Witt native David Martin is the national champion in the decathlon again.
For the second year in a row, the Greenville University Panther, a graduate of the First Baptist Christian Academy, earned the National Christian Collegiate Athletic Association National Championship, scoring 6,275 points.
Martin won three of the eight events, scoring the most points in the 400-meter dash. He ran a personal best time of 50.24 seconds. With that time, he scored 804 points.
"I was running in lane nine, which isn't the best lane to run the 400 in," said Martin. "It was enough to get me 80 points more than my previous best would have gotten me. It helped me win the national title."
He also won the discus, recording a throw of 39.47 meters, and the pole vault, leaping 4.05 meters. He scored 654 points in the discus and 631 points in the pole vault.
"The discus is my favorite event in the decathlon," said Martin. "I enjoy it a great deal. It is very technical, and it is hard to pick up quickly. Even though I am not throwing over 40 meters, I feel like I had a big advantage over the other competitors to sneak in more points just from that one event. The vault is probably the most technical event in the decathlon. I needed to vault at least four meters to have enough points. I had been struggling with my approach using one of my pole vault poles. I was able to successfully accomplish the vault and get a personal best. It was a really good feeling."
As a team, Greenville took second with 121 points. Bethel University won the team title with 138.33 points.
Reid Detmers (Chatham-Glenwood) improved to 9-2 as he was University of Louisville's pitcher of record in their 2-0 triumph over University of Notre Dame. Detmers, who worked 7.0 innings, allowed only one hit. He fanned seven and walked four. Louisville, now ranked fourth in the country among NCAA Division I teams, is 37-9 overall and 16-6 in the Atlantic Coast Conference.
Lexi Throne (Litchfield) finished tenth in the 10,000-meter run at the Great Lakes Valley Conference Track and Field Championships, which were held at Truman State University. The University of Illinois-Springfield distance runner finished the race in 39 minutes, 45.35 seconds. Illinois-Springfield took 11th with 18 points. Lewis University won the women's conference title with 180 points.
Tessa Beckham (Litchfield) and Abby Frerichs (Litchfield), both Blackburn College softball players, recently finished their season. Beckham was not only a hitter for Blackburn, but a pitcher as well, finishing with a .359 batting average and a 4.23 earned run average.
At the plate, Beckham, who played in 26 games, had 23 hits in 64 trips to the plate. Of the hits, eight were doubles. She had eight RBIs, eight runs scored and six walks. She finished with an on-base percentage of .423 and a slugging percentage of 484. The Panther hurler, who started seven games and made 17 appearances, was 3-7 with three saves. In 56 2/3 of innings of work, she allowed 34 earned runs on 53 hits. Beckham fanned 88 batters and walked 49. She led the Greenville team in wins, saves, innings pitched and fanned batters.
Frerichs, who played in 28 games, had a .255 batting average. In 94 at-bats, she had 24 hits (four doubles, one homer). She drove home 14 runs and scored nine. She had a .263 on-base percentage and a slugging percentage of .330. Blackburn finished 12-20 overall and 6-12 in the St. Louis Intercollegiate Athletic Conference.
Kendra Jacob (Hillsboro) smacked a solo homer for Hannibal-LaGrange University in their 5-2 loss to Judson University. It was her only hit of the game, In HLG's 7-1 loss to Judson, she was one-for-three. Both games occurred in the NCCAA North Central Regional Tournament. Hannibal-LaGrange is 20-26 overall and 10-14 in the American Midwest Conference.
Lexi Law (Litchfield), a Lindenwood University-Belleville player, walked and drove home a run in LU-Belleville's 6-3 loss to Central Baptist College. The game occurred in the American Midwest Conference Tournament. LU-Belleville is 31-23-1 overall and 18-7 in the AMC.
~ ~ ~
Dan Chamness is a freelance college sports writer. He can be contacted at Dan62801@aol.com.