The Concordia men's cross country team captured first place at the Mount Marty Invitational in Yankton, S.D., on Oct. 18. Molly Engel was 7.77 seconds off the meet record in winning the women's individual championship as the Bulldog women finished second to Black Hills State.
Individual placers for Concordia women (129 runners): Molly Engel, 1st, 17:44.85; Jennifer Nikkila, 6th, 18:57.43; Micah Dubbs, 11th, 19:16.33; Tanya Kanengieter, 15th, 19:19.80; Jennifer Henderson, 32nd, 20:00.37; Melissa Weeder, 41st, 20:12.71; Jamie Hansen, 50th, 20:27.21; Hilary Powell, 57th, 20:41.27; Kayla Thole, 70th, 21:14.33; Emily Ronning, 76th, 21:38; Kelly Waterman, 84th, 21:56; Jamie Burmeister, 91st, 22:18.99; Angela Matthews and Michelle Quinlan did not finish.
Individual placers for Concordia men (157 runners): Curtis Wilson, 4th, 25:36.53; Andrew Walquist, 5th, 25:44.51; Jeremy Koch, 6th, 26:04.96; Matt Haden, 18th, 26:38.60; Matt Luevano, 23rd, 26.51.79; Heath Trampe, 39th, 27:38.64; Ryan Carlson, 44th, 27:45.19; Jake Schmidt, 48th, 27:49.22; Jordan Duncan, 57th, 28:14.35; Chris Mizel, 58th, 28:16.60; Jon Krenz, 82nd, 29:12.08; Cameron Nelson, 94th, 29:46.93; Isaac Wagner, 96th, 29:54.55; Tim Thurber, 105th, 30:30.26; Greg Schroll, 107th, 30:37.48; Kyle Johnson, 113th, 31:05.73; Jon Ripke, 114th, 31:08.93; Nick Bartlett, Tommy Moll did not finish.
Men's team scoring: Concordia 51, Black Hills State 57; Minot State 63; University of Mary 82; Colorado College 111; Jamestown 163; Dakota Wesleyan 235; Dana 239; Dordt 267; Wayne State 312; Dickinson State 323; SD School of Mines 351; Northwestern 358; Mount Marty 360; others represented include Briar Cliff, Dakota State, Iowa Lakes Community College, Midland Lutheran and Oglala Lakota.
Women's team scoring: Black Hills State 59, Concordia 63; Minot State 85; Jamestown 98; University of Mary 120, Colorado College 162; Dordt 180; Northwestern 214; Wayne State 256; Dickinson State 258; Mount Marty 260; Dakota Wesleyan 328; others represented include Briar Cliff, Dakota State, Dana, Iowa Lakes Community College, Midland Lutheran and Peru State
On the women's side, the winning margin for the NAIA #5 Bulldogs was 20-83 over second-place Sioux Falls as the Bulldogs placed six runners in the Top 10. Molly Engel was first over the 5K at 18:07 and Jennifer Nikkila second at 18:59. “We really had a good meet,” Coach Kregg Einspahr said. “We filled some spots we really needed to take care of going into the national meet.” That event will be Saturday, Nov. 22, at Louisville, Ky. The Concordia women have finished second at the national meet for three straight years. The men wound up in sixth place in 2002. Einspahr said the Bulldog team is hitting its stride. “That’s by far the fastest race we’ve had as a team,” he said. “That’s a considerably faster time than we had last year at this time.”
Concordia women’s finishes in the Top 10 included Angela Matthews fifth, 19:17; Micah Dubbs sixth, 19:20; Tanya Kanengieter ninth, 19:39; and Kelly Waterman 10th, 19:42. Following among the 133 runners who finished the race were Jamie Hansen 18th, 20:11; Jenny Henderson 19th, 20:12; Melissa Weeder 21st, 20:21; Emily Ronning 61st, 21:31; Hilary Powell 64th, 21:35; Kayla Thole 75th, 21:56; and Jamie Burmeister 91st, 22:42.
Curtis Wilson was fourth at 26:04, Jeremy Koch fifth at 26:08 and Matt Luevano ninth at 26:23 for Concordia. A total of 160 runners finished the race with the other Bulldog finishes including Heath Trampe 15th, 26:42; Brett Kapels 16th, 26:51; Jake Schmidt 26th, 27:23; Chris Mizel 30th, 27:40; Issac Wagner 44th, 28:17; Cameron Nelson 45th, 28:18; Jordan Duncan 58th, 28:36; Tim Thurber 68th, 28:50; Jon Krenz 89th, 29:27; Jon Ripke 101st, 30:05; Greg Schroll 132nd, 31:37. The men’s team from Southwestern was the only other qualifier out of Region 4 for the national meet, earning an at-large bid. Other top teams were Sioux Falls 120, Park 153 and Dana 155. Individuals who earned national spots include Mabior Atem of Park 25:34; Sam Malmberg of Doane 25:46; Max Maxon of Dakota Wesleyan 26:15, Anthony Aker of Sioux Falls 26:22 and Keith Longuski of Park 26:24. Southwestern’s top runner was Brant Littrell, with a sixth-place finish at 26:12.
Third place among the women went to Doane with 93 points, followed by Dordt with 118 and Hastings with 133. Individual qualifiers included Emily Persson, Hastings 19:03; Dru Weaver, Dana, 19:05; Brittany Price, Doane, 19:21; Heidi Larson, Sioux Falls, 19:27; and Amy Tiger, Southwestern, 19:46
The Concordia men's cross country team finished seventh Nov. 22 at the 2003 NAIA national championships at Louisville, Ky. The women's team finished 18th.
Earning All-America honors were Jeremy Koch, who finished 16th in 25:26.6, Andrew Walquist at 24th in 25:37 and Molly Engel in 17th place with a time of 18:20.
“Overall, we had a tremendous season,” Coach Kregg Einspahr said. The men's seventh-place finish is the second-best in school history of cross country. “To have two teams finish in the top 20 -- in the NAIA Championships -- speaks very well for our program.”
Both the men’s and women’s teams captured NAIA Region 4 championships and were runners-up to Nebraska Wesleyan in Great Plains Athletic Conference competition. Engel and Walquist were individual champions in both those races. No other GPAC teams qualified for the national.
The national men’s competition marked one of the closest team races in recent memory with only 60 points separating the top seven.
“We had a mixed bag of results,” Einspahr said. Koch had an outstanding race, as did Walquist, he said. “Andrew was running with the flu and was in 11th place before he collapsed 20 meters from the finish and just barely crossed the finish line.” Koch is a junior from Cozad, Neb., and Walquist a sophomore from Albuquerque, N.M.
On the women’s side, the coach said overall youth and inexperience caught up to the Bulldogs. There are no seniors on the team and three of the seven runners had never competed in the national championships before.
“Molly had a good race,” he said of the Columbus, Neb., junior runner. “Certainly her bout with the flu early in the week did not help her individual race, but to still finish in the top 20 individuals is outstanding and speaks of her competitive toughness."
Other finishes for the men among 254 runners over 8K included Heath Trampe 69th (26:21.3), Matt Luevano 79th (26:29.6), Curtis Wilson 105th (26:41.5), Brett Kapels 118th (26:54.9) and Jake Schmidt 130th (27:21.3).
Among 256 women runners over 5,000 meters, Jennifer Nikkila was 66th (19:11.7), Micah Dubbs 91st (19:25.6), Jamie Hansen 177th (20:15.2), Angela Matthews 193rd (20:26.3) and Kelly Waterman 205th (20:34.6).
Minot State won the men's championship while Simon Fraser topped the women's race.
The race at Cardinal Park marked the first time either championship had been run outside of Wisconsin in the last 23 years. Long-time host University of Wisconsin-Parkside was host to both meets from 1981-2002.
Molly Engel and Andrew Walquist of Concordia were named GPAC cross country runners of the year after they won the individual medals at the 2003 Great Plains Athletic Conference cross country championships on Nov. 1.
The rain, sleet, and snow held off but the temperatures were in the low 30s at the Adams Nature Preserve in McCook Lake, S.D.
Nebraska Wesleyan's 32 points on the women's side narrowly edged Concordia, which ended with 35 points. Concordia placed four women in the top 10 (1, 4, 6, 9) with Engel's 5K effort a course record time of 17:49.39.
Concordia placed second with 35 points in the men's race to Nebraska Wesleyan. Walquist's 24:50.was a record for the 8K course.
The Concordia cross country teams swept the NAIA Region 4 team and individual championships the morning of Nov. 8 at Pioneers Park in Lincoln. The NAIA #7 men finished in front of #13 Southwestern (Kan.), 34-76, as Walquist took the individual title in 25:32 over the 8,000-meter course. On the women's side, the winning margin for the NAIA #5 Bulldogs was 20-83 over second-place Sioux Falls as the Bulldogs placed six runners in the Top 10. Engel was first over the 5K at 18:07 and Jennifer Nikkila second at 18:59.
Coach Kregg Einspahr in 2003 was recognized as the NAIA Region IV Cross Country Coach of the Year in both the men's and women's divisions.
Both of Einspahr's teams won championships and his runners claimed the individual championships in the region, which includes the GPAC, KCAC, and MCAC. The region includes Nebraska, Kansas and Colorado.
The women have finished in the top 18 in the NAIA nationals the past nine years, including second place in 2000, sixth place in 1999 and seventh place in 1998.
The coach credits the honor to his team and athletes. “It’s more about them than me,” said Einspahr, who is in his 11th year at Concordia.
He was named the national women's cross country coach of the year in 1999.