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Central’s Daniels Wins Indoor National Championship

Posted: Saturday, March 10th, 2018 at 8:30 pm
Author: Central College Athletics

Will Daniels had the best heptathlon score on the first weekend of competition back in December and he maintained that status at the end of the season as the Central College sophomore won the heptathlon with 5,287 points at the NCAA Division III Indoor Track & Field Championships Saturday.

Teammate Ryan Kruse finished in third with 5,124 points to record the best performance by teammates in a combined event at a national meet since Central’s Kurtis Brondyke and Ethan Miller went 1-2 in the indoor pentathlon back in 2011.

“These guys aren’t just teammates, they’re good friends,” associate head coach Jim Fuller said. “They were so focused and dedicated in their offseason training and that’s what got them to this point.

“I’ve been coaching about 35 years and it was one of the most fun weekends I’ve had. I’m really appreciative of them letting me a part of what they accomplished.”

Daniels is No. 2 on Central’s all-time heptathlon list and No. 5 in Division III history. Eric Larson ’15 compiled a 5,399 in 2015 for the school record and No. 3 in NCAA history. Kruse is No. 3 on Central’s all-time heptathlon list.

Daniels earned All-American honors in not one but two events as he cleared the high jump bar at 6-9 to finish in seventh. He was one of three competitors to clear that height, but he finished lower based on prior misses.

The duo amassed 18 points, enough to secure a tie for ninth in the team standings. It’s the program’s first top-10 national finish since taking sixth outdoors in 2016. As a school, Central now has 79 top-10 team finishes.

The first outdoor meet of the season for the Dutch is set for March 29-30 with Central Invitational at Ron and Joyce Schipper Stadium in Pella.