Central track and field squads sweep titles in home opener

Central College

Central College

PELLA—The Central College men’s and women’s track and field squads swept both team titles and won 13 events at the Dutch Athletics Classic Saturday afternoon.

The Central men scored 228 points in the six-team field, good for a 100-point victory over William Penn, while the women racked up 188 points, 67 better than runner-up Simpson.

Jackson, Messerschmidt take two for men—Drew Jackson (sophomore, Johnston) had a dominating performance in his season opener, winning the 3,000 meters and the 1,000 meters in eight minutes, 41.75 seconds and 2:34.96 respectively. Junior Steve Messerschmidt (Neola, Tri-Center HS) was also a double winner, taking the weight throw with a mark of 52 feet, 5.5 inches before winning the shot put in 47-11.

“Drew ran a couple of great races, especially considering how early in the season it is” said Dunham. “And Steve led a good effort from all our throwers. They are going to surprise some people this year.”

Jackson’s teammates assisted in pulling off a sweep of the distance and middle distance events. Nick Barnes (junior, Altoona, Southeast Polk HS) was first across the line in the 600 meters (1:25.75) while Kyle Nuehring (freshman, Waukee) won the Mile (4:37.76).

Meanwhile, Matt Strey (sophomore, Pella, St. Peter (Minn.) HS) win the high jump (5-8.75) and the 4×400 relay team of Tyler Westphal (senior, Le Mars), Phil Heisterkamp (senior, Jefferson, Jefferson-Scranton HS), Barnes, and Ben Schornack (senior, Urbandale) won the final event in 3:32.69, just ahead of the all-freshman team of Spencer Hammack (Ottumwa), Austin Roberts (Bloomfield, Davis County HS), Dan Roemerman (Iowa City, City HS), and Drake Hickok (Cedar Rapids, Washington HS) in (3:32.71).

Other notable performances include a 2-3-4 finish in the 55-meter hurdles from Eric Larson (sophomore, Waverly, Waverly-Shell Rock HS), Hickok, and Roemerman in 7.99, 8.06 and 8.13 respectively. Roemerman ran the fastest qualifying time of the prelims in 7.87. Josh Fleming (senior, Caseyville, Collinsville HS) and Gunnar Johnson (sophomore, Johnston), took second (47-5.75) and third (40-2.25) in the shot put, completing the 1-2-3 sweep with Messerschmidt. Fleming also took third in the weight throw (47-3.5). Eli Horton (sophomore, Runnells, Southeast Polk HS) and Schornack collected runner-up honors in the 3,000-meters (8:44.47) and 1,000-meters respectively (2:38.67) respectively. Third-place finishes were awarded to Roberts in the 400 meters (52.17), Larson in the pole vault (12-3.5), Emery Davis (senior, Crawfordsville, Winfield-Mt. Union HS) in the triple jump (39-9.25) and Connor Freeman (sophomore, Urbandale) in the heptathlon (3,944).

“This was our first meet against athletes with different-colored jerseys,” said Dunham. “I think it brought the best out of our team today. Overall the coaching staff was pleased with the results.”

Balanced effort for Dutch women—The women’s squad collected five wins across several different event groups. Senior sprints mainstay Felicia Coleman (Houston, Texas, J. Frank Dobie HS) led the charge, easily winning the 55 meters (7.37) and running a leg on the winning 4×400 relay (4:08.43) along with Taylor Beckman (sophomore, Panora, Panorama HS), Camie Kibbee (sophomore, Mason City), and Melanie Nielsen (freshman, Atlantic). Elin Phipps (freshman, Boone) won the 1,000 meters (3:08.07), Mel McDermott (senior, Britt, West Hancock HS) took the Mile (5:32.79), and Hillary Hotz (sophomore, Fort Dodge, St. Edmond HS) collected a win for the Dutch in the high jump (5-1).

“Felicia is always going to be one of our leaders,” said Dunham. “So it was fun to see others making some noise. We’re going to need well-rounded efforts like that to achieve our goals.”

Elsewhere, McKenna Zimmerman (sophomore, Urbandale) scored a pair of runner-up finishes in her Dutch debut in the 55-meter hurdles (9.09) and the 200 meters (27.72). Alyssa Eaves (sophomore, Johnston) and Amanda Dunkin (junior, Pella) were second (3:19.05) and third (3:20.41) respectively in the 1,000 meters. Sarah Mueller (sophomore, Urbandale) narrowly missed a win in the 600 meters (1:42.8), Maddy Frehe (junior, DeSoto, Kan.) was runner-up in the pole vault (7-10.5), Shanna Aberson (senior, Orange City, MOC-FV HS) placed second in the triple jump (29-3.25), Jess Fevold (senior, Webster City) took second in the weight throw (50-5.25), and the team of Rachel Purdy (senior, Ankeny), Monica Ruiz (freshman, Hudson), Mueller, and Allie McBroom (sophomore, Runnells, Southeast Polk HS) was runner-up in the 4×400 relay (4:20.6).

Meanwhile, third-place finishes went to Ruiz in the 55 meters (7.66), Kibbee in the 400 meters (1:03.52), Beckman in the long jump (15-1.25), Fevold in the shot put (36-6.25) , and Morgan Sharp (senior, Grinnell) in the high jump (4-11).

“We don’t want to read too much into the results today, good or bad,” said Dunham. “But I think we were all excited to get after it after quite a few months of hard training. We’re looking forward to the rest of the season.”

The Dutch will resume the indoor campaign Friday and Saturday at the Wartburg Select in Waverly. The heptathlon and pentathlon competitions are scheduled to begin 3 p.m. Friday, while field events will begin at 10 a.m. Saturday followed by running events at 1 p.m.

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