May 28, 2010

By Chuck Murr
Special to

BEREA, Ohio - Brock Solveson was far too busy to celebrate another javelin championship.

The senior from Concordia (Wis.) jumped off the winner's stand, changed his shoes and sprinted to the high jump pit to continue competing in the decathlon Thursday.

On a hot and humid day, Solveson didn't have to worry about cooling off at the NCAA Division III Men's and Women's Track and Field Championships at Baldwin-Wallace College.

Eric Flores of California Lutheran didn't let the heat get to him, either, setting a championships record in the hammer throw. The junior's 217-foot, 8-inch effort easily beat the 204-1 by second-place finisher Taylor Berliant of Claremont-Mudd-Scripps.

After the first day of competition, North Central had a commanding lead with 41 points, followed by Rowan (13 points) and MIT (13 points). California Lutheran and Concordia were among four teams tied for fourth with 10 points.

Solveson is in position to earn his school additional points Friday in the decathlon after claiming his second national title in the javelin.

"It's fun to win, but it won't really set in until tonight," Solveson said. "I can't lose focus. As it was, I missed my first throw in the decathlon shot put because I was competing in the regular javelin. That's the way it is at these events, but I love it. You go from one to the other and just keep on competing."

After five events, Solveson is fifth in the decathlon with 3,656 points. Kurtis Brondyke of North Central (Ill.) College leads with 3,786.

With temperatures expected to remain in the upper 80s and with high humidity, Solveson said he had two primary goals: finishing as well as he can in each event and then going off to find shade between results.

"Staying hydrated is a must," he said. "That's one thing I learned a year ago when the weather was like this (at Marietta, Ohio). Water and shade, maybe throw in a little breeze now and then, they all really help."

Solveson's 219-9 distance was significantly better than the 208-5 he won with a year ago but not as good as his 230-1 qualifying mark.

"It's tough to defend, tough to have the best mark, because everybody expects you to win and you are worried you will fail," Solveson said. "The pressure is much worse in trying to win a second title."

Other defending champions didn't wilt under the pressure in trials.

Cory Beebe, the 2009 winner in the 400-meter hurdles from Salisbury (Md.) University, had the day's second-fastest time of 52.13 seconds.

That trailed only Ben Zill of Wisconsin Oshkosh.

Eric Woodruff of Moravian, the 2009 champion in the 200 meters when he ran a 21.06, had the best qualifying run at 20.85, slightly better than Stephen Headley of Springfield (Mass.) College.