WAVERLY, Iowa — One miss away from elimination, Central College juniorLogan Mulford ended within a make of a national high jump title Friday, taking runner-up honors at the NCAA Division III Track and Field Championships.
It’s Central’s second runner-up finish in two days, following a second-place effort Thursday by Cole Decker (senior, Des Moines, Dowling Catholic HS) in the 10,000 meters.
Meanwhile, Dan Roemerman advanced to Saturday’s 1:50 p.m. finals in the 110-meter hurdles, butAbi Davis (senior, Des Moines, Iowa, Dowling Catholic HS) came up short in the women’s 100-meter dash prelims.
“It was a great day,” coach Joe Dunham said. “I’m happy with how everybody competed.”
The two second-place showings give Central the early lead with 16 points in the men’s team standings. Wis.-Eau Claire follows with 15 while North Central (Ill.) and Wis.-Whitewater each have 14. However, most of the finals will be contested Saturday, so the bulk of the team points have yet to be awarded.
Mulford and Nick Vachon of Cortland State (N.Y.) each cleared 6 feet, 10.75 inches, but Vachon made it on his first try while Mulford needed two jumps and Vachon was awarded the title. Mulford survived an early scare as he missed his first two attempts at 6-7. A third miss would have left him in a tie for 12th place, but he was successful on his final try, then cleared 6-8.25 and 6-9.5 on his first attempts.
"He struggled with his approach early, but his third attempt (at 6-7) was really, really good,” Dunham said. “His ankle has been bothering him a little bit but from there on out he got in a pretty good rhythm.”
Both Vachon and Mulford failed on three attempts at 6-11.75. That would have matched Mulford’s career-best set at the Drake Relays April 29.
“All of his attempts (at 6-11.75) were pretty good, the second and third especially,” Dunham said. “He was a little disappointed he didn’t win it, but he’ll learn from it and get ready for next year.”
It was a major move up the leaderboard for Mulford after finishing 15th in last year’s NCAA outdoor high jump. Mulford also took second at the NCAA indoor meet at Grinnell March 12.
“Becoming an all-American is a pretty big thing,” Dunham said.
Roemerman was second in his heat of the hurdles Friday in 14.28 seconds, the third-fastest time overall. While that’s just off his school-record effort of 14.22 seconds he turned in to win the Iowa Conference title in Waverly May 14, Dunham noted that the May 14 performance was wind-aided, making Friday’s time a career best. Yet Roemerman showed evidence that he’s capable of even better.
“He stumbled over the fifth hurdle as well as the eighth,” Dunham said. “He did what he needed to do to get into the finals and that’s what matters. It wasn’t a super-clean race for him but he came out of it very confident about what he can accomplish Saturday.”
He’ll be seeded fourth behind the three heat winners in Saturday’s final. Roemerman narrowly missed all-America outdoor honors last spring, placing ninth at the national meet. But he became an indoor all-America honoree when he took third in the 60-meter hurdles in March.