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Larson and Vander Veer Lead Dutch

download (1)Central College men’s track and field distance runner Jamie Vander Veer (senior, Harvey, Knoxville HS) finished in sixth place in the mile to become an all-American at the NCAA Division III Indoor Championships Saturday.

The Dutch women finished in the top five in all three events they competed in Saturday. It is the first time in program history they have earned all-America honors in three different events at the indoor national meet.

Vander Veer earns all-America honors for Dutch men– After grabbing the last qualifying spot in the prelims Friday, Vander Veer raced to a sixth place finish in the men’s mile finals for all-America honors. His time (4:13.89) was less than a second off of his personal best.

“Jamie told me after the race he remembered me sitting in his high school counselor’s office telling him that I believed he could be an all-American,” said coach Joe Dunham. “I’ve always believed it and it’s very rewarding to see him get it.”

Sophomore Logan Mulford (Mount Pleasant) placed 15th in the high jump with a leap of 6 feet 6.25 inches.

In the heptathlon Eric Larson (senior, Waverly, Waverly-Shell Rock HS) entered the day tied for first after four events, but had to withdraw due to an injury that sidelined him nearly all of last season. He won the 2013 indoor heptathlon and outdoor decathlon national championships before missing most of last year.

Larson took eighth in the 60-meter hurdles (8.53) Saturday before failing to clear a height in the pole vault nd withdrawing from the 1,000 meters.

The Central men tied for 55th in the final team standings with three points. Wis.-Eau Claire took the men’s team title with 62 points, edging out Wis.-La Crosse by two.

Three top-five finishes propel Dutch women– Sprinter Abi Davis (junior, Des Moines, Dowling Catholic HS) followed up Friday’s strong performance with a pair of top-five finishes in the 60 and 200-meter finals. She took fourth in the 60 (7.67 seconds) and fifth in the 200 (25.27).

“Abi had a great day,” said Dunham. “She had a real good day yesterday and I think she stepped up even more today.”

It is the second year in a row Davis has run the 60 and the 200 at the indoor national meet. Last season she finished 15th in the 200 and runner-up in the 60.

The Dutch 4×400 relay squad of Davis, Kate Patton (freshman, Murray), Camie Kibbee (senior, Mason City) and Allie McBroom (senior, Runnells, Southeast Polk HS) entered the meet with the 10th best qualifying time, but improved by four seconds, running a 3:51.34, to earn fourth place and all-America honors.

“The women’s relay team ran absolutely amazing today,” said Dunham. “I’m very proud of them. Each of them played a vital role in that performance. I give a lot of credit to coach Jon Graupmann for getting them ready.”

The Dutch women finished in a tie for 13th as a team with 14 points. Wis.-La Crosse won the women’s title with 55 points.

The Dutch will begin the outdoor season in two weeks at the Washington-St. Louis Invitational March 27 and the Northwest Missouri State Invitational March 28-29.

“I’m very proud of all the effort today,” said Dunham. “We had some great all-American performances and we will use these to get ready for the outdoor season.”