller, 20:13.40; 134. Peyton Bourgeois, 20:29.00

The Storm’s top runner from a year ago, Nick Yaeger led the team with a 76th-place finish, finishing the 4-mile course in 21:04.65. Sophomore Ian McKenzie also cracked the top 100, placing 84th in 21:14.08.

“Our men opened the season with a quality race,” Moenck said. “Nick and Ian ran well and looked very comfortable. I look forward to building off the race and seeing improvement as we continue the season.”

Miles Kirts came in 116th (21:45.46) and freshman Trey Thompson had a solid showing, placing 140th (22:02.64). Returners Ethan Pellegrino, Andrew Mayes and Salem Hildebrandt rounded out the top seven.

Simpson finished with 397 points. Sioux Falls won the college division crown with 56 and Nebraska won the university division with 16 points. Nebraska’s Peter Spinks won the individual title, finishing in 18:57.95.

Men’s 4-Mile Top Finishers: 76. Nick Yaeger, 21:04.65; 84. Ian McKenzie, 21:14.08; 116. Miles Kirts, 21:45.46; 140. Trey Thompson, 22:02.64; 146. Ethan Pellegrino, 22:08.19; 151. Andrew Mayes, 22:13.08; 159. Salem Hildebrandt, 22:25.14

Simpson will send a handful of junior varsity runners to the Grand View Viking Invitational in Des Moines on Friday, Sept. 18. The varsity is off until the Brissman-Lundeen Invitational in Rock Island, Ill. on Friday, Sept. 25.

©Rams Athletics

Cornell Harriers Beat Heat and Competition

©Rams Athletics

©Rams Athletics

Cornell’s youth shined bright in the blistering heat Tuesday as the Rams raced to the men’s team title at Mount Mercy’s Mustang Gallop at Seminole Valley Park.
The Rams had four freshmen follow veteran frontrunner Josh Lindsay (SR/Waukesha, Wis.) en route to their first meet title since 2012. Cornell scored a 54-63 victory over runner-up Coe in a field of nine teams. Mount Mercy was third with 72 points.
Lindsay secured fifth place to head Cornell’s charge. The senior all-conference performer was clocked in 16 minutes, 44 seconds over the five kilometers.

Cornell newcomers Caleb Wilson (FR/Madison, Wis.) (16:57), Austin Bach (FR/Larkspur, Colo.) (17:02) and Cuyler Gabriel (FR/Santa Barbara, Calif.) (17:03) finished eighth, ninth and 10th, respectively. The team’s fifth scorer Matthew McDermott (FR/Menasha, Wis.), also a freshman, crossed the line in 17:43 for 22nd place.

Junior Tucker Horan (JR/Cherry Hills, Colo.) placed 23rd (17:46). Zach Stoll (SO/West Bend, Wis.) came in 26th (17:50).

Dubuque’s Alec Bass was crowned individual champion with a time of 16:10.

Results Click Here!

Coming up – The Rams return to competition Sept. 12 for the Les Duke Invitational in Grinnell.

©Dutch Athletics

Don’t Say “Rebuilding” to the Dutch

Cole Decker-Dowling Catholic-Central ©Dutch Athletics

Cole Decker-Dowling Catholic-Central
©Dutch Athletics

Relying on two seniors and a talented crop of underclassmen, the Central College men’s cross country program looks to regain the top spot in the Iowa Conference this season.

Courtesy Dutch Athletics

For the first time in his seven-year tenure at Central, men’s cross country coach Joe Dunham will have to replace over half of his starting lineup due to the graduation of the most decorated class in school history. Headlined by three-time All-American Eli Horton, last year’s senior class won Central’s only two conference crowns in the sport and also made three trips to the NCAA Division III Championships, placing 11th in the U.S. last fall.

“Those guys in their four years they were here really changed the entire face of distance running at Central College,” Dunham said. “They established a culture and a way of thinking. It was a lot of fun and we’ll miss those guys.”

Despite losing five talented seniors from that class, several key cogs from last season remain. A deep pool of talent in last year’s freshman class will need to step up as sophomores to keep Central in the thick of the conference race.

“We’re excited for the new challenge,” Dunham said. “We’re a very young team this year. Last year was one of our best recruiting classes and we’re excited to see what they can do having been in the program for a year now. We’ll hopefully see some great improvements there.”

Late-season injuries prevented the Dutch from winning a third conference title last November. Simply being able to stay healthy could make the difference for this year’s team and a coach with the loftiest of expectations

“Everybody looks at how high we finished last year at the national meet and from a distance it looks great, but we were extremely disappointed,” Dunham said. “We were not at full strength when Drew Jackson couldn’t run at the end of the season, and it completely changed who we were as a team. We have to stay healthy and keep our confidence up this season.”

Only three of Central’s top seven runners from last season return for the 2015 campaign. With the departure of Horton, senior Cole Decker takes the reigns as the top runner in the program. After finishing second in the league as a freshman and third as a sophomore, Decker won the conference title last year, finishing the 8,000-meter course in 25:03.0. A win this year would make him the first repeat champion since Cornell’s Andrew Tobben in 2009 and 2010.

“The end of the season for Cole last year couldn’t have gone any better,” Dunham said. “Then he ran phenomenal in outdoor track in the spring and earned All-American status in the 10,000. He showed that he’s one of the best runners in the country. He knows his role is as a frontrunner for us now and I think he will be.”

After opening the season with a first-place finish at the Central Invitational (25:43.2) and a fourth-place finish at the Gil Dodds Invitational at Wheaton (Ill.) College (25:21), junior Isaac Steffensmeier struggled down the stretch. But with a new approach in summer training, Dunham believes he will keep improving all the way into November.

“Isaac is one of those guys that we’ve actually slowed down in his training this summer,” Dunham said. “He probably put in too many miles last summer and maybe got a little overtrained. We’re changing the way he’s training over the summer and I think it will help in a big way.”

The top runner from last year’s freshman group was Mark Fairley. After starting a little slow, Fairley came on strong, running his best two races at the NCAA regional (25:36.1) and national (25:37.7) meets. Dunham is confident that with a solid summer of training, Fairley will make great strides.

“He’s got big goals and a lot of ability and talent,” Dunham said. “His goal is to be up there with Cole and Isaac. We’ll be depending on him and a lot of those sophomores this season.”

Fellow sophomore Tanner Rathje gained valuable experience in November by replacing the injured Jackson in the lineup for the regional and national meets. He ran a season-best time of 25:45.4 at the national meet and will look to improve upon a solid track season.

“He’s a great cross country runner,” Dunham said. “I have a lot faith in him and I believe that Tanner will be a major contributor for us this season.

Jon Specht’s freshman season was hindered by injuries which allowed him to compete in just three races. His best race a year ago was a 64th place finish at the Wis.-Eau Claire Blugold Inv. (26:45). Dunham has high hopes for Specht in his sophomore campaign.

“He’s making progress with his health,” he said. “He’s someone people will get to know if we can keep him healthy,”

Senior Kyle Nuehring has had a stellar track career at Central, but injuries have limited him on the cross country course. He could make an impact this year if he stays healthy.

“He’s been a force on the track as a middle distance runner,” Dunham said. “Dealing with some small injuries have prevented from him doing the things that he’s wanted to do in cross country. If he stays healthy, he can accomplish some great things.”

A wealth of unproven talent is available to provide additional options. Juniors Kyle Schelling and Karl Weaver both earned varsity letters as sophomores. A deep sophomore class features Jeremy Caracci, Taylor Donner, Nick Guzman, and Ben Stelk who are capable of making a push for varsity spots.

Another solid recruiting year sees five new runners join the program. Dunham is excited about their potential.

“The athletes in this class are very motivated,” Dunham said. “I love their attitudes and their desire to get better. We have freshmen that are going to be pushing for varsity spots this year. That excites me because that means things are still progressing.”


After opening the 2015 season by hosting the Central Invitational on September 5, the Dutch return to the St. Olaf (Minn.) Invitational on Sept. 19 for the fifth time in seven years. A trip to the Rim Rock Classic in Lawrence, Kansas on October 3 precedes the Wis.-Oshkosh AAE Invitational on October 17 in Winneconne, Wisconsin, the site of this year’s national meet. Central’s junior varsity will run in Dubuque at the Loras Invitational on October 16. The varsity will practice there in order to see the course that will also host the conference meet.

“We want to make sure that we see those courses,” Dunham said. “We want to make sure that the athletes are well prepared for those big races. We’re going to be facing a lot of tough teams with a lot of talent. We’re going to have to put forth our best effort to compete.”

At the conference meet in Dubuque, Central will look to win its third title in four years. And for the second year in a row, Central will host the NCAA Division III Central Regional at its highly regarded on-campus course in Pella. A top-three finish at that meet would send Central to a fourth straight NCAA Division III Championship meet.

“First and foremost, we want to win the Iowa Conference meet,” Dunham said. “It was tough to lose it last year. We’ll focus on the conference championship first and then on qualifying for the national meet. Being on our home course should give us an advantage (at the regional) and we’ll hopefully use that advantage to qualify.”


Opened in 2004, Central’s on-campus course went through a redesign in 2013 that allows for a better spectator experience.

“I think we had a strong desire to make the course a little more fan-friendly, where people could get to different places easier,” Dunham said. “We’re one of very few programs in the entire region to have a cross country course on our campus and have a course specifically designed for cross country. We’re lucky to have the type of support that we’ve had from the athletics department.”

Colt Feltes-Delhi-Wartburg 
©Knights Athletics

Knights- Bigger, Faster, Smarter

Colt Feltes-Delhi-Wartburg  ©Knights Athletics

Colt Feltes-Delhi-Wartburg
©Knights Athletics

Senior Colt Feltes (Delhi) was named the men’s indoor USTFCCCA Scholar Athlete of the Year for the field events and seven other Knights were named All-Academic, the United States Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA) national office announced today.

Courtesy Knights Athletics

Feltes, a senior accounting major with a cumulative 3.506 grade point average, earned the indoor field award for his first career Scholar Athlete honor. The native of Delhi, Iowa, finished runner-up in the shot put with a heave of 60-6 (18.44m) and threw a career-best 60-11½ at the Wartburg Indoor Select earlier in the season.

He is the second man from Wartburg to have earned track & field Scholar Athlete of the Year honors (Andy Hodge, 2008).

Scholar Athletes of the Year were selected as the highest-finishing performers at the NCAA Indoor & Outdoor Championships who also achieved USTFCCCA All-Academic Individual status. Those who earned multiple individual championship titles ranked higher in the tie-breaking process, and cumulative GPA is weighed as the final tiebreaker to establish a winner.

Wartburg’s All-America honorees were:

Daniel Bonthius


Colt Feltes


Nick Green

Physical Education

Liam Hartley

Fitness Management

Ryan Hermsen


Chase Moser


Chris Nothnick

Business Administration

Drew Schwartz

A total of 297 men received this award. Click here to see the complete list.

To qualify for the USTFCCCA All-Academic Track and Field Team, the student-athlete must have compiled a cumulative grade point average of 3.30 and have met either of the following athletic standards: a student-athlete must have competed in an NCAA Indoor or Outdoor Championship or finished the regular season ranked in the national top 35 in an individual event or ranked in the national top 25 (collective listing) in a relay event on the official NCAA POP list provided by

Women’s Track and Field:

NEW ORLEANS– Six members of the Wartburg women’s track and field team were named All-Academic by the United States Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA), the national office announced today.

Rachael Cheeseman

Elementary Education

Tessa Helmle


Kayla Hemann


Kayla Kregel

Fitness Management

Taylor Moore

Elementary Education

Taylor Officer

Elementary Education
A total of 420 women received this award. Click here to see the complete list.

To qualify for the USTFCCCA All-Academic Track and Field Team, the student-athlete must have compiled a cumulative grade point average of 3.30 and have met either of the following athletic standards: a student-athlete must have competed in an NCAA Indoor or Outdoor Championship or finished the regular season ranked in the national top 35 in an individual event or ranked in the national top 25 (collective listing) in a relay event on the official NCAA POP list provided by

Daniel Bonthious

Next Level Iowa’s D3 Runner of the Year: Daniel Bonthious-Wartburg

Daniel BonthiousDaniel Bonthious, the former Iowa City Regina standout battled injuries much of his final season at Wartburg but persevered to became a two-time All-American in the 800m run with his sixth place finish (1:54.02). Bonthius, a 4.0 biology major, becomes the 35th student-athlete from Wartburg to earn a NCAA Postgraduate Scholarships worth $7,500. He is also a two-time Academic All-American and two-time recipient of the NCAA Elite 89 Award. Bonthius will begin an MD/PhD program at the Medical University of South Carolina in the fall. “The PhD will be in biomedical engineering, and we will be working on creating an improved implant to correct scoliosis,” he said. “Upon completing this program, I hope to pursue a career in orthopedic surgery, and to also run a research lab that is focused on the development of novel medical devices for orthopedic patients.”


Congratulations to Daniel Bonthious this year’s Next Level Iowa’s AOY 2015

Eli Horton-SE Polk-Central
©Jim Kirby

Season Ends for Dutch and Farewell to Awesome Seniors

Eli Horton-SE Polk-Central  ©Jim Kirby

Eli Horton-SE Polk-Central
©Jim Kirby

A championship year concluded at the NCAA Division III national meet Saturday for the Central College men’s and women’s track and field squads.

Central’s men, who captured their fifth Iowa Conference crown in the past seven years, failed to score any additional national meet points Saturday.

Dan Roemerman (junior, Iowa City) was ninth in the 110-meter hurdle finals in 14.62 seconds after setting a school record in Friday’s prelims in 14.45 seconds.

“Dan had one really bad hurdle—the fourth hurdle—and that’s what prevented him from being an all-American,” coach Joe Dunham said. “But he took down a school record that had stood for a long time (10 years) and had a great season.”

Meanwhile, Eli Horton (senior, Runnells, Southeast Polk HS) capped a stellar career with a subpar 19th-place showing in the 5,000 meters in 15:30.42. That’s well off the school record of 14:11.28 he set at the Mount Sac Relays in Walnut, Calif. April 17. Pushing for a title, Horton ran with the leaders much of the way but fell off the pace in the ninth lap.

“He was running his race and he tried to make a move and it was just the wrong move,” Dunham said. “It just was not his day.”

Dunham said Horton was coming off an injury that made training difficult.

However, Saturday’s finish failed to overshadow Horton’s accomplishments over four years as one of the most successful distance runners in school history. Recently tabbed as the USTFCCCA Central Region Track Athlete of the Year, Horton was a three-time Iowa Conference track athlete of the week this spring. He gained all-America honors four times in indoor and outdoor track and was a four-time cross country all-America honoree as well. Including relays, Horton claimed eight conference outdoor individual event titles and seven indoor crowns.

“What a great career,” Dunham said. “He’s been an instrumental person for our distance program and is one of the greatest distance runners Central College has ever had. It’s truly been an honor to coach him.”

The Dutch tied for 56th in the team standings with four points.

The Central women failed to score at the national meet but also had a memorable year, winning team titles at the Central Invitational, the Dutch Triangular and the Monmouth Invitational, before racing to a second-place conference finish.

“They just got a lot better,” Dunham said. “It’s a young team and we’ve got some good kids coming in. We’re on the rise with our women’s program.

“And our men were conference champions. It was a great thing for our seniors to bring home the trophy.”

Dunham again thanked his staff of veteran assistant coaches and told his team to not let a disappointing weekend diminish so many achievements.

“I told the seniors to relish the great things the sport gave them over four years,” he said. “And I told the underclassmen to let the fire from this week fuel them for all of next year, so we can come back even better.”


Central College men’s track and field distance runner Cole Decker (junior, Des Moines, Dowling Catholic HS) stayed near the front of the pack for the majority of the men’s 10,000 meters before sprinting to the finish line to grab eighth place and All-America honors Thursday at the NCAA Division III Outdoor Championships.

His time of 31 minutes, 4.09 seconds was just a half-second ahead of the ninth-place finisher and less than five seconds out of the top five.

“I couldn’t be happier for Cole,” said coach Joe Dunham. “He ran an extremely smart race in absolutely grueling conditions. Each lap was all over the map in terms of pace but Cole remained focused and rolled with it. He shared the lead with the eventual national champion for most of the race. Any time you are an All-American it is special. He will take that with him for the rest of his life.”

Dylan Kalinay-South Tama County-Simpson
©Jim Kirby

Simpson Sends Two to Nathionals

Bayley Fleshner-West Fork-Simpson ©Jim Kirby

Bayley Fleshner-West Fork-Simpson
©Jim Kirby

Two Simpson track and field student-athletes at contrasting stages in their careers will close the 2015 season with the same opportunity: a chance to compete for a national championship.

Courtesy Storm Athletics

Bayley Fleshner  (100-meter hurdles) and freshman Dylan Kalinay (110-meter hurdles) will represent the Storm at the 2015 NCAA Division III Outdoor Track & Field Championships, which will be held May 21-23 at St. Lawrence University in Canton, N.Y.

Both athletes qualified by posting career-best times at the UW-La Crosse NCAA Qualifier on Friday, May 15. Fleshner ran the 100 hurdles in 14.35 seconds to qualify for her second NCAA Championship while Kalinay ran the 110 hurdles in 14.61 to make the field for the first time.

The women’s 100 hurdle preliminaries are set to start Friday, May 22 at 5:15 p.m. The men’s 110 hurdle preliminaries follows at 5:30 p.m. Each event features three heats, with the top two finishers in each heat and the next two fastest times advancing to the finals. The finals begin Saturday with the women at 1:55 p.m. and the men at 2:05 p.m.

Meet Central

For each men’s individual event contested, including the decathlon, the top 20 declared student-athletes were accepted into the competition. For each women’s individual event contested, including the heptathlon, the top 22 declared student-athletes were accepted into the competition. For each relay event contested, the top 16 declared relay teams, one per institution, were accepted into the competition.

For Fleshner, the 2015 outdoor “regular” season came to a bittersweet end with a runner-up finish at the Iowa Conference Championships. After posting the top qualifying time in preliminaries, Fleshner clipped the ninth hurdle in the finals, slowing her up just enough to come in second in front of her home crowd.

After a handful of near-misses in her first two seasons, Fleshner broke through by making outdoor nationals as a junior. Her road to qualification wasn’t easy this season either, as she had to run the 100 hurdles three times at La Crosse to solidify her ticket to the NCAAs. After prelims, a timing snafu nullified the first running of the finals. Meet officials decided to run the event a third time despite just three competitors taking part in the race. Fleshner overcame the adversity to run the fastest time of her career and post the No. 11 qualifying time in Division III.

Kalinay’s first season at Simpson fittingly comes to an end on Division III’s biggest stage.

The freshman sensation has been turning heads all season, establishing himself as one of the top sprinters in the Iowa Conference. Kalinay took second in both the 110 hurdles and the 100-meter dash at the conference championships, missing out on a title in the dash by just 0.01 seconds. His 14.61 in the 100 hurdles at La Crosse is the fourth-fastest effort in school history and fastest in 24 years.

Taylor Moore-New Hampton-Wartburg
©Jim Kirby

Knights Win 16th Straight Conference Title

Madison Kleve-Johnston-Wartburg ©Jim Kirby

Madison Kleve-Johnston-Wartburg
©Jim Kirby

The Wartburg women’s outdoor track and field team won its 16th straight and 19th overall Iowa Conference Outdoor Track and Field Championship Saturday. The Knights won with 257.50 points.

  • Event winners:
    800m run: Taylor Moore, 2:10.90
  • Javelin throw: Kayla Hemann, 35.66m 117-00
  • Additional All-Conference performances:
  • Erica Dynes: 100m dash
  • Becca Cherry: 100m & 200m dash
  • Tessa Helmle: 200m dash
  • Taylor Officer: 400m dash
  • Kayla Kregel: 800m run
  • Maddie Kleve: 800m &1500m run
  • Serena Goetzl: 1500m & 5000m run
  • Derica Jakoubek: 100m hurdles
  • 4x100m relay: 1) Becca Cherry SO 2) Tessa Helmle SO 3) Rachael Cheeseman SR 4) Erica Dynes JR
  • 4x400m relay: 1) Kayla Kregel SR 2) Taylor Moore SR 3) Rachael Cheeseman SR 4) Taylor Officer SO

Head Coach Marcus Newsom was named Coach of the Year.

Drew Jackson- Johnston-Central and Timothy Shepherd- Knoxville-Central 
©Jim Kirby

Dutch Men Capture Fifth Conference Title

Katie Patton-Murray-Central ©Jim Kirby

Katie Patton-Murray-Central
©Jim Kirby

Central College rolled up 213 points to capture its fifth Iowa Conference men’s outdoor track and field championship in the last seven years Saturday by a comfortable 39-point margin.

The Dutch women finished in second place in the team standings with 147.75 points, 31 points ahead of third place Luther. Wartburg took the women’s title with 257.50 points.

Central men win five events, league title—On the men’s side Central dominated the distance events with the top three finishers in the 5,000 meters and the top two in the 3,000-meter steeplechase. After winning the 10,000-meter title Friday Cole Decker (junior, Des Moines, Dowling Catholic HS) won the 5,000 meters Saturday, finishing the race in 15:01.18. Teammate Isaac Steffensmeier (sophomore, Fort Madison) took second (15:03.00) and Eli Horton (senior, Runnells, Southeast Polk HS) was third (15:09.26).

Courtesy Dutch Athletics

In the steeplechase

) (9:30.27) by less than two-tenths of a second to win the event. Shepherd’s time was a new personal best by 13 seconds. Central got another win on the track in the 1,500-meter run as Horton won the race for the fourth consecutive year (3:53.85).

In the110-meter hurdles it was Dan Roemerman (junior, Iowa City) finishing first in 14.62. Eric Larson (senior, Waverly, Waverly-Shell Rock HS) earned all-conference honors as well with a third place finish (15.14). The Dutch had an athlete earn all-league honors in the 400-meter hurdles as well as Tate Jensen (freshman, De Soto, Adel-De Soto, Minburn HS) crossed the finish line in third place (55.54).

Central had one relay team with a top-three finish Saturday as the 4×400-meter squad of Mason Zimmerman (senior, Urbandale), Blake Morgan (freshman, Story City, Roland-Story HS), Austin Roberts (junior, Bloomfield, Davis County HS) and Jackson took third (3:18.46).

In the field events Kody Dailey (junior, Iowa City) won the javelin title with a toss of 179 feet, 3 inches and Ben Miller (sophomore, Willcox, Ariz.) placed third in the discus (140-01).

“Any time you win a championship it’s a big deal,” said coach Joe Dunham. “It’s something every one of our men will have with them for the rest of their lives. I’m really happy for our seniors. For them to go out like this in such convincing fashion is great.”

Dunham was named the men’s league outdoor coach of the year Saturday, but was quick to recognize the rest of his staff.

“I want to credit my coaching staff,” he said. “I have the best staff around and am blown away by their knowledge of our sport.”

Sprinters lead Dutch women—The sprinting events have been a strength for the Dutch women all season long, and Saturday was no different. Abi Davis (junior, Des Moines, Dowling Catholic HS) took the titles in the 100-meter dash (12.06) and the 200-meter dash (24.79). Her 200-meter time is tied for the 18th fastest in Division III this season. She was also part of two relay squads that earned first place finishes.

The 4×100-meter team of Davis, Allie McBroom (senior, Runnells, Southeast Polk HS), Monica Ruiz (junior, Ruiz) and Kate Patton (freshman, Grand River, Murray HS) took home the title (47.77) and the 4×400 team of Davis, Camie Kibbee (senior, Mason City), Ashlee Downs (junior, Urbandale, Valley HS) and McBroom edged out Wartburg by less than a second for first place (3:48.43). The 4×100 time is 15th in Division III and the 4×400 time ranks fourth.

McBroom had a big day for the Dutch as well. In addition to being a part of two winning relay teams she also won the 400-meter dash in 56.95.

In the 3,000-meter steeplechase Holly McKinney (freshman, Saint Charles, Interstate 35 HS) earned all-conference honors with a second place finish (11:30.06) and Andie Arthofer (sophomore, Zwingle, Dubuque HS) was fourth (11:53.92).

“I’m excited for our women’s program and the direction it is heading,” said Dunham. “We are seeing improvement in so many areas. I have big goals for the women’s team in the coming years.”

The Dutch will send a contingent of athletes to the Wisconsin-La Crosse Qualifier Thursday.