BIRMINGHAM, ALABAMA — Joining an elite club at Central College, men’s high jumper Sam Beatty (senior, Mount Pleasant) won the national title at the NCAA Division III Indoor Track and Field Championships Saturday.
It’s the eighth indoor national title for the Dutch men’s track and field program. It’s the third high jump title for a Central male indoors, joining Ethan Miller in 2011 and Cale Van Genderen in 2005. As a school, Central now has 37 total individual national titles across all sports.
“He started off strong,” coach Brandon Sturman said. “He cleared the first two bars on the first attempt which was awesome. He missed the first bar at the third height, but he settled himself in and did what he needed to do to get to the next height. He cleared the next bar on his first attempt and that ended up being the difference of him winning it.”
Beatty was one of two competitors to clear the bar at 6 feet, 9 inches after eight athletes bowed out at that bar. Beatty and Samuel Hetrick of Penn State University – Behrend both missed all three attempts at 6-10.25, but Hetrick had one more miss at lower bars than Beatty, giving the Central senior the win by tie-breaker.
“He looked pretty relaxed and focused all day,” Sturman said. “Once it got down to two guys, I think it took some pressure off and it ended up working out for him”
In the team standings, the Dutch men finished in a tie for 20th with 10 points. The women tied for 38th with four points.
In other action for the Dutch Saturday, Lucas Heitz (senior, Adel, ADM HS) moved up seven spots to No. 11 on the second and final day of the men’s heptathlon, reaching 4,751 points. He had top-eight marks against the field in all three of Saturday’s events.
“He had a really good day two which we knew he could do,” Sturman said. “He had a decent 60-meter hurdles race. Then he had a strong pole vault and gutted out a good 1,000-meter race. He finished higher than he was seeded and was less than 100 points from being an All-American.”
Coming off her anchor leg of the All-American distance medley relay squad Friday night, Caroline McMartin (junior, Pella) was 13th in the women’s 3,000-meter run with a time of 9 minutes, 54.16 seconds.
“The race went out a little faster than she normally does which made a little bit more challenging for her,” Sturman said. “She hung in there and fought hard. We’re still proud of her weekend.”
The Dutch start the outdoor season on March 31 with the Washington University Distance Carnival in St. Louis, Missouri.