Prior to 2010, Central College had never won an Iowa Conference indoor track and field title. Today and tomorrow, the men’s squad will attempt to complete the first three-peat in program history in Mount Vernon.
The indoor championships have been contested since 2003 and eluded the Dutch for seven seasons despite winning a pair of outdoor league titles during that span. Central finally broke through in 2010, dominating the field with a conference-record 213.8 point-performance while enjoying over a 60-point margin of victory and cruising to their first title. In 2011 it was more of the same as the Dutch racked up 212.16 points for the win en route to back-to-back titles.
To continue their title run, however, Central will have to win without senior Ethan Miller. Miller was a key factor in the last two titles, having been named the Most Valuable Performer at both the 2010 and 2011 championships after winning three events at each meet. But an injury has kept him from competition since Central’s home opener and he has been ruled out for the remainder of the indoor season. Central has the top mark in seven events heading into conference meet.
On the women’s side, the Dutch are a season removed from their best indoor league finish in program history in 2011, taking second place to eventual NCAA runner-up Wartburg College. Central has never finished lower than fourth in the nine years the indoor championships have been contested. Notable omissions from this meet on the women’s squad include Morgan Darrow and Mel McDermott. Darrow exhausted her indoor eligibility but will compete in the outdoor season. McDermott, Central’s cross country MVP and placewinner in the 3,000 and 5,000 meters last year, has been slowed by a recent injury and will not compete.
The meet, hosted by Cornell College, is scheduled to commence this morning at 10 a.m. with the combined event competition. The two-day meet will conclude Saturday.