The Ottumwa Courier


April 12, 2014

Hammack helps relay set NCAA Div. III meet record

OTTUMWA — Former Ottumwa track and field standout Spencer Hammack continues to enjoy success at the college level.

Hammack, a sophomore at Central College, teamed up with Eli Horton, Drew Jackson and Austin O’Brien to set a meet record in the distance medley relay at the NCAA Division III Indoor Track and Field Championships at Lincoln, Neb., with a time of 9 minutes, 54.8 seconds.

“It was awesome,” Hammack, who ran the 400 leg of the race, said. “I’ve never been on that high of a level competitively. It was just a good atmosphere to be in, let alone winning.”

The time smashed the previous meet mark of 9:59.58 set the previous year, while it shattered the previous school record set earlier in the season by more than four seconds.

“We thought we had a good chance at it, but we had no idea we would win by three seconds,” said Hammack, who qualified for Class 4A state in a potpourri of events on multiple occasions while running for Ottumwa.

“It was an incredible effort,” coach Joe Dunham added. “It was the true story of four runners each doing something special for the good of the group. Austin ran smart and handed off near the lead. Spencer ran an unbelievable split, as did Drew. Then Eli had the challenge of running alone the entire leg, which is hard with teams chasing. But he did it and they did it.

“You can never take away a national championship and they are now the best distance medley relay team to ever run at the national meet. I’m really proud of them.”

Hammack and company’s triumph marked the fifth NCAA Division III Indoor Championship in program history — the other four came in fields and multi-events.

To follow Andy Heintz’s Twitter feed, go to @CourierAndy

Text Only
  • On Tap Saturday Prep Baseball Class 1A State Finals Twin Cedars vs. Newman Catholic at Des Moines (Principal Park), Noon

    August 1, 2014

  • 0802 OTT Sports IHCC Soccer Coach Doug Seigle mug IHCC Soccer Training Camp date set OTTUMWA– Head coach Doug Seigle has announced the date for players on this year's roster, and those who hope to make the squad, to report for the start of preseason workouts. Seigle says all IHCC women’s and men's soccer players who have signed to pl

    August 1, 2014 1 Photo

  • 0801 OTT Sports RAGBRAI photo Native Ottumwa cyclist sets powerful example VACAVILLE, Calif. — Scott Pettengill has a passion for life and an indomitable optimism that refuses to be dimmed. Pettengill, a native Ottumwan who now lives in northern California, just finished riding the [Des Moines] Register's Annual Great Bicyc

    July 31, 2014 1 Photo

  • 0801 OTT Sports Bryon Peyton photo Former Pekin coaches reunite at state tournament DES MOINES — For 15 years, Bryon Peyton and Jeff Eeling shared the dream of coaching together at the Iowa High School State Baseball Tournament. It certainly wasn’t the way they may have imagined it, but almost 30 years later, the dream came true. Pe

    July 31, 2014 3 Photos

  • 0801 OTT Sports Hunter Embray photo Top-ranked Sabers headed to first state baseball final DES MOINES — Hits figured to be a very precious commodity Thursday in the 1A state baseball semifinal matchup between Gehlen Catholic and Twin Cedars. As such, each swing taken by each hitter figured to be very important in collecting precious contac

    July 31, 2014 2 Photos

  • 0801 OTT Sports Andy Heintz column mug The White Bass that saved the day OTTUMWA — It was time for a break. It was a lovely, Sunday afternoon and I'd spent the past couple of hours tooling around town taking pictures for the newspaper. While it was nice to be outside, I yearned to make the not-so-subtle switch from work

    July 31, 2014 1 Photo

  • State Baseball Tournament TuesdayClass 3A QuarterfinalsDallas Center-Grimes 3, No. 5 Fairfield 0 (9) ThursdayClass 1A SemifinalsNo. 1 Twin Cedars (34-0) vs. No. 5 Gehlen Catholic (30-3), 2 p.m. (104.9 FM KBOE)

    July 31, 2014

  • 0731 OTT Sports Kassidi Henderson mug Three Bulldogs make all-state OTTUMWA — The Ottumwa softball team had three of its players named to a Class 5A All-State team by Iowa Girls High School Athletic Union.Bulldog second baseman Ashlyn Thompson and Kassidi Henderson were voted to the all-state second team and Alexis W

    July 30, 2014 3 Photos

  • Prep Softball All-State Team Class 1A 1st Team All State Name School Grade Kayla Tindall Akron-Westfield 12 Dana Hedlund Akron-Westfield 12 Renee Maneman Newelll Fonda 12 Rachel Smith Exira/EHK

    July 30, 2014

  • 0731 OTT Sports Austin Gridley Fairfield baseball photo Oh So Close! DES MOINES — Becoming the first Fairfield pitcher to start a state tournament game in 35 years didn’t seem to faze Trojan senior pitcher Joseph Hietpas. In fact, taking the mound at Principal Park in Des Moines seemed to only help Hietpas as he made

    July 30, 2014 4 Photos

Sports photo reprints