Fairley Races to NCAA Steeplechase Crown

Mark Fairley ’18 came from behind to take the NCAA Division III title in the 3,000-meter steeplechase. Photo: d3photography.com

Mark Fairley ’18 came from behind to take the NCAA Division III title in the 3,000-meter steeplechase.
Photo: d3photography.com

DUTCH TAKE LEAGUE MEN’S TRACK TITLE

Surging to the lead in the final lap, Mark Fairley ’18 sprinted to a four-second triumph in the men’s 3,000-meter steeplechase for Central’s second NCAA Division III individual title of the year at the outdoor track and field championships in La Crosse, Wisconsin, in May.

Fairley won in a school-record 8:57.39. It’s the 15th individual track and field national championship for the Dutch and the school’s 34th overall.

Teammate Will Daniels ’20, who claimed the NCAA heptathlon crown at the indoor championships in March, finished third in the outdoor decathlon. The Dutch tied for 12th in the NCAA team standings, the 14th top-20 national team finish in the program’s remarkable history.

That followed a thrilling championship performance at the Iowa Conference meet in Pella May 10-12. The Dutch were a surprise, rolling up 144 points to outdistance the favored University of Dubuque by 28 points in snaring their third league outdoor crown in four years and their 18th overall.

Joe Dunham, who announced earlier he’ll focus on his duties as men’s and women’s cross country coach next year after 10 championship-filled years at the helm, was named the NCAA Central Region Coach of the Year. Daniels and Fairley were named the region’s field and track athletes of the year, respectively. Ryan Kruse ’18 was a national meet qualifier.

Kyle Pape ’19 (800 meters), Nathan Fitzgerald ’19 (discus) and Kruse (javelin) earned all-region distinction as well.

Meanwhile, Evie Kammeyer ’18 was an NCAA qualifier in the steeplechase for the women. A young Dutch squad was fourth at the league meet. Gillian Streit ’21 took the discus title while Mary Gray ’21 claimed the heptathlon, with Kiki Pingel ’21 and Courtney Kruthoff ’21 taking third and fourth, respectively. Kammeyer and Gray received all-region distinction.

 

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