Central Dutch

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WAVERLY — Mary Gray (senior, West Des Moines, Waukee HS) and Kiki Pingel (senior, Pella) secured 12 team points and moved up the Central College women’s track and field top-10 board in the pentathlon Friday at the Wartburg Indoor Select meet.

On the men’s side Nick Thompson (junior, Newhall, Benton HS)and Lucas Heitz (Sophomore, Adel, ADM HS) are positioned atop the heptathlon standings after the first four events.

Gray finished the five-discipline event with 3,455 points to win the crown. Pingel added 150 points to her previous career-best mark to place second with 3,384 points.

“They’re fast and strong right now,” associate head coach Jim Fuller said. “The strength they put on since the start of the pandemic is largely responsible for what we saw today. They worked really hard on that for a long time.”

The duo combined for six personal-best marks, each setting new standards in the long jump, shot put and 60-meter hurdles. Pingel is now No. 4 all-time in the 60 hurdles (9.07 seconds) and Gray is No. 5 (9.13). Gray is No. 9 in the long jump (17 feet, 5.5 inches) with Pingel right behind her at 17-5.25. In the shot put, Gray reached 35-11.5 and Pingel made it 34-4.

“You could see glimpses of that success when they hurdled last year,” Fuller said. “I was pretty excited about their hurdle races.”

Thompson had a stellar first day in the heptathlon by winning three of four events and reaching 2,475 points. He had the best long jump (19-6.25), shot put (39-2.25) and high jump (6-0) of the seven competitors in the field.

“Nick has been working on his throwing a lot and it’s come a long way,” Fuller said. “That was a big PR for him.”

Heitz is in second place with 2,369 points. He had new personal-best marks in the shot put (37-5.75) and high jump (5-9.75).

The rest of the Dutch squad will compete Saturday in Waverly starting at 11 a.m. The three-team meet also includes Wartburg and Coe College.

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