Central sending seven to NCAA track and field meet
PELLA — Seven Central College athletes will compete in four events at the NCAA Division III men’s and women’s track and field championships this week in Delaware, Ohio.
The official entry list was released Sunday morning. The meet will be staged Thursday through Saturday at Ohio Wesleyan University.
Iowa Conference track event MVP Eli Horton (junior, Runnells, Southeast Polk HS) and Austin O’Brien (senior, Bettendorf, Pleasant Valley HS) will both run the 5,000 meters, one of the meet’s final events, Saturday at 5:05 p.m. (Eastern Daylight Time). Horton’s qualifying time of 14:15.66 ranks sixth in the 20-runner field while O’Brien ranks 15th at 14:24.94.
Horton is making his second trip to the national outdoor meet. He placed 14th in the 1,500 meters last spring.
Sprinter Abi Davis (sophomore, Des Moines, Dowling Catholic HS) headlines the Dutch women’s entries. She’ll run the 200-meter preliminaries Thursday at 7 p.m. and the 100-meter preliminaries Friday at 7:30 p.m.
Davis also qualified for the 400 meters but chose not to run because the 400-meter preliminaries are at 7 p.m. Friday, just 30 minutes before the 100 meters. Davis ranks seventh in the 100 at 12.00 seconds and 20th in the 200 at 24.89 seconds.
Davis will also run the second leg of the 4×400-meter relay Thursday at 8:50 p.m.. The Dutch unit of Allie McBroom (junior, Runnells, Southeast Polk HS), Davis, conference 400-meter champ Camie Kibbee (junior, Mason City) and Monica Ruiz (sophomore, Hudson) ranks 12th at 3:50.71.
Hillary Hotz (junior, Fort Dodge, St. Edmond HS) will compete in the high jump Friday at 2 p.m. She ranks 21st in the 22-athlete field with a qualifying mark of 5-feet, 6-inches (1.68 meters).
The Dutch women will be bidding for their first outdoor track and field honoree since 2012. Central didn’t score in last year’s meet but tied for 20th the previous year.
The Central men tied for 22nd last year. Eric Larson (junior, Waverly, Waverly-Shell Rock HS) won the NCAA decathlon title but missed this season with injury. The Dutch tied for ninth in 2012 and were seventh in 2011. They’ve finished in the national top-25 13 times their previous 20 appearances.