Junior Levi Sudbeck won the NAIA indoor heptathlon championship.
Sudbeck finished ninth in his last few NAIA national appearances. He won the indoor heptathlon (multi-events) for the first time this year.
Sudbeck said that he was thrilled to have won the title.
“Winning the multi-event nationals was an experience that is hard to describe,” Sudbeck said. “I had so many emotions going through my head at the time, but the one that hit me the most was just pure happiness.”
Sudbeck also said he was happy that his family was able to be there and share the experience with him.
Sudbeck came into nationals with the fourth best score, according to doaneathletics.com.
A big part of Sudbeck winning the heptathlon was his finish in the 1,000-meter run. He set a personal record in the event.
“The preparation that I have been doing all season was showing up to practice ready to get better,” Sudbeck said. “Coach Fye pushing me every day, especially during the 1,000 (meter) workouts.”
Sudbeck said he wanted to finish All-American (Top 8 finishers) and did not care if he finished first or eight but was ecstatic when he won.
“When Coach Fye handed me my National Championship plaque I was lost for words and all I could do is smile,” Sudbeck said “Working hard for two days in a row to be able to hold that plaque is something I will never forget.”
Sudbeck will be competing in the decathlon in the Spring. He said he believes that this strong performance in his indoor season will give him what he needs to be confident in the Spring outdoor season.
“Having such a memorable indoor season this year will give me great motivation for the outdoor season,” Sudbeck said. “One of the main things I love about the decathlon is that we get to do 10 events because even in high school I tried to do as many events as possible.”
According to a Doane athletics article, this year marked the 13th heptathlon at the NAIA Championships. Sudbeck’s Championship is the sixth for Doane being the fourth athlete to do it. The previous members were Forrest Gregory, Rob Keeney and Kale Wolken.