Sprinter Justin Freeman, Decathlete Josh Izenbart To Compete At NCAA Championships

Justin Freeman and Josh Izenbart pose for portraits

by Alan Babbitt

Hope College sprinter Justin Freeman and decathlete Josh Izenbart are returning to compete at the NCAA Division III Outdoor Track & Field Championships.

The Flying Dutchmen pair will compete during the three-day meet at SPIRE Institute in Geneva, Ohio, near Cleveland that begins on Thursday, May 23.

Freeman will race in two events. The senior from Holland, Michigan (West Ottawa HS) is seeded seventh in the 200-meter dash and 12th in the 100 meters.

Izenbart, a junior from Glenwood, Illinois (Homewood-Flossmoor), is seeded 10th in the decathlon.

NCAA Event Seeding

Head coach Kevin Cole said both Freeman and Izenbart have opportunities to earn All-America honors at nationals.

"Justin's times are right up at the top," Cole said of Freeman, the school's outdoor record holder in both the 100 and 200 at 10.56 seconds, respectively. "He's hitting his peak at the right time.

"Josh has been building toward this the whole year. You don't get many chances to do the decathlon. He's improved in so many of his events."

Thursday's schedule will feature Freeman in the 200-meter preliminaries and Izenbart in the decathlon's 100-meter dash, long jump, shot put, high jump and 400 meters.

Friday's schedule will see Freeman racing in the 100-meter preliminaries and Izenbart completing the decathlon with the 110-meter hurdles, discus, pole vault, javelin and 1,500 meters.

Saturday's schedule features the 100- and 200-meter dash finals.

This the second trip to nationals for both Freeman and Izenbart.

Freeman, as a freshman, earned All-America honors in the 4x100 relay with an eighth-place finish in 2016. The relay still holds the school record with a time of 41.33 seconds.

Izenbart, as a junior, finished 16th in the decathlon in 2018 with a total of 6,162 points.

The top eight finishers in each event earn All-America honors.

Freeman is aiming to become Hope's first All-American in the 100 and 200 meters. He was named Michigan Intercollegiate Athletic Most Valuable Track Athlete earlier this month after sweeping the sprint events and anchoring the first-place 4x100 relay at MIAA Field Day.

Izenbart is looking to join Todd Rose as All-America decathletes at Hope. Rose, the school record holder with 6,953 points, accomplished the feat in 1988 and 1987. Izenbart is coming off a personal-best score of 6,567 points at the North Central College Gregory Invitational on Wednesday.

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