NAPERVILLE, Ill. — Day 1 of the Division III Indoor Track and Field Championship opened with a flurry of excitement, with most eyes glued to the throwing pit to watch Wisconsin-Oshkosh’s Pete Delzer attempt to rewrite the record books.
In the final weight throw championship of his career, nine-time All-American Delzer went out with a bang, setting facility and school records with a distance of 20.66 meters to earn the first crown of the day for the Titans.
|DIII MEN’S INDOOR T&F CHAMPS.|
Recap | Highlights | Photo Gallery | Final Results
Feature: Gibson wins in record fashion
Recap | Highlights
Feature: Delzer finishes on top
|By the Numbers: DIII championships|
|Qualifiers | Champ. Info | History|
“I wasn’t really concerned [with my distance], I thought I’d actually throw farther because I thought I was going to get jumped in finals,” Delzer said. “I’m just glad I ended going out first, that way I don’t have to think about taking second the rest of my life.”
Delzer beat the previous facility mark, set in 2006 by Wisconsin-La Crosse’s Kevin Becker (19.56m) by almost a full meter and only fell .16m short of breaking the meet record.
Entering the meet, Tom Postema was the top-seeded weight thrower at 20.72m, but after falling behind early, he settled for a third-place finish behind Delzer and Bates’ Davis Pless (19.78m).
“Davis Pless and Tom Postema were definitely the toughest competitors entering the event,” Delzer said. “I figured it was a three-horse race, and I’m glad I ended up at the finish.”
Two other Titans placed in weight throw. Senior Nick Baatz came in fifth with 19.06m and senior Lewis Prior earned a spot at No. 6 with his throw of 18.86m.
“Every day we have to push each other, Delzer said. “In shot put [Saturday], we have four guys that qualified and seeing that [kind of skill] everyday really gets you prepared for the big meets.”
There is a lot of careful training necessary for these athletes to be in top form throughout the season and, according to Delzer, the pain is an unsavory side effect.
“It feels terrible,” Delzer said. “It’s hurts everywhere, especially your back. The whole season entails going to the chiropractor every week. I think I’m retiring this year.”
Even though he plans to end his weight throw career, Delzer has one more year of eligibility left for the Titans and intends to stay active, even in new arenas.
“If I make USA Nationals in the hammer [throw] I’ll continue throwing for a while,” Delzer said. “But, I wrestled in high school and I like that more so I still haven’t decided if I’ll use my fifth year of eligibility for that.”
With weight throw behind him, Delzer is now focused on how the team is doing and getting ready for shot put on Saturday.
“I’ll be happy if we win. I’ve won national titles before and all I want now is a team title,” Delzer said.