Central’s multi-events are back in Wartburg


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WAVERLY – Mary Gray (Senior, West Des Moines, Waukee HS) and Kiki Pingel (Senior, Pella) secured 12 team points and was promoted to the top 10 women’s athletics board of Central College at the Pentathlon Friday at the Wartburg Indoor Select meeting.

On the men’s side Nick Thompson (Junior, Newhall, Benton HS) and Lucas Heitz (second year, nobility, ADM HS) are positioned on the heptathlon ranking after the first four events.

Gray finished the five discipline event with 3,455 points to win the crown. Pingel increased her previous record by 150 points and took second place with 3,384 points.

“You’re fast and strong right now,” said deputy head coach Jim Fuller. “The strength they have built since the pandemic started is largely responsible for what we saw today. They have worked very hard on it for a long time.”

The duo achieved six personal top marks and each set new standards in long jump, shot put and 60-meter hurdles. Pingel is now number 4 of all times in the 60 hurdles (9.07 seconds) and Gray is number 5 (9.13 seconds). Gray is # 9 in the long jump (17 feet, 5.5 inches) with Pingel right behind her at 17-5.25. In the shot put, Gray got 35-11.5 and Pingel made it 34-4.

“You could get a glimpse of that achievement when they took a hurdle last year,” said Fuller. “I was pretty excited about their hurdles.”

Thompson had an excellent first day in the heptathlon, winning three out of four events and scoring 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 participants in the field.

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

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

The rest of the Dutch squad will start at Waverly on Saturday from 11am. The three-team meeting also includes Wartburg and Coe College.