Sophomore Eric Larson capped another record-breaking Central indoor track and field season by claiming the NCAA Division III heptathlon crown March 8-9.
That propelled the Dutch to a ninth-place team finish, the program’s eighth top-10 track and field finish. Larson racked up a school-record 5,277 points, the second-most in Division III history. It’s Central’s 30th individual national title.
Meanwhile sophomore Eli Horton shattered the school record in the mile, placing fourth in 4:10.01. And senior Felicia Coleman earned all-America distinction by finishing eighth in the women’s 60-meter dash.
Earlier, in the unusual role of underdog, Central outraced the Iowa Conference field for its third indoor men’s track crown in the past four years.
The Dutch edged Wartburg by two points. Larson racked up 34 points in two days. He won the 55-meter hurdles while senior Logan Danko won the 200. Horton took the mile and helped Central place second in the distance medley relay.
Central’s women were third at the league meet.
Coleman won league track athlete of the year honors. She was first in the 55 and 200—setting a conference record in the latter event—and ran on the second-place 4×400 unit.
Joe Dunham earned league coach of the year honors for the seventh time in men’s and women’s indoor and outdoor competition. He was also the men’s cross country coach of the year last fall after guiding the Dutch to their first title.