Champion again: Daniels bags third national title

Central Dutch Athletics

Central Dutch Athletics

GENEVA, OHIO — Compiling the second-best score in NCAA Division III history, Will Daniels (senior, Geneseo, Ill.) won the decathlon title Friday with 7,427 points at the NCAA Division III Outdoor Track and Field Championships.

Drake Lewis (sophomore, Lathrop, Mo.) also found his way onto an All-American podium, finishing eighth in the high jump (6-8).

Through eight events, Daniels was in the lead with 6,201 points and sat198 better than Dylan Cooper of Wis.-Eau Claire. He closed the day with a solid javelin throw (166 feet, 4 inches) and a new personal-best time of 4:48.62 in 1,500-meter run to seal the win

“We knew he needed 1,200 points in the last two events to break the 7,400-point barrier, which is what we were shooting for,” Coach Brandon Sturman said. “He went out there and gave it everything he had left.”

He started the day with a time of 110-meter hurdles of 15.24 seconds and also had a pole vault of 14-5.25. He also had a new personal-best mark in the discus throw (130-4).

“He did a good job of keeping his composure and taking it one event at a time,” Sturman said.

The only Division III decathlete with a better score (7,528) was Kip Janvrin at the 1987 national meet. Janvrin, a Panora, Iowa native and Simpson College graduate, represented the United States at the 2000 Sydney Olympics.

“It’s pretty special company to have your name listed next to Kip Janvrin,” Sturman said.

Lewis becomes the 70th Central male to earn All-American status in the outdoor season. He was one of three entrants in the field to finish at 6-8, but he did it on the second-fewest attempts to place eighth.

“When you’re an All-American it doesn’t matter how you get it,” Sturman said. “It’s super exciting for Drake. He’s come a long way since joining us after basketball season in February.”

Emily Burt (junior, Freeport, Ill.) finished 21st in the women’s shot put recording a mark of 40-11.5. Reyna Ta’amu (Redlands {Calif.}) won with an effort of 49-7.

“I think she was happy with her performance,” Sturman said. “She threw well but it just wasn’t her day. She gave it all she had and learned a lot from the experience.”

Daniels, a two-time national champion indoors in the heptathlon, joins an elite group of Central athletes with three national championship performances. Ethan Miller won the men’s decathlon in 2011 and 2012 and the indoor high jump in 2011. Chris McCullough won three-straight men’s 4×400-meter relay titles outdoors from 2000 to 2002. Marcie Thurn was a part of back-to-back women’s 4×100-meter relay titles in 1982 and 1983 and added a long jump crown in 1982.

Nancy Cisar remains the standard with four individual national titles to her name, as she was on the relay teams in 1982 and 1983 and also swept the 200-meter dash and 400-meter dash in 1984

With no one competing Saturday, Central’s men team will finish with 11 points and likely place in the top-25.

Posted by on May 25 2019. Filed under College Sports. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

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