WAVERLY, Iowa — Junior Ian LaMere won his second consecutive 10,000 meters national title Thursday night during day one of the NCAA Championships at Wartburg College.
Race time temperatures were in the 80s and water stations were set up around the track to help the runners cool off during the race.
After a cautious start by the field LaMere took the lead and pulled the field along at a faster pace, occasionally sharing the lead with others. After the halfway mark LaMere started separating from the field by a few seconds. With every lap LaMere pulled away even more eventually finishing 28 seconds ahead of second place.
“It was hot,” exclaimed LaMere, “being fit helps, but I think wearing extra clothes during training really helped.”
LaMere crossed the finish in 30:21.40, setting a new facility record and finishing 23 seconds faster than his winning time from last year.
LaMere went on to win the 5,000 meters national title on Saturday, in the process helping the UW–Platteville men finish fourth as a team. LaMere ran with the pack for most of the race before taking the lead with five laps to go. Defending national champion Josh Thorson from UW–Eau Claire remained on LaMere’s heels until the final lap.
Entering the final lap, Thorson took the lead from LaMere. LaMere tried to respond on the back stretch but Thorson held him off. LaMere hung on to Thorson until the final turn when LaMere dug deep for a final sprint and went by Thorson. LaMere held on to the lead as he crossed the finish in 14:24.02
The men finished the championships with 31 points. Finishing third was Monmouth with 32 points and second was UW–Eau Claire (33). Defending national champions UW–La Crosse retained the men’s title with 41 points. This is the Pioneers’ fourth team trophy in program history. Previously the Pioneers had finished third at the indoor nationals in 2005 and 2008 along with a fourth-place finish outdoor in 2007.
Sophomore Dan Arnold began Saturday for the Pioneers with a second-place finish in the 110-meter high hurdles. Arnold crossed the finish in 13.99 while three-time defending national champ Luke Campbell from Salisbury concluded his unbeaten nationals streak in the event with a winning-time of 13.93 seconds.
Freshman Wyatt Thompson had qualified to finals as the eighth and final qualifier in the 400 meters, but was able to surpass two competitors for a sixth- place finish. Thompson, the only freshman to qualify to finals, ran a personal best 47.74 in preliminaries to just miss a school record and finished off with a 47.82 to earn three points for the Pioneers.
Junior Kyle Whaley competed in the shot put on Friday and finished 20th with a best legal throw of 46’10¾” (14.29 meters).
Also competing for the Pioneers were pole vaulters Garrett Riggs and Matt Dwyer. Riggs and Dwyer both cleared 16’0¾” (4.90m) without any previous misses during Thursday’s competition. Both were unsuccessful at 16’4¾” (5.00m) and finished tied for ninth.
The men’s 4x100 relay team of Arnold, Thompson, Mitch Dowell and Brandon Navin, made their second consecutive appearance at the national meet but was unable to advance to finals finishing 14th with a time of 41.71.
The men’s 4x400 relay team of Thompson, Alex Burcham, Adam Lange and Paul Rapp, posted the second fastest time of the season, but were also unable to advance part Thursday’s prelims, finishing 14th with a time of 3:15.45.
On the women’s side Amber Williams earned All-American honors in both the long jump and triple jump. She finished fifth in the long jump on Thursday with a leap of 19’4¼” (5.90 meters). Williams took the lead with her second jump but was soon eclipsed by others during the third round of jumps. Williams headed into finals with the third-best jump of her career (19’4¼”), but was not able to better her mark.
Saturday she earned her 11th career All-American honor with a fourth-place finish in the triple jump. Williams finished in fourth after a final-round jump of 40’3¼” (12.27 meters), her third best jump of the season.
The women’s 4x400m relay team of Williams, Briana Iwans, Amanda Milne and Devan Montgomery, ran their second fastest time of the season and finished in 12th place with a time of 3:49.25.