Holly McKinney-I 35-Central 
©Dutch Athletics-Dan L. Vander Beek-2017

Dutch Ready For Conference

Holly McKinney-I 35-Central  ©Dutch Athletics-Dan L. Vander Beek-2017

Holly McKinney-I 35-Central
©Dutch Athletics-Dan L. Vander Beek-2017

In their final warmup to the Iowa Conference Championships, the Central College men’s and women’s track and field teams continued their preparation at the Wartburg Invitaional Saturday afternoon.

Courtesy Dutch Athletics, click here!  Feature photo: Kennedy Morris-Earlham-Central©Dan L. VanderBeek Photography-2018

The men secured a second-place finish out of eight teams while the women placed sixth out of nine teams.

“I was very happy with the effort and progress we made today,” said coach Joe Dunham. “We’re getting ready for next weekends conference meet and I like where we are at right now.”

Senior Kate Patton (Murray) finished fifth in the 60-meter dash in 8.17 seconds after running a preliminary time of 7.99. Patton also ran the 400-meter dash in 1:00.91 to place fourth.

“Kate had a great day today,” said Dunham. “I thought she ran really well and is going to be ready to go next week at conference.”

Senior Holly McKinney (Saint Charles, Interstate 35 HS) returned to the track Saturday after dealing with injuries to finish second in the mile after a time of 5:20.24.

“It was really great to see Holly out there today,” said Dunham. “She did a great job after coming back from dealing with a few injuries of late.”

Freshman Kennedy Morris (Earlham) earned a sixth-place finish in the weight throw with a toss of 14.59 meters.

“Kennedy had a great day today as well,” said Dunham. “She’s shown improvement and is ready to compete next week at conference.”

Junior Preston Kizer (Zwingle, Dubuque HS) won the 800-meter race, finishing in 1:56.81. Senior Taylor Donner (Dubuque) was three spots behind Kizer, running a 1:59.26.

“Preston Kizer ran a great race in the 800 today,” said Dunham. “Taylor Donner competed really well as well and its great to see them getting prepared for the conference meet.”

Sophomore Mitchell Yaw (Orange City, MOC-Floyd Valley HS) led Central in the 400-meter dash, placing sixth in 51.36. Junior Hunter Howe (La Plata, Mo., La Plata R-II HS) was two places behind Yaw with 51.55.

“I was really happy with the way our men ran the 400 today,” said Dunham. “We had a lot of guys competing and they are hitting their stride going into next weekend.”

Seniors Mark Fairley (Dubuque) and Jon Specht (Dubuque, Hempstead HS) finished second and third in the mile after posting times of 4:17.5 and 4:23.63; respectively.

Junior Nathan Fitzgerald (Elkader, Central Elkader HS) placed second in the shot put with a throw of 15.52 meters.

“Nathan Fitzgerald had a good day today in the shot put,” said Dunham.

Junior Michael Firkins (Centerville) finished fourth in the weight throw with a mark of 16.87 meters.

Next on tap for Central is the Iowa Conference Indoor Championships Friday and Saturday in Pella. A webcast will be available at athletics.central.edu. Excitement level couldn’t be higher for coach Dunham.

“We are really excited to host the conference meet next week,” he said. “We’ve been training our athletes to peak at the right time and we’re hoping that time starts next week. We’re ready to compete for a conference title.”