Central’s Davis Big 1st Dat at Nationals

abi Davis-Dowling Catholic-Central ©Jim Kirby

abi Davis-Dowling Catholic-Central
©Jim Kirby

Central College women’s track and field sprinter Abi Davis (junior, Des Moines, Dowling Catholic HS) advanced to the finals in two events at the NCAA Divison III Indoor Championships Friday.

On the men’s side Eric Larson (senior, Waverly, Waverly-Shell Rock HS) is tied for first in the men’s heptathlon at 3,001 points after four of seven events and Jamie Vander Veer (senior, Harvey, Knoxville HS) qualified for the finals in the mile.

Davis sprints to the finals – Davis had a big day for the Dutch, qualifying for the finals in both the 60 and the 200 meters. She tied for fourth in the 60 meter prelims (7.64) and qualified for Saturday’s finals. The race is scheduled for 2:15 CDT.

“I was really proud of Abi Davis,” said Dunham. “I felt like she overcame some things today and still prevailed. She had probably the worst start of the season in the 60 and she came back to get second in her heat. She ran a great time.”

Davis also took eighth in the 200 prelims (25.46) to earn the last qualifying spot in the finals. She will run at 3:05 p.m. Saturday.

In the prelims of the women’s 60-meter hurdles Meredith Zimmerman (senior, Urbandale) took 14th in the field of 17 in 9.02.

“I thought Meredith Zimmerman did a great job today,” said Dunham. “This was great experience for her. And while she didn’t make the finals, I think this was a great opportunity to get her ready for the outdoor season. I’m very proud of how she competed the last couple weeks.”

In addition to Davis in the 60 and the 200 ,the 4×400 relay team of Davis, Kate Patton (freshman, Murray), Camie Kibbee (senior, Mason City) and Allie McBroom (senior, Runnells, Southeast Polk HS) will compete Saturday, running at 4 p.m. CDT.

Larson in the hunt – The two-time national champion is tied for first at 3,001 points in the men’s heptathlon. He won the long jump (22 feet 7,75 inches) and high jump (6-5.50), while placing sixth in the 60 meters (7.20 seconds) and fifth in the shot put (40-2.75).

“We knew Eric would be in a dog fight,” said coach Joe Dunham. “He’s got three events tomorrow, all of which are great events for him. He had a good first day.”

The heptathlon 60-meter hurdles, pole vault and 1,000 meters will take place Saturday starting at 10 a.m. CDT.

Central had two participants in the mile prelims. Vander Veer earned the last qualifying spot with a 10th place finish (4:15:57) and Eli Horton (senior, Runnells, Southeast Polk HS) took 13th (4:17.58). Vander Veer will run in Saturday’s finals, which will start at 12:40 p.m. CDT.

“I was really proud of Jamie today,” said Dunham. “He ran a great mile in the prelims and now he’ll have an opportunity tomorrow to be an all-American. I thought he competed hard.”

Cole Decker (junior, Des Moines, Dowling Catholic HS) placed 11th in the 15-man 5,000-meter field (14:47.52).

“Cole had a good race today,” said Dunham. “He didn’t run as fast as he did last week, but it is hard to run two 5k’s fast two weeks in a row. He competed hard and was in the race the entire time. This race is a good indication that he will have a great 10k this outdoor season.”

The Dutch distance medley relay squad of Vander Veer, Spencer Hammack (junior, Ottumwa), Drew Jackson (senior, Johnston) and Horton placed 10th in 10:09.17.

“I felt like Spencer and Drew had great splits in the DMR,” said Dunham. “It was clear they were laying everything on the line for the team and that was great to see.”

In addition to Larson and Vander Veer, sophomore Logan Mulford (Mount Pleasant) will compete Saturday. He will take part in the high jump beginning at 1:30 p.m. CDT.