Central College men’s track and field distance runner Eli Horton (senior, Runnells, Southeast Polk HS) placed second in a 150-man field in the 5,000 meters at the Washington University (Mo.) Invitational Friday.
Courtesy Dutch Athletics
The Dutch had 10 athletes compete in the 5,000 meters. Horton ran it in 14 minutes 28.91 seconds and was less than two seconds off the top time at the meet.
“Eli gave a great effort tonight,” said coach Joe Dunham.
Isaac Steffensmeier (sophomore, St. Paul, Fort Madison HS) was the second fastest Central runner in the event, finishing 26th in 14:52.27.
“Isaac ran right where I hoped he would,” said Dunham. “He is ready for the outdoor season.”
Two more Dutch runners were not far behind Steffensmeier with Cole Decker (junior, Des Moines, Dowling Catholic HS) taking 30th (14:56.01) and Drew Jackson (senior, Johnston) finishing 31st (14:56.25).
“Cole Decker raced really well,” said Dunham. “He had a horrible flu this whole week and for him to go out there and break 15 is absolutely incredible. I can’t wait to see what he does as we get into the season. I was also really proud of Drew. He went through the 2-mile in good position and had a big PR. At this time of the year that is really exciting.”
Central also had a group of younger runners in the event. Freshman Mark Fairley (Dubuque) led the young Dutch group with a 65th place finish (15:30.69).
Cole Folken (freshman, Dubuque) placed 92nd (15:54.57), Tanner Rathje (freshman, Marion, Linn-Mar HS) 115th (16:22.69), Jeremy Caracci (freshman, Johnston) 138th (17:19.46), Karl Weaver (freshman, Davenport, Pleasant Valley HS) 143rd (17:25.66) and Kyle Schelling (sophomore, Orange City, Sioux Center HS) 149th (18:18.89). Dunham said the schedule created some challenges for the athletes that had to run in the earlier heats.
“I thought Kyle Schelling, Jeremy Caracci and Karl Weaver did great considering the circumstances,” said Dunham. “We left campus later so we could minimize missed class time and they basically had to run 40 minutes after a 5-hour car ride. All three ran well.
The Dutch will have a group of multi-event athletes competing at the Northwest Missouri State Invitational Saturday and Sunday before hosting the Central Invitational Thursday in Pella.