Central College

Mary Gray '21

DUBUQUE — Completing a career sweep of combined events titles, Mary Gray (senior, West Des Moines, Waukee HS)won her third heptathlon crown at the American Rivers Conference Outdoor Track and Field Championships Friday.

With 42 points, the Dutch are in third place. Loras College leads with 81 points.

Trailing by nearly 100 points after the first day, Gray finished with 4,492 points and a 254-point margin of victory. In addition to her three heptathlon crowns outdoors, Gray also won all four of her indoor pentathlons. The 2020 outdoor championships were cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic, preventing her from winning four heptathlons.

“Mary had a lot of ground to make up but she focused in and put her foot to the pedal,” coach Brandon Sturman said. “She did what she needed to do. It was really cool for her to sweep all four years.”

Kiki Pingel (senior, Pella) earned all-conference honors with a third-place effort in the long jump (17-10.25). She also clocked in at 14.62 seconds in the 110-meter hurdle prelims, qualifying second. It’s the fourth-fastest mark in program history.

“We didn’t have her do the heptathlon so we put her in some of our best events to get her ready for nationals,” Sturman said. “I think it was really awesome for her to be fresh in some of those events for the fist time and she took advantage of it.”

In a stacked discus throw field, Gillian Streit (senior, Manilla, Harlan HS) was fourth (145-3) and Kennedy Morris (senior, Earlham) was fifth (141-8).

Mari Stein (sophomore, Okoboji, McMartin, Hadyn Miller (freshman, Iowa Falls, Iowa Falls-Alden HS), Lauren Miller (sophomore, Dubuque) were fifth in the 4x800-meter relay with a time of 9:45.96

Caroline McMartin (freshman, Pella) was fourth in the 3,000-meter steeplechase (11:49.18). Kasey Pelzer (freshman, Pleasantville) was sixth in the long jump (17-5.25)

In the 800-meter run prelims, Stein qualified second with a time of 2 minutes, 19.02 seconds. That time cracks Central’s top-10 board at No. 10. Elsie Thoreson (freshman, Pella) also qualified sixth in the 400-meter hurdles (1:06.95) and will also race in Saturday’s finals.

The third and final day of action gets underway at 10 a.m. Saturday with field events.

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