Pittsburg State University seniors Jeremy Dunkle and Nathan Thomas placed third and fourth, respectively, in the decathlon Monday after day two action of the 2008 Mid-America Intercollegiate Athletics Association Multi-Events competition to garner All-MIAA honors. In the heptathlon, PSU junior Ali Shaffer placed fourth overall.

Pittsburg State University seniors Jeremy Dunkle and Nathan Thomas placed third and fourth, respectively, in the decathlon Monday after day two action of the 2008 Mid-America Intercollegiate Athletics Association Multi-Events competition to garner All-MIAA honors. In the heptathlon, PSU junior Ali Shaffer placed fourth overall.
Dunkle and Thomas both compiled personal-best point totals — with Dunkle coming in at 6,526 points and Thomas right behind at 6,514 points. Both athletes met the provisional qualifying standard toward the NCAA Division II National Championships.
A.J. Roth of the University of Central Missouri won the decathlon with 6,820 points, while Missouri Southern State University’s Phillip Horn finished second with 6,542 points to edge Dunkle and Thomas for second place.
Eric Atkinson finished ninth among 11 competitors in the decathlon with 5,494 points.
“Jeremy had a very steady two days of competition,” PSU head coach Russ Jewett said. “He had about a 25-second PR in the 1,500 meters, which is a very difficult event to wrap up the decathlon. He needed to beat Phillip Horn of Southern by 15 seconds in the race and he almost pulled it off. It was an awesome effort on his part.
“Nate also had a great weekend. He was very steady. Getting 11 points from our guys gives us a great start to the MIAA Championships.”
Central Missouri grabbed the early lead in the decathlon competition, edging the Gorillas, 13-11. In addition to Roth’s victory, Ross Smithey finished seventh and Josh O’Brien placed eighth to secure three more points for the Mules.
Shaffer scored 4,270 points in the heptathlon to shoot up to fourth place Monday, after concluding day one action in sixth place. Freshman Michelle Mitchell, in her first-ever heptathlon performance, finished 11th among 14 competitors with 3,834 points.
Anne Carlson of Central Missouri won the heptathlon with 4,742 points. The Jennies scored 23 points in the competition.
“Ali did a great job with her fourth place showing,” Jewett said. “She fought and battled her way through the competition, and she finished strong with a great 800 meter performance.
“Michelle also did a great job, especially having never competed in the heptathlon before. She’s just a good all-around athlete and it was a good experience for her, and her team will appreciate her effort.”
The 2008 MIAA Championships continue Saturday and Sunday (May 3-4) with the venue shifting to the campus of Northwest Missouri State University.