Weekend in Bulldog athletics
By Lukas Vigil, Sports Information Intern
All of Concordia’s winter sport teams will be in action this weekend as the Bulldogs make a final push heading into conference, regional and then national action. The Concordia women’s basketball team is a virtual lock to make the national tournament and sits in the driver’s seat for a second-straight GPAC championship. Meanwhile, head coach Kregg Einspahr’s track and field squad has already qualified several individuals for nationals but still hopes to add several more impressive marks for seeding purposes at the upcoming GPAC championships.
With these thoughts in mind, Bulldog athletics enter an important weekend. Here’s a rundown of action taking place on Friday and Saturday.
Track and Field: at the Husker Invite (Friday and Saturday) in Lincoln, Neb. / at the Charlie Foster Classic (Friday and Saturday) in Kearney, Neb.
-- Bulldogs selected to participate in prestigious Husker Invite:
- Men’s 4x400 meter relay
- Jonathan Becker (60 meter hurdle preliminaries; 400 meter dash preliminaries)
- John Cartier (400 meter dash preliminaries)
- Jamie Crouse (weight throw)
- Carson Farr (pole vault)
- Jared Hoffman (800 meter run)
- Colin Morrissey (invitation 3,000 meter run)
- Adam Prahlow (one mile run)
- Erika Schroeder (one mile run)
- Jena Schwalenberg (invitation one mile run)
- Ben Sievert (3,000 meter run)
- Noah Smith (60 meter dash preliminaries)
- Kim Wood (600 meter run)
Outlook: The Bulldogs will take part in two different indoor track and field meets this weekend, the Husker Invite held in Lincoln, Neb., and the Charlie Foster Classic in Kearney, Neb. The top performing athletes from the Bulldog track and field team will travel to Lincoln to compete with top track and field athletes from various NCAA Division I schools such as University of Auburn and Conference USA powerhouse University of Central Florida as well as indoor and outdoor national champions University of Florida. Notable athletes that are going try to knock off Division I competition include junior John Cartier who is currently fourth in the NAIA national leader board in the 400 meter dash with a time of 49.15 and Jonathan Becker, who is running the 60 meter hurdles this weekend and currently ranks sixth with a time of 8.25. Other notable athletes that are competing in Lincoln this weekend are Colin Morrissey and Jamie Crouse, who is currently sitting at the second best distance nationally in the weight throw at 59’ 3 ½. The Bulldogs will also send a very competitive team to Kearney this weekend to compete in the Charlie Foster Classic. Some notable athletes that are competing for Concordia in Kearney this weekend include Ashlee Brown who is 11th on the NAIA national leader board for pole vaulting with her best vault at 11’ 3”, Stephanie Coley who is currently sixth nationally in the weight throw with a distance of 54’ 6”, Lydia Pomerenke who is 13th nationally in the pentathlon with 2,787 points accumulated so far this season, and Jose Rojas who is 11th nationally in the shot put with a mark of 52’ 3 ¼ “.
Wrestling: Concordia (2-8, 1-3 GPAC) at No. 7 Morningside (9-4, 3-0 GPAC), Sioux City, Iowa, Friday, 6 p.m.
Outlook: The Concordia wrestling team will travel to Sioux City, Iowa, this weekend to dual the No. 7-ranked Morningside Mustangs. Friday’s dual against the Mustangs will be Concordia’s third straight dual against a ranked opponent. The Bulldogs dropped a pair of duals against No. 17 ranked Dakota Wesleyan (28-15) and No. 13 Midland (43-6) on Tuesday. The Bulldogs will have to quickly regroup as they face a Mustang team that’s loaded with nationally-ranked wrestlers. Morningside currently has eight wrestlers that are rated nationally, three of which are ranked in the top five of the NAIA. The Mustangs are led by two seniors who are both currently ranked third nationally in their respective weight division, 125-pounder Kory Kistner and 184-pounder Brian Block. The Bulldogs currently have an open slot at 125 pounds, however, Concordia will look to respond to Morningside’s 184 pounder Brian Block with either Nick Sheppard or Kale Hintz. Sheppard has had two pins so far this season, one against York College and the other coming against Northwestern College. Concordia will look to heavyweight Frank Ayala and freshman Austin Starkey at 157 for potential victories. Starkey holds a 13-14 record with three pins and two wins by major decision. Meanwhile, heavyweight Frank Ayala has the most wins for the Bulldogs this season with an 18-18 record including a 5-5 dual record.
Women’s Basketball: No. 3 Concordia (21-3, 13-2 GPAC) at No. 11 Northwestern (16-6, 10-5 GPAC), Orange City, Iowa, Saturday, 2 p.m.
Opponent: The No. 11-ranked Northwestern Red Raiders are coming off a conference win over Dordt College following an upset loss to Hastings this past week. After their heartbreaking loss to Concordia at Walz Arena on Jan. 2, Northwestern managed to reel off three straight victories before losing another heartbreaking road loss to Morningside on Jan. 16. Since its loss to Morningside, Northwestern has gone 2-1. Leading the way in minutes played and scoring for the Red Raiders is senior forward Kendra De Jong. Kendra averages 16.6 points per game while averaging 32.8 minutes per game. Kendra also leads the Red Raiders in the rebounding column and steals column, averaging 9.2 rebounds a game while recording 41 steals. The Red Raiders are led by sophomore guard Paige O’Neal in the assists category. She has dished out 77 assists. The Red Raiders are tough to beat at home as they hold an 8-1 home record this season.
Outlook: No. 3-ranked Concordia comes into Saturdays’ game at Northwestern with a solid conference win against Nebraska Wesleyan on Tuesday. This will be the final regular season meeting between Northwestern and Concordia. The Bulldogs won their first matchup by a slight margin in Seward, Neb., at Walz Arena with a 71-68 win over the then ranked No. 8 Red Raiders. The Bulldogs are currently 6-2 on the road with their last road loss coming in a nine-point defeat to Dakota Wesleyan on Jan. 20. One of Concordia’s three loses last year took place in Orange City, Iowa, where the Bulldogs fell 74-67. The young backcourt of Northwestern will have their hands full with the junior guard Kirsten Conahan and senior guard Katie Rich. Conahan is currently the leading scorer with an average of 15.19 points per game. The Bulldogs backcourt is not only known for the offensive power but for the suffocating defense they put on opposing guards. Concordia is currently ranked third nationally in steals per game and total steals this season.
Men’s Basketball: Concordia (6-17, 2-13 GPAC) at No. 5 Northwestern (18-5, 12-3 GPAC), Orange City, Iowa, Saturday, 4 p.m.
Opponent: The No. 5 ranked Red Raiders got a shot of rejuvenation after their big loss to Morningside 98-81 back on Jan. 16 and now come into this weekend’s matchup with a three-game winning streak after its loss to the Mustangs. The Red Raiders are led by senior guard Ben Miller in minutes played and scoring. Miller averages 31.9 minutes and 18.5 points per game. Miller is also the leading rebounder for the Red Raiders averaging 8.4 rebounds a game, while also ranking sixth nationally in defensive rebounds per game with 6.82 a game. Miller also shows he has an all-around game by leading the Red Raiders in assists with 4.7 per game. Junior guard Rob Gill leads the Red Raiders in steals this year with 21. Senior center Daniel Van Kalsbeek leads the team in blocks with 22. Northwestern also does a great job as a team rebounding and finding easy shots. The Red Raiders rank second nationally in total rebound margin at plus-11.4 and in field goal percentage at 50.5 percent.
Outlook: The Bulldogs come off a couple of close losses over the past week. First the Bulldogs dropped a thrilling game to Concordia-Wisconsin in the Concordia Invitational Tournament championship game. Four days later the Bulldogs lost a conference game to Nebraska Wesleyan. Concordia will play its last regular season game against Northwestern this weekend. The Red Raiders previously beat the Bulldogs 94-74 back on Jan. 2 in Seward, Neb., at Walz Arena. The Bulldogs will play this weekend’s game against Northwestern without their leading scorer. Senior Porter Birtell will likely be out for this weekend’s game with an injury. Head coach Marty Kohlwey will look to senior forward Beau Smith and junior guard Joel Haywood to pick up the scoring for the Bulldogs. Smith is the second leading scorer for the Bulldogs averaging 13.1 points per game. He is also the team’s leading rebounder for the Bulldogs averaging around 6.0 rebounds per game. Coach Kohlwey will also look to senior point guard Charles Dunbar to make smart decisions with the basketball. Dunbar leads the Bulldogs in steals with 37 and assists with 4.0 per game.
31 January 2013