2012 Cross Country schedule/results
|Sept. 8||Blue-White Alumni Run||Concordia University||10 a.m.
|Sept. 15||Greeno Invite||Pioneer Park - Lincoln, Neb.||M- 12th of 28
W- 11th of 32
|Sept. 29||Griak Invitational||Bolstad GC - St. Paul, Minn.||M- 11th of 36
W- 14th of 38
|Oct. 6||Briar Cliff Invite||Homestead Heritage Park - McCook Lake, S.D.||M- 3rd of 14
W- 4th of 16
|Oct. 20||Mount Marty Invite||Regional Center - Yankton, S.D.||M- 2nd of 14
W- 3rd of 12
|Nov. 3||GPAC Championships||Homestead Heritage Park - McCook Lake, S.D.||M- 1st of 11
W- 2nd of 11
|Nov. 17||NAIA National Championships||Vancouver, Wash.||M- Team Results
M- Individual Results
W- Team Results
W- Individual Results
2012 Cross Country roster
|Josh Allwardt||So.||Frederick, Md.|
|Koby Archuletta||Fr.||Paxton, Neb.|
|Beau Billings||Jr.||Valentine, Neb.|
|Charlie Bloomfield||So.||Blair, Neb.|
|Marcus Brees||So.||Lincoln, Neb.|
|Daniel Gibson||Sr.||Grand Island, Neb|
|Joel Heckmann||Sr.||Sioux Falls, S.D.|
|Jared Hoffman||Sr.||Griswold, Iowa|
|Hayden Hohnholt||Jr.||Saratoga, Wyo.|
|Andrew Malan||Jr.||Lincoln, Neb.|
|Ben Montgomery||Fr.||North Platte, Neb.|
|Colin Morrissey||Sr.||Omaha, Neb.|
|Taylor Mueller||Fr.||Cedar Rapids, Iowa|
|Creighton Pearse||So.||Kearney, Neb.|
|Bryan Pick||Jr.||Plattsmouth, Neb.|
|Jordan Potrzeba||Fr.||Hastings, Neb.|
|Adam Prahlow||Jr.||St. Louis, Mo.|
|Luke Riley||So.||Lincoln, Neb.|
|Casey Roberts||So.||Wamego, Kan.|
|Ben Sievert||So.||Frankenmuth, Mich.|
|Jaap Van Gaalen||Fr.||Ramstein AFB, Germany|
|Tim von Behren||Jr.||Elk Creek, Neb.|
|Matthias Wollberg||So.||Kearney, Neb.|
|Tanel Baehr||So.||Mesa, Ariz.|
|Savanah Baker||Fr.||Broomfield, Colo.|
|Breanna Brockhaus||Fr.||Humphrey, Neb.|
|Megan Burma||Fr.||Platte, S.D.|
|Michaela Curran||Fr.||Wahoo, Neb.|
|Talitha Elbert||Fr.||Ramstein, Germany
|Ally Ellis||Fr.||Plain City, Utah|
|Haley Harpham||Jr.||McCook, Neb.|
|Shelby Hohnholt||So.||Saratoga, Wyo.|
|Alexandria Kolpin||Fr.||Overland Park, Kan.|
|Sarah Kortze||Sr.||Rockford, Ill.|
|Winonah Krug||Jr.||Monroe, Mich.|
|Megan Letts||Jr.||Lakewood, Colo.|
|Lauren Pankow||Fr.||Milwaukee, Wis.|
|Christina Roach||Sr.||Storm Lake, Iowa|
|Erika Schroeder||So.||Davenport, Neb.|
|Jena Schwalenberg||Sr.||Columbus, Neb.|
|Theresa Staley||Jr.||Lincoln, Neb.|
|Christina Tomka||Sr.||Dodge, Neb.|
|Jenean Williams||Jr.||Mankato, Minn.|
|Renee Williams||So.||Lincoln, Neb.|
|Kim Wood||Fr.||Greeley, Neb.|
Head coach: Dr. Kregg Einspahr
Assistant coach: Suzanne Weeder-Einspahr
Cross country squad ranked among nation's top 20
22 AUG 2012
Men's Cross Country Poll | Women's Cross Country Poll
Head coach Kregg Einspahr’s men’s and women’s cross country squads will begin the 2012 campaign in familiar territory – among the nation’s top 25 in the country. The women, which have finished in the top 20 at the National Championships in 17 of the last 18 years, come in at No. 10 in the NAIA Women’s Cross Country Coaches’ Top 25 Poll, released on Wednesday. Meanwhile, the men will start the 2012 season at No. 19 in the NAIA rankings.
The women’s squad, led by 2011 All-American Sarah Kortze, concluded last season at No. 17 after rising as high as 11th. Kortze returns this season along with another All-GPAC performer in fellow senior Jena Schwalenberg. With the team’s top-two runners back in the fold this season, expectations are high once again. Kortze and company are determined to bring the GPAC crown back to Seward, where it remained in 2004 and 2005.
On the other hand, the men struggled down the stretch in 2011 and missed the National Championships for the first time in 11 years and were unranked in the postseason poll. The Bulldogs checked in as high as No. 13 in the coaches’ poll, but faltered with top runner Colin Morrissey’s injury issues playing a part in the disappointing finish. Morrissey, the 2010 GPAC runner up, is back for his senior season and hopes to bring the squad back to national prominence.
Cross country programs enter 2012 with usual lofty aims
13 SEP 2012
Men at a glance:
2011 Finishes: third place in GPAC; missed national championships for first time in 11 years
Head Coach: Kregg Einspahr (21st season; three conference titles; 13 national championships appearances)
Key Returners: Beau Billings, Charlie Bloomfield, Hayden Hohnholt, Colin Morrissey, Creighton Pearse, Adam Prahlow, Ben Sievert
Key Loss: Matt Trampe
2011 GPAC All-Conference (*denotes returnee): *Ben Sievert
Women at a glance:
2011 Finishes: second place in GPAC; 17th at national championships
Head Coach: Kregg Einspahr (21st season; five conference titles; 17 national championships appearances)
Key Returners: Shelby Hohnholt, Sarah Kortze, Christina Roach, Jena Schwalenberg, Renee Williams
Key Losses: Matha Meineke, Anna Meyer
2011 GPAC All-Conference (*denotes returnee): *Sarah Kortze (also earned All-America status), *Jena Schwalenberg
While head coach Kregg Einspahr’s 2011 men’s cross country squad fell short of the NAIA National Championships for the first time in 11 years, the women raced to a 17th place finish at the national championships last season to continue an incredible run of success. In 20 years as Bulldog head coach, Einspahr has guided his teams to 30 combined championships appearances and has yet to see a year in which both of his programs fail to qualify for nationals.
In other words, high expectations greet Concordia cross country every September.
“The expectation every year is to compete for a top-two spot in the conference and get to the national championships,” Einspahr said.
The women, currently ranked No. 9 in the coaches’ poll, will look to return to the national championships in 2012 and make it 18 trips in 19 seasons. They have also finished second in the GPAC five of the past six years after back-to-back conference titles in 2004 and 2005. Led by 2011 NAIA All-American Sarah Kortze, the Bulldogs have a strong cast of returnees.
Kortze finished 13th at the 2011 national championships with a time of 18:03. Fellow returning senior Jena Schwalenberg came in next for Concordia, recording a 102nd-place finish after clocking in at 19:29. The veteran duo will be counted upon to lead a squad that may turn to freshmen like highly-touted recruit Michaela Curran to fill voids left by the graduation of Matha Meineke and Anna Meyer.
“With the women, it’s just a matter of how our younger runners develop,” Einspahr said. “That’s a big question mark. We have some gals running cross country this year that might be able to run in our top five or top seven and could add to our depth. They have good foot speed but they’ve never run cross country before, so we’ll see how that works out.”
The remaining list of key holdovers includes senior Christina Roach and sophomores Renee Williams and Shelby Hohnholt. All three hold personal top times of 19:30 in the 5K, while Hansen and Williams both competed at the 2011 national championships.
The men, tabbed No. 18 in the latest coaches’ poll, come into 2012 determined to get back to Vancouver, Wash., the location of the national championships since 2009. For a program that finished as the national runner up in 2009, last year’s absence from the national scene was a letdown.
Although top runner Colin Morrissey, 2010 GPAC runner up, will miss the team’s first couple of races this season, the senior figures to make a big impact upon his return. He’ll be joined by sophomore Ben Sievert, who had an outstanding freshman year that included a fourth-place finish at the 2011 conference championships. Einspahr described the pair, which boasts personal bests of 14:50 and 15:10, respectively, as “great frontrunners.”
Morrissey’s health, which became an issue late in 2011, is a key to the Bulldogs’ pursuit of another top GPAC finish and berth in the national championships. The performances of several other returnees will be an additional important factor. Those returners include juniors Hayden Hohnholt, Beau Billings and Adam Prahlow and sophomores Charlie Bloomfield and Creighton Pearse. In total, eight of the team’s top-nine runners are back in 2012.
With Kortze and Morrissey leading the pack for their respective squads, Concordia cross country has plenty of star power once again.
“They’re very hard workers,” Einspahr said. “They both have good talent, but I think they are very intelligent individuals and they train hard. For both of them it’s been a matter of trying to develop their talent to the fullest and at the same time, trying to be intelligent and stay healthy at the same time, which is kind of a fine line to ride sometimes. They each have worked hard to become very good. It’s more of an art than a science.”
So how does the GPAC race look heading into 2012?
“I think the women’s conference race is going to be very tough,” Einspahr said. “I think there will be four or five teams that can win the conference championship. Some teams will be much improved over last year. On the men’s side, I’m not quite sure what to expect yet as far as how the conference is going to stack up. I think both teams can compete for the conference championship.
“I would expect both teams to at least start the season considered in the top couple teams in the conference.”
Both the men and women begin their seasons on Saturday when they compete at the Greeno Invite in Lincoln, Neb. The event will get started at 10 a.m.
Bulldogs race to impressive finishes at Greeno Invite
15 SEP 2012
By Taylor Mueller, Sports Information Assistant
LINCOLN, Neb. – The Concordia men’s and women’s cross country seasons are underway as both teams competed in the season opening Greeno Invite on a beautiful day at Pioneer Park in Lincoln, Neb. The men and the women started the season strong with an 11thplace finish for the women out of 32 teams and a 12thplace finish for the men out of 28 teams.
The top finisher for the Bulldogs was senior Sarah Kortze who placed seventh with a time of 21:54.88. On the men’s side, sophomore Ben Sievert led the way with a time of 26:10.21, claiming 31st place individually.
“It was a lot of fun,” Kortze said of her performance. “This is a really big meet and I love the course. It was great.”
Kortze went on to talk about the team and the potential that they have moving forward.
“Running as a team, all the freshmen did very well,” Kortze said. “It was a good start to the season for us. We are a very young team overall and it will take a little bit to get used to the college races for the freshmen, but they’re very hard workers.”
Kortze wasn’t the only one who was pleased with her finish. Head coach Kregg Einspahr also had positive things to say about her race.
“Sarah had one of the best races a Concordia female has ever had in a 6k race,” Einspahr said. “She had an outstanding race.”
Other finishers running well for the Bulldogs were Jenna Schwalenberg in 22:56.53, freshman Kim Wood with a time of 24:01.53, sophomore Renee Williams who came in at 24:37.18 and junior Megan Letts who finished in 25:08.18.
Einspahr noted that while the top two runners for the girls ran well, there is still room for the team to improve.
“We have a lot of work to do,” Einspahr said. “We had a big gap between our number one and our four and five today. We need to fill that spot up a little better. If we can do that, we’ll be a pretty good team.”
On the men’s side, Sievert talked about his performance on opening day.
“I was pretty happy with it,” Sievert said. “I was surprised. I felt a lot better that I usually do for a first meet. We haven’t really done a whole lot of speed yet in practice, but our team did really well today overall.”
Sievert went on to explain why he believes the team could have strong success this season.
“We have a bunch of good freshmen coming up,” Sievert said. They have a great attitude. We have some good returners and no one is complaining. It’s a great group to work with and I’m excited to see how we do for the rest of the season.”
Einspahr shared insight similar to that of the girls’ team as to what the team needs to do to get better as the season rolls along.
“Our top three runners ran quite well,” Einspahr said. “Again we dropped back at our number four and five spots. We have a couple guys who can fill in there. Both teams are very young at our number four, five, six and seven spots. We’ll continue to get better as the season goes along.”
Other runners who placed in the top five for the men today was junior Hayedn Hohnholt with a time of 26:35.61, junior Beau Billings in 26:46.81, sophomore Charlie Bloomfield who finished in 27:38.76 and freshman Taylor Mueller in 27:41.81.
Next up for the men and the women will be the Griak Invitational at Bolstad GC in St.Paul, Minn., on Sept. 29.
Sievert collects GPAC weekly runner award
19 SEP 2012
Concordia sophomore Ben Sievert was named GPAC/Hauff Mid-America Sports Men’s Cross Country Runner of the Week on Wednesday by the GPAC after turning in the top time among all GPAC and NAIA competitors at the Sept. 15 Woody Greeno Invite.
“I was pretty happy with it,” Sievert said of his performance. “I felt a lot better than I normally do for our first meet. We haven’t done a whole lot of speed yet in practice, so I was pleasantly surprised with how it went.”
Sievert clocked in at 26:10.3 in the 8K race to finish in 31st place overall among the field of 333 participants, with many coming from the GPAC as well as the NCAA Division I level.
“Ben had a good race. He kept moving up pretty much the whole race,” cross country head coach Kregg Einspahr said. “It was a good, solid race for him.”
Sievert’s performance fueled the Bulldogs to a 12th-place finish out of all 28 teams, eighth place out of 24 in the College Division and first among the seven GPAC programs in the field.
Sievert and the No. 18-ranked Bulldogs now look forward to the Griak Invitational on Sept. 29 at the University of Minnesota.
Kortze runs to GPAC, NAIA national honors
19 SEP 2012
Returning senior All-American Sarah Kortze added two more honors to her growing list of achievements on Wednesday. Concordia’s Kortze collected both the GPAC/Hauff Mid-America Sports Women’s Cross Country Runner of the Week and NAIA National Women's Cross Country Runner of the Week awards for her performance at the Sept. 15 Woody Greeno Invite.
“I was pretty excited. That was the fastest I’ve ever run a 6K,” Kortze said of her finish at the Greeno Invite. “It’s just a really fun meet. I really enjoy the Woody Greeno course.”
The Rockford, Ill., native’s time of 21:54.88 in the 6K placed her seventh overall among the field of 289 competitors, including many from the GPAC and NCAA Division I schools. Her performance landed her ahead of all GPAC and NAIA participants at the Greeno Invite.
“Sarah had one of the best races a Concordia female has ever had on a 6K course,” cross country head coach Kregg Einspahr said. “She had an outstanding race. There were a number of Division I teams. Obviously when she can compete with that kind of competition, that’s quite an accomplishment.”
As a team, the Concordia women placed 11th out of all 32 teams at Pioneers Park. Breaking it down further, the women were sixth among the 26 programs in the College Division and second out of seven GPAC schools, finishing behind only Dordt.
Kortze and the ninth-ranked Bulldogs are back in action Sept. 29 at the Griak Invitational held at the University of Minnesota.
Kortze, Sievert lead strong Griak showing
30 SEP 2012
By Taylor Mueller, Sports Information Assistant
ST. PAUL, Minn. – The Concordia men’s and women’s cross country teams traveled to St. Paul, Minn., on Saturday to compete in the Roy Griak Invitational cross country meet, which hosted numerous schools from across the nation.
Races consisted of schools from NAIA and Division I, II and III levels. Concordia competed in the division II races.
On the women’s side, senior Sarah Kortze led the way with a fifth place overall finish, and a time of 22:28. Senior Jena Schwalenberg was next in line, clocking in at 23:39 and a 30th place finish.
“I thought Sarah and Jena had very good races,” head coach Kregg Einspahr said. “Especially with their level of fitness right now, and having the experience of having ran this race already, this is a huge race so that really helped.”
Freshman Kim Wood followed with a time of 25:11, sophomore Megan Letts was next at 25:23 and freshman Megan Burma finished in 25:25.
As a team, the Bulldogs took 14th place of 38 teams.
The men finished in 11th place overall out of 36 teams, and were led by sophomore Ben Sievert, who took 29thplace and finished in 26:28. Junior Hayden Hohnholt was next in 26:42 and took 35th place. Junior Beau Billings followed in 65th place with a time of 27:06. Freshman Jordan Potrzeba finished in 27:51, and senior Joel Heckman ran 27:57.
“I thought our top three runners had good races,” Einspahr said. “We still have a big gap between our three and then four and five runners. Joel and Jordan ran well. I thought we had a god race, but we can be much better than we were today.”
Einspahr summed up the day by comparing both the women’s and men’s teams, and what needs to take place to do better in the future.
“Our younger runners ran well, but after running this race a couple times, we can get a better feel for what it’s like. I really feel that our younger runners can get better. We ran well today, but we were a solid team, not a great team.”
Concordia now shifts focus to the Briar Cliff Invite on Oct. 6, when it will travel to McCook Lake, S.D.
Kortze, Sievert cut through the cold
06 OCT 2012
By Taylor Mueller, Sports Information Assistant
McCOOK LAKE, S.D. – Competing in low 30 degree weather couldn’t slow the 19th-ranked Concordia Bulldog men’s and women’s cross country teams as they traveled to McCook Lake, S.D., to compete in the Briar Cliff Invitational. The men finished third out of 14 teams, while the women concluded the meet in fourth place amongst the 16-team field.
Leading the way to a third place overall finish for the women was senior Sarah Kortze who raced to a second place finish with a time of 17:48 on the 5K course. Not far behind her was senior Jena Schwalenberg who earned a fifth place finish with a time of 18:13. Other Bulldogs performing well was freshman Megan Burma with a time of 19:16, sophomore Erika Schroeder in 19:26.45 and freshman Kim Wood in 19:26.70.
“I thought we ran well,” coach Kregg Einspahr said. “There was a big gap between our number two and three, four and five runners again. Our younger runners are continuing to improve and have had some good races, but we have some work to do if we are going to be a top team in the conference. Our three, four, five, six and seven runners are young and some have never even ran cross country before. But they are continuing to improve and that’s a big positive.”
The men finished with a strong performance of their own.
Running to a third place finish was sophomore Ben Sievert, who came in at 25:14, and helped pave the way for a third place overall finish by the team. Junior Hayden Hohnholt placed 11th overall with a time of 25:46 followed closely by senior Collin Morrissey who made his season debut with a time of 26:00. Other Bulldogs scoring points was freshman Jordan Potrzeba in 26:08 and junior Beau Billings in 26:12.
“It was the best race of the season,” Einspahr said. “We did a better job at closing the gap between our three, four and five runners. I thought that Collin, Jordan and Adam did a really good job today. Having Collin back helped immensely in the team finish. Prahlow is also back and is getting healthy. We have to continue to get better and we are getting better. There are a lot of lessons to take away from today and there are some things to improve on.”
The Bulldogs begin the second half of their season with a trip to Yankton, SD on Oct. 20 to compete in the Mt. Marty Invite to be held at the Regional Center.
Bulldog cross country duo honored again by GPAC
10 OCT 2012
For the second time in the last four weeks, both Concordia senior Sarah Kortze and sophomore Ben Sievert have collected weekly honors from the GPAC, the league announced Wednesday. Kortze received the GPAC/Hauff Mid-America Sports Women’s Cross Country Runner of the Week award, while Sievert took the same honor on the men’s side.
Kortze, who also earned NAIA National Women's Cross Country Runner of the Week on Sept. 19, clocked in at 17:48 on the 5K course at the Briar Cliff Invite on Oct. 6 in McCook Lake, S.D. With that time, the Rockford, Ill., native finished second individually among 163 runners and led the Bulldogs to third place among the field of 16 teams.
“Sarah continues to have a fantastic season,” head cross country coach Kregg Einspahr said. “All her work and patience over the past three years is really coming to fruition in her senior year.”
Sievert’s time of 25:14 at the Briar Cliff Invite marked his best performance of the season in the 8K. His time placed him third individually among the 174 competitors and fueled Concordia to a third-place finish out of 14 teams. The Frankemuth, Mich., native also earned GPAC/Hauff Mid-America Sports Men’s Cross Country Runner of the Week honors on Sept. 19 after a stellar race at the Woody Greeno Invite.
“Ben continues to get better every week,” Einspahr said. “He learns quickly from each race and has become a formidable runner in only his second year of college running.”
The 20th-ranked men and the 23rd-ranked women continue their seasons on Oct. 20 at the Mount Marty Invite in Yankton, S.D.
Nationally-ranked cross country programs impress in Yankton
20 OCT 2012
By Taylor Mueller, Sports Information Assistant
YANKTON, S.D. – The Concordia Bulldog cross country program had a strong showing this weekend as it traveled to Yankton, S.D., and claimed second and third place for the men’s and women’s squads, respectively. The combined finish was good enough to earn the Bulldogs a trophy for the best overall finish by a program at the meet.
Senior Sarah Kortze raced to a first place overall finish for the first time this season in a time of 17:53 while teammate and fellow senior Jenna Schwalenberg claimed second place overall in 18:18.
“We had a very good race,” head coach Kregg Einspahr said. “I thought that Jenna and Sarah had great races and ran very well. We closed the gap considerably between us, Dordt, and Doane. I also thought that Kim Wood had a very good race. She’s never run cross country before and she’s making improvements. Our whole team is really improving and we’ve made some big strides from a few weeks ago.”
Freshman Kim Wood took third for the team in 19:24 and 16th place overall. Other Bulldogs racing were sophomore Erika Schroeder in 19:40 and freshman Megan Burma in 19:43.
On the men’s side, junior Hayden Hohnholt took third place overall with a time of 25:52. Senior Colin Morrissey was sixth place overall with a time of 26:01. Junior Beau Billings was 10th place overall in a time of 26:17. Sophomore Charlie Bloomfield took fourth place for the team in 26:40 while sophomore Ben Sievert took fifth for the team in 26:44.
“Hayden had an outstanding race today,” Einspahr said. “Colin is doing well for coming off an injury, Beau had a great race, and Ben did well for what may have been a food poisoning incident.”
While he was proud of the effort that both the men’s and women’s teams displayed, Einspahr noted that there is still progress that can be made.
“It’s good that both teams are having their best races at the end of the season,” Einspahr said. “We have to get better if we want to run well at conference. We still have some room to improve.”
The Bulldogs will look to finish the season strong on Nov. 3 when they travel to McCook Lake, S.D., to compete in the GPAC Championships with a trip to the National Championships in Vancouver, Wash., on the line.
Kortze, Hohnholt take weekly GPAC cross country honors
24 OCT 2012
Concordia’s nationally-ranked cross country programs continue to dominate weekly GPAC honors. Senior Sarah Kortze and junior Hayden Hohnholt have been named GPAC/Hauff Mid-America Sports Cross Country Runners of the Week, the league announced Wednesday.
The announcement marks the third such award for each of head coach Kregg Einspahr’s men’s and women’s squads. Kortze has now won Runner of the Week honors three times this season having also been cited on Sept. 19 and Oct. 10 by the GPAC. She was also named NAIA National Runner of the Week on Sept. 19.
In her most recent performance, the Rockford, Ill., native raced to a first place overall finish for the first time this season while clocking in at 17:53 in the 5K to best a field of 141 competitors at the Mount Marty Invite in Yankton, S.D., on Oct. 20. Participants included individuals from eight GPAC schools along with four additional programs. Kortze’s outstanding effort powered the 23rd-ranked Bulldogs to a third place team finish.
For the first time this season, Hohnholt captures Runner of the Week honors on the men’s side after sophomore Ben Sievert collected the award on Sept. 19 and Oct. 10. Hohnholt, who hails from Saratoga, Wyo., took fourth place overall among 162 individuals at the Mount Marty Invite with a time of 25:52 in the 8K race. Honholt’s efforts helped 18th-ranked Concordia to a second place finish out of 14 teams in Yankton.
The Bulldogs will return to action on Nov. 3 when the GPAC Championships are held in McCook Lake, S.D., a flat course that also served as the venue for the Briar Cliff Invite. Both the men and women hope to make it to the NAIA National Championships in Vancouver, Wash., on Nov. 17.
Men claim GPAC championship; Kortze, Morrissey win individual titles
03 NOV 2012
By Taylor Mueller, Sports Information Assistant
McCOOK LAKE, S.D. – The bitter cold did not slow the Concordia Bulldog cross country teams who competed in the GPAC cross country championships. In fact with hardly any wind and the race on a fast course, Concordia’s nationally-ranked men’s and women’s squads came through with huge performances.
Led by the individual GPAC crowns claimed by Sarah Kortze on the women’s side and Colin Morrissey on the men’s side, the Bulldogs rose to the occasion in their most important meet of the season to date.
The men claimed an NAIA National Championships automatic qualifying bid with a first-place finish – their second in the last four years – while the women finished second overall.
“Finishing first and second was a tremendous accomplishment,” head coach Kregg Einspahr said. “I’m very proud of them.”
In only his third race of the season after coming off an injury, senior Colin Morrissey raced to a first place overall finish with a time of 25:08. Junior Hayden Hohnholt took third overall with a time of 25:16. Sophomore Ben Sievert claimed sixth overall in 25:34. Junior Beau Billings finished in 25:44 and junior Adam Prahlow finished in 26:03. Freshman Jordan Portzeba finished in 26:10 and sophomore Charlie Bloomfield finished in 26:12. All seven runners will represent Concordia at the National Championships.
“It was outstanding,” Einspahr said of the men’s race. “I’m very proud of them, they stuck with it. It was their best team race of the season. Colin did really well for coming off an injury, and it really reveals his competitive drive. He’s just a tremendous competitor. He’s not at his peak fitness, but he runs with his guts.”
Senior Sarah Korrtze ran away with a dominating first place overall finish in a time of 17:11, roughly 34 seconds faster than teammate Jenna Schwalenberg, who finished second overall with a time of 17:45. Both Kortze and Scwalenberg will represent Concordia at the national championship meet.
Other top finishers for the Bulldogs were sophomore Renee Williams in 19:04, freshman Kim Wood in 19:06 and senior Christina Hanson in 19:10.
“The girls had a great race,” Einspahr said. “It was their best race of the season. Jenna and Sarah had a great race. It would have been nice to win second place outright, but Dordt had a good race too.”
The 20th-ranked Concordia men finished with 48 points, while No. 23 Morningside and Nebraska Wesleyan placed second and third with 55 and 75 points, respectively.
The 20th-ranked Bulldog women compiled 91 points to tie Nebraska Wesleyan for second. No. 11 Dordt won the women’s team title with 25 points.
The men, who have earned their 11th berth in the National Championships in the past 12 years, will head to the national stage on Nov. 17 in Vancouver, Wash. Kortze and Schwalenberg hope to be joined at the National Championships by the rest of their teammates. The Concordia women, placed 20th in the previous coaches’ poll, likely need to jump about five spots in the national rankings to earn an at-large bid and make their 18thNational Championships appearance in the last 19 years.
A fresh coaches’ poll will be released on Sunday. These rankings will then be used to determine at-large qualifiers.
NAIA announces cross country National Championship qualifiers
05 NOV 2012
Thanks to its second GPAC title in the last four years, head coach Kregg Einspahr’s 13th-ranked Concordia men’s cross country squad punched its ticket to the 2012 NAIA National Championships. Monday’s official announcement from the NAIA means that the Bulldog men will make the trip to the national stage for the 11thtime in the last 12 years.
“Nationals are a whole different ball game,” Einspahr said. “It’s easy to fold your tent if you haven’t been there before. We have a mix of guys with some that have been there. I think we can compete very well. We haven’t hit our peak yet. I think we can finish in the top 15. We’ve got a team that’s going to go in and have its best meet of the season.”
On the women’s side, Concordia seniors Sarah Kortze and Jena Schwalenberg qualified individually after finishing 1-2 at the GPAC Championships on Nov. 3.
“I’m really excited for Sarah and Jena,” Einspahr said. “They have run extremely well to this point. For Sarah to finish in 17:11 at the Briar Cliff course (at the GPAC Championships) was really just a tremendous time. Both have goals to finish in the top 30 and be recognized as All-Americans.”
However, the women’s team as a whole failed to earn a National Championships berth. The Bulldog women, ranked No. 21 in Sunday’s coaches’ poll, had received an invitation to nationals in 17 of the previous 18 years.
“It’s disappointing not to get an at-large berth after how well we ran at the GPAC Championships,” Einspahr said. “When you combine the times of our top five gals it compares favorably with teams that I’ve had finish in the top 10 in the country.”
The 57th annual men’s and 33rd annual women’s event will take place at the Fort Vancouver National Historic Site in Vancouver, Wash., on Saturday, Nov. 17. The women’s 5K championship race will start at 10:30 a.m. PST, followed by the men’s 8K run at 11:45 a.m.
On the men’s side, the 32-team field is made up of 21 conference/independent/unaffiliated group champions, one conference/independent/unaffiliated group runner-up and nine at-large selections. Concordia (Ore.) received a host berth to the event. There are also 105 individual qualifiers.
The 32-team women's field features 22 conference/independent/unaffiliated group champions, two conference/independent/unaffiliated group runner-ups and seven at-large selections. Concordia (Ore.) received a host berth for the event. There are also 109 individual qualifiers.
Einspahr’s women represented Concordia at the 2011 NAIA National Championships with a 17th place finish. Kortze ran to All-America honors with a time of 18:03 on the 5K course, good enough for 13th place individually. Schwalenberg clocked in 19:29 on the way to a 102ndplace finish amongst the 323 runners in the field.
Sophomore Ben Sievert will be making his second-straight appearance at the National Championships after qualifying individually last season. The Frankenmuth, Mich., native ran the 8K course in a time of 26:36, putting him in 207th place out of 312 runners. In their last team appearance, the men took 20th place at the 2010 National Championships, where Colin Morrissey, the 2012 GPAC individual titlist, finished 108th with a time of 27:02. Morrissey, who was part of the 2009 national runner up squad, will make his third career appearance at nationals.
With their main goal of winning a conference title accomplished, Morrissey sees the trip to nationals as an added bonus.
“Part of the reason I came to Concordia is because historically we have been a winning program,” Morrissey said. “Every year it first goes winning the conference – that’s the first goal. And then whatever happens at nationals happens. Keeping the tradition going and competing for conference titles is what we are all about.”
In terms of National Championships appearances and overall team finishes, the Bulldogs have one of the NAIA’s top cross country programs for both men and women. Using a formula created by the NAIA Cross Country Coaches Association, Concordia has the top women’s program in the NAIA since 1980 among current members. Meanwhile, the men rank sixth in the NAIA among current programs when applying the same formula to all National Championships since 1957.
Kortze, Morrissey tabbed GPAC Runners of the Year
06 NOV 2012
Concordia seniors Sarah Kortze and Colin Morrissey have been named GPAC/Hauff Mid-America Sports Runners of the Year, the GPAC announced Tuesday. Kortze and Morrissey clinched the individual awards by winning GPAC individual titles at the conference championships on Nov. 3. Kortze ran the women’s 5K race in 17:11, while Morrissey timed in at 25:08 in the men’s 8K competition.
The rest of the men’s and women’s all-conference teams, made up of the top 15 finishers at the GPAC Championships, were also released on Tuesday. Joining Kortze with all-league honors on the women’s side is senior Jena Schwalenberg who placed second, right behind Kortze at the 5K conference meet with a time of 17:45.
On the men’s side, junior Hayden Hohnholt and sophomore Ben Sievert combine with Morrissey to give the 13th-ranked Bulldogs a trio of all-conference honorees. Hohnholt came in third place at the GPAC Championships while clocking in at 25:16. Sievert followed close behind with a sixth place finish in 25:24 at the McCook Lake, S.D., course.
Kortze, a three-time GPAC Runner of the Week honoree in 2012, was an All-American last season with a 13thplace finish at the National Championships. Running in just his third race this season, Morrissey won his first individual title after finishing second in 2010. The Omaha native will appear at the NAIA National Championships for the third time in his career when action begins on Nov. 17 in Vancouver, Wash.
Kortze, Schwalenberg and Morrissey are each collecting All-GPAC honors for the third time in their outstanding careers. Sievert’s top 15 GPAC finish marks back-to-back all-conference selections for the Frankenmuth, Mich., native.
Sarah Kortze - 2012 Results
Colin Morrissey - 2012 Results
Einspahr adds another coaching honor
06 NOV 2012
Concordia head cross country coach Kregg Einspahr has been named the Hauff Mid-America Sports/GPAC Men’s Cross Country Coach of the Year, the GPAC announced Tuesday. The honor comes on the heels of Einspahr’s ninth GPAC cross country title in his 21 years at the helm of the Bulldog men’s and women’s programs.
Einspahr has been named conference or regional Coach of the Year for track or cross country more than 30 times during his career at Concordia. Recently, he was named 2008 and 2009 GPAC Men’s Cross Country Coach of the Year, 2009 and 2010 GPAC Women’s Indoor Track & Field Coach of the Year, 2009 GPAC Men’s Outdoor Track & Field Coach of the Year and 2009, 2010 and 2012 GPAC Women’s Outdoor Track & Field Coach of the Year.
This season Einspahr guided the men’s cross country squad to a GPAC team title and senior Colin Morrissey to an individual conference championship. He also led the women to a tie for second at the conference meet behind senior Sarah Kortze’s individual title.
With the men’s automatic berth into the 2012 NAIA National Championships, Einspahr now has 31 combined National Championships appearances between the men’s and women’s programs.
Twelve runners named Daktronics-NAIA Scholar-Athletes
16 NOV 2012
Head coach Kregg Einspahr's men's and women's cross country programs have garnered six Daktronics-NAIA Scholar-Athletes apiece. A total of 317 women and 203 men nationally were honored on Friday with the announcement from the NAIA national office.
From the NAIA release: In order to be nominated by an institution's head coach or sports information director, a student-athlete must maintain a minimum grade point average of 3.5 on a 4.0 scale and must have achieved a junior academic status to qualify for this honor.
With six honorees, the Bulldog men tied Olivet Nazarene (Ill.) and St. Ambrose (Iowa) for the most nationally.
Concordia men named Scholar-Athletes:
- Beau Billings, Jr., Valentine, Neb.
- Daniel Gibson, Sr., Grand Island, Neb.
- Joel Heckmann, Sr., Sioux Falls, S.D.
- Andrew Malan, Jr., Lincoln, Neb.
- Colin Morrissey, Sr., Omaha, Neb.
- Tim von Behren, Sr., Elk Creek, Neb.
Concordia women named Scholar-Athletes:
- Sarah Kortze, Sr., Rockford, Ill.
- Megan Letts, Jr., Lakewood, Colo.
- Jena Schwalenberg, Sr., Columbus, Neb.
- Theresa Staley, Jr., Lincoln, Neb.
- Christina Tomka, Sr., Dodge, Neb.
- Jenean Williams, Jr., Mankato, Minn.
Men place 21st at national championships; Kortze earns All-America honors
18 NOV 2012
By Taylor Mueller, Sports Information Assistant
VANCOUVER, Wash. – Concordia’s nationally-ranked men’s and women’s cross country teams finished their accomplished seasons at the 2012 NAIA National Cross Country Championships in Vancouver, Wash. The Bulldogs’ 13th-ranked men raced to a 21st-place finish while senior Sarah Kortze added yet another honor to her impressive resume.
Concordia sent two women and the entire GPAC champion men’s squad to the meet. Representing the women were Kortze and fellow senior Jena Schwalenberg.
Sloshing her way through the cold, wet weather, Kortze raced to All-American status for a second consecutive season. Kortze claimed 14th pace overall with a time of 18:19 on the 5k women’s course. Schwalenberg just missed All-American status, and placed 39th in a time of 18:45.
“It was a really exciting race,” Kortze said. “It was the final one of my cross country career and I was just soaking up the experience because it was my last race. I was hoping to improve from last year but I was 15 seconds slower. I’m just thankful to be here and for the good times that we could have together as a team. God has really blessed me this season, He’s given me a great team and a healthy body.”
Head coach Kregg Einspahr was pleased with the women’s performance, and shared his thoughts on the final races in the careers of two very successful seniors.
“The women ran very well,” Einspahr said. “I’m very happy with Sarah Kortze. She is a two time All-American, and that’s a very difficult thing to do two years in a row. She got out and got good position. She’s been very consistent all season. It was just a great season for her – a great way to finish her career.”
Einspahr also shared his thoughts on Schwalenberg.
“Jenna Schwalenberg had a very good race,” Einspahr said. “She got caught a little bit back in the middle of the pack in the middle of the race, but she did a good job of moving up during the race. I thought she ran very, very well.”
While only two women traveled to Washington, Einspahr commented on what could have been, had the entire team been able to make the trip.
“I would have liked to have seen the rest of our team here,” Einspahr said. “I think we could have finished very well as a team. With two very high finishes like that, I think we would have done very well in team scoring.”
On the men’s side, sophomore Ben Sievert led the way on the muddy, torn up course to take 51st place overall in a time of 25:38. Finishing second on the team was senior Colin Morrissey, in 26:11. Junior Hayden Hohnholt placed third on the team in 26:26. Junior Beau Billings was next in 26:36. Sophomore Charlie Bloomfield finished in 27:18, junior Adam Prahlow finished in 27:34 and freshman Jordan Potrzeba raced to a time of 28:19.
“I feel pretty good,” Sievert said of his race. “It was a big improvement from last year. I wish I could have moved up a little more during the race and I wanted to be in the top 30, but overall, I am happy with it.
Sievert commented on the season overall, and the enjoyment that he had.
“I thought it was a good season. The team was phenomenal all year. We won GPAC, and qualifying for Nationals was great.”
While it was not the finish that the men were looking for, Einspahr took away plenty of positives.
“We’re a little young and inexperienced,” Einspahr said. “I don’t think it was our best race of the season, but a top 25 finish at the national championships is still something to be very proud of. I think our men had a great season this year. I think this race today will give our younger runners a lot of experience going into next year.”
Bulldog men finish 21st in NAIA cross country poll
21 NOV 2012
Following a GPAC championship season and 21st place team finish at the NAIA National Championships on Nov. 17, the Bulldog men’s cross country team concludes the season at No. 21 in the NAIA Men's Cross Country Coaches' Top 25 Postseason Poll. The NAIA released the poll on Wednesday.
Concordia reached a high water mark in 2012 of 13th in the national rankings with the unveiling of the final regular season poll announced on Nov. 4. Head coach Kregg Einspahr’s men held down the No. 19 spot in the preseason edition and remained rated among the nation’s top 25 teams throughout the entire season. The Bulldogs finished 2011 unranked after missing the national championships.
The women fell just outside of the rankings and are listed as the first team in the “others receiving votes” category. They were ranked 10th in the preseason and jumped as high as ninth in 2012. Led by senior two-time All-American Sarah Kortze, the Bulldog women also appeared in each of the first nine national polls in 2012. Concordia completed the 2011 season ranked No. 17 nationally after a 17th place finish at nationals.
In terms of national championships appearances and overall team finishes, the Bulldogs have one of the NAIA’s top cross country programs for both men and women. Using a formula created by the NAIA Cross Country Coaches Association, Concordia has the top women’s program in the NAIA since 1980 among current members. Meanwhile, the men rank sixth in the NAIA among current programs when applying the same formula to all national championships since 1957.
Bulldog cross country in the 2012 national rankings