SEWARD, Neb. – After opening the season as one of 19 programs at last week’s Scott Nisely Memorial Classic, the Concordia University track and field squads now shift their focus to a smaller scale meet. The home opening Polar Dog Dual hosted by the Bulldogs is set to get underway inside the Fieldhouse at 3:30 p.m. CT on Friday (Jan. 19). The quad event will feature Concordia in competition with fellow NAIA members Friends University, MidAmerica Nazarene University and Sterling College.
Head coach Matt Beisel’s squads turned in three automatic national qualifying marks and won three event titles at the Nisely Classic. Two of the three national marks were produced by returning outdoor shot put national champion Samantha Liermann. The junior from Wisner, Neb., won the shot put competition with a national best toss of 46’ 3 ¼.” She also qualified for nationals in the weight throw. Liermann is the leader of a talented women’s shot put group that also features national qualifier Adrianna Shaw and Johanna Ragland (ranked 16th nationally in the shot put).
The early returns also show Concordia to be strong in the pole vault. The Bulldogs boast two top-20 nationally ranked vaulters for both men and women. The list includes Anna Baack (17th), Simon Brummond (14th), McKenzie Gravo (seventh) and Tyrell Reichert (14th). There’s a lot to like in this area despite the graduation of national champion Lucas Wiechman and with All-American Allie Brooks planning to redshirt the entire 2018 indoor and outdoor seasons.
Friends will bring in one of the nation’s top female athletes in Chelsea Baker, who already owns automatic national qualifying marks in the 60 meter hurdles, the high jump and the long jump (ranked in the top five nationally in all three) and currently sits atop the NAIA leaderboard in the pentathlon. The Falcons, a member of the Kansas Collegiate Athletic Conference, also boast national qualifying marks in the 200 meters from Natali Engle, in the 400 and 600 meters from Shelby Hundley, in the 600 and 800 meters from Isaac Clark, in the 800 meters from Jacob Clark, in the triple jump from Laruen Doll and in the women’s 4x400 meter relay.
MidAmerica Nazarene, affiliated with the Heart of America Athletic Conference, includes Concordia alums Jonathan Becker and Kim Wood (graduate assistant) on its coaching staff. The Pioneers own a national qualifying time in the men’s 4x400 meter relay. Meanwhile, Sterling’s men’s 4x800 meter relay currently sits third in the NAIA.
The Bulldogs will also host two additional meets this indoor season – the Concordia Classic (Jan. 26-27) and the Concordia Indoor Invite (Feb. 10).
Concordia top 20 national marks
Men’s 4x800 meter relay – 2nd (8:12.44)
Women’s 4x800 meter relay – 4th (10:17.66)
Anna Baack – 17th in pole vault (10’ 4 ¾”)
Simon Brummond – 14th in pole vault (14’ 7 ¼”)
Jessica Deterding – 13th in triple jump (35’ 11 ½”)
McKenzie Gravo – 7th in pole vault (11’ 4 ½”)
Ben Hulett – 15th in 60 meter hurdles (8.44)
Scott Johnson – 12th in triple jump (45’ 10 ½”)
Leah Larson – 18th in triple jump (35’ 6 ¾”)
Samantha Liermann – 1st in shot put (46’ 3 ¼”); 3rd in weight throw (54’ 4 ½”)
Josiah McAllister – 11th in 1,000 meters (2:34.90)
Johanna Ragland – 16th in shot put (42’ 8 ¾”)
Tyrell Reichert – 14th in pole vault (14’ 7 ¼”)
Adrianna Shaw – 3rd in shot put (45’ 9 ¼”); 16th in weight throw (52’ 5 ½”)
Patrick Wortmann – 18th in 1,000 meters (2:37.45)