Clinton High grad wins pentathlon

A year after placing fourth at the Midwest Collegiate Conference women’s heptathlon, Mount Mercy’s Larissa Wilden held off the defending champion by 12 points to win the conference title.

“It’s great to win,” Wilden, a junior from Clinton, said.

Wilden led St. Ambrose junior Rachel Luehrs by 232 points after Day 1 and edged her 4,160-4,148 for first place.

“Very lucky is what it was,” Wilden said.

Wilden led Luehrs by 145 points heading into the final event, the 800-meter run. Last year, Luehrs scored 259 more points in that event than Wilden did.

“We were looking at the points, and Coach wanted me to get 571 points,” Wilden said. “That’s what I ran, so it was perfect.”

Luehrs finished the race in 2:29.12, 11.03 seconds faster than Wilden, but not quite enough to catch the Clinton High graduate.

Wilden said her score — which set a school record — might be enough to qualify her for the NAIA national meet, according to her coach.

“We have a lot to work on in the meantime, if that is the case,” she said.

Wilden said being involved in track and field for a long time helped her a lot.

“I’m just really blessed and very lucky,” she said. “I’ve been around track my whole life and I can pick up things easily. That’s really what it is. It’s just picking things up.”

Wilden said she likely would be back to defend her title as a senior.

“I want at least 100 more (points),” she said. “I know I can do better in long jump. I know I can do better in shot and get better at javelin. ... I know I can get better at those three. This is pretty much my first time doing them all year. I know if we work on them through the year, there’s plenty of room for improvement.”

This was the first event of the MCC Conference meet, so Mount Mercy heads in with 10 points. Grand View is in the lead with 13 points; Ashford and St. Ambrose each have eight.

Myra Nichols was the top finishing Saint, in fifth place with 3,689 points, 64 ahead of teammate Sarah Wenzel.

Wenzel, like Wilden a junior from Clinton, was the top scorer in the long jump Saturday, leaping 16 feet, 9.6 inches. She also had the second-best javelin throw, with a heave of 89-7.6.

MCC WOMEN’S DECATHLON

Final standings

1. Larissa Wilden (Mount Mercy) 4,160; 2. Rachel Luehrs (St. Ambrose) 4,148; 3. Betsy Craig (Grandview) 3,758; 4. Maggie Pestotnik (Grandview) 3,737; 5. Myra Nichols (Ashford) 3,689; 6. Sarah Wenzel (Ashford) 3,625; 7. Laurel Murphy (Grandview) 3,548; 8. Alexus Harrison (Ashford) 3,520; 9. Haley Fischer (Ashford) 3,171; 10. Hannah Vance (St. Ambrose) 2,989.

Individual results

(leader, local totals)

100-meter hurdles — Wilden (MM) 15.21 (814 points); Nichols (A) 15.9 (727); Harrison (A) 17.01 (595); Fischer (A) 17.13 (582); Wenzel (A) 18.49 (439).

High jump — Wilden (MM) 5-5 (795); Harrison (A) 4-7.9 (534); Wenzel (A) 4-6.7 (502); Nichols (A) 4-6.7 (502); Fischer (A) 4-0.8 (350).

Shot put — Wenzel (A) 34-9.7 (569); Harrison (A) 27-10.3; Wilden (MM) 25-4.7 (383); Nichols (A) 24-0.2 (356); Fischer (A) 23-5.5 (345).

200 — Wilden (MM) 26.24 (776); Harrison (A) 27.13 (701); Nichols (A) 27.31 (686); Fischer (A) 28.14 (620); Wenzel (A) 28.67 (579).

Long jump — Wenzel (A) 16-9.6 (592); Harrison (A) 16-4.1 (554); Nichols (A) 15-8.2 (500); Wilden (MM) 15-5.4 (482); Fischer (A) 14-4 (396).

Javelin — Murphy (GV) 106-3.6 (522); Wenzel (A) 89-7.6 (426); Wilden (MM) 74-4.5 (339); Nichols (A) 61-11.7 (268); Fischer (A) 56-6.7 (238); Harrison (A) 52-9.5 (217).

800 — Craig (GV) 2:19.34 (832); Nichols (A) 2:33.46 (650); Fischer (A) 2:34.28 (640); Wilden (MM) 2:40.15 (571); Wenzel (A) 2:44.91 (518); Harrison (A) 2:47.71 (488).

Ludwikowski repeats

Ashford senior Justin Ludwikowski defended his Midwest Collegiate Conference decathlon title and broke his own conference record in the process.

Ludwikowski scored 6,280 points to take the title, finishing 113 points ahead of runner-up Pete Westerkamp of Grand View.

“It’s a lot of work,” Ludwikowski said with a laugh after the final event. “It’s the best I’ve ever done, so I can’t complain. I was pretty happy with it.”

His top scoring event was the 110-meter high hurdles, and he said he was the most pleased with that. Ludwikowski scored 841 points by finishing in 15.07 seconds.

“I actually beat the national ‘B’ standard,” Ludwikowski said. “It’s always good when you qualify.”

Ludwikowski was the most consistent of all the competitors. He was the only one to place in the top five of each event and was one of the top three point-getters in seven of the 10 events. He said the key was something else, though.

“It’s all will,” he said. “Everyone trains for it. But during the day (of the events), it comes down to who wants it more.”

Ludwikowski also was the top scorer in the shot put. His throw of 40 feet, 9.4 inches was good for 633 points. He said the shot and the hurdles were the only events he competed in during high school.

“In high school, when you run, you’re running against the best doing that event,” he said. “But when you do multis, someone is good in this event, but they’re not so good in that event. There’s always someone to compete with.”

Ludwikowski set a personal record in the pole vault, clearing 11-7.8. He was the third-best scorer in that event, but it was only worth 496 points. He scored the second-most points in discus with a throw of 101-4.5. But that was the fewest points he scored in any event with 482.

He said those were the two events he thought he needed to work on the most.

Ludwikowski’s win, combined with a sixth-place finish by Ashford teammate Branden Lambiase, gave the Saints 13 points heading into the conference meet May 4 and 5 in Clinton. Grand View — which had decathletes place second, third, fifth and seventh — leads with 20 points.

MCC MEN’S DECATHLON

Final standings

1. Justin Ludwikowski (Ashford) 6,280; 2. Pete Westerkamp (Grandview) 6,167; 3. Bryce Adger (Grandview) 6,126; 4. Sam Taylor (William Penn) 5,280; 5. Chase Carlson (Grandview) 5,159; 6. Branden Lambiase (Ashford) 5,125; 7. Dillion McBride (Grandview) 4,731; 8. Dylan Newman (Iowa Wesleyan) 3,895.

Individual results

(leader, local totals)

100-meter dash — Carlson (GV) 11.14 (830); Lambiase (A) 11.60 (732); Ludwikowski (A) 11.61 (730).

Long jump — Westerkamp (GV) 21-0 (675); Lambiase (A) 20-3.7 (628); Ludwikowski (A) 20-1.3 (615).

Shot put — Ludwikowski (A) 40-9.4 (633); Lambiase (A) 29-11.1 (433).

High jump — Taylor (WP) 6-0.4 (661); Ludwikowski (A) 5-11.3 (636); Lambiase (A) 5-7.7 (560).

400 — Adger (GV) 50.84 (776); Lambiase (A) 51.95 (727); Ludwikowski (A) 52.61 (698).

110 hurdles — Ludwikowski (A) 15.07 (841); Lambiase (A) 19.37 (401).

Discus — Newman (IW) 108-10.7 (528); Ludwikowski (A) 101-4.5 (482); Lambiase (A) 76-1.8 (333).

Pole vault — Adger (GV) 13-3.5 (631); Ludwikowski (A) 11-7.8 (496); Lambiase (A) 10-0.1 (369).

Javelin — McBride (GV) 163-3.8 (585); Ludwikowski (A) 153-0.2 (539); Lambiase (A) 101-9.3.

1,500 — Adger (GV) 4:43.2 (660); Lambiase (A) 4:48.48 (628); Ludwikowski (A) 4:51.40 (610).

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