Bulldogs complete NAIA indoor championships with 16 All-Americans
Bulldog 2013 indoor track and field All-Americans
- Jonathon Becker – 4x400 meter relay
- John Cartier – 4x400 meter relay
- Stephanie Coley – shot put
- Jamie Crouse – weight throw
- Brittany Erdmann – shot put
- Benjamin Hinckfoot – 4x400 meter relay
- Jared Hoffman – 4x800 meter relay
- Megan Letts – 4x800 meter relay
- Andrew Malan – 4x800 meter relay
- Taiheem Pleasant – 4x400 meter relay
- Adam Prahlow – 4x800 meter relay
- Jena Schwalenberg – one mile; 4x800 meter relay
- Ben Sievert – 4x800 meter relay
- Jenean Williams – 4x800 meter relay
- Kim Wood – 4x800 meter relay
Seven more Bulldogs claimed All-America honors on the final day of the 2013 NAIA Indoor Track and Field National Championships on Saturday. Added to the nine All-Americans from Friday’s competitions, Concordia finished with a total of 16 athletes on the medal stand over the three-day meet at the SPIRE Institute in Geneva, Ohio.
The Bulldogs finished the championships with a bang as the men’s 4x400 meter relay quartet of sophomore Taiheem Pleasant and juniors Benjamin Hinckfoot, Jonathon Becker and John Cartier finished fifth in 3:15.71. That time broke the school record and gave Concordia four additional All-Americans.
“The men’s 4x400 ran a real good race. To do well on that last event of the meet always leaves you with a good feeling,” head coach Kregg Einspahr said. “That was really an exciting finish for us. All four guys ran similar splits to have a strong finish to the indoor season. John Cartier’s been running on a sore leg and still came through with a great anchor leg.”
Freshman Stephanie Coley and sophomore Brittany Erdmann got the day started with sparkling performances in the shot put. Coley looked comfortable in her first appearance on the national stage as she came through with a mark of 45’ 5 ¼” to take fifth place and grab her first All-America honor. Erdmann came in closely behind with a toss of 45’ 1 ¾” on the way to seventh place and another Concordia All-America claim.
“It was a real good day for our female shot putters,” Einspahr said. “Both Stephanie and Brittany are very young throwers and strong performances at the national championships. I was very impressed with what Stephanie was able to do as a freshman and that certainly bodes well for her future.”
Just a short time later Jena Schwalenberg, also part of the All-American 4x800 meter relay team, seized her second All-America honor on the weekend by finishing seventh in the one mile run. She ran with the top four early on before completing the race in 5:05.99.
Meanwhile, senior Colin Morrissey came up just short of a top-eight finish required for All-America recognition in the 3,000 meter run. The Omaha native finished ninth by clocking in at 8:28.43, less than two seconds off the eighth-place competitor from Cumberlands.
In the men’s pole vault, junior Carson Farr cleared 15’ 7” and, like Morrissey, narrowly missed receiving All-America accolades. That mark was a personal best for the Cambridge, Neb., native, who finished in 10th place.
As a team, the Concordia women scored 19 points to place 13th among the 53 teams with representatives at the national championships. The Bulldog men scored nine points and finished in 27th place out of 51.
“You don’t know what to expect at the national championships,” Einspahr said. “Our relays really came through with great races. If at the beginning of the season you had told me that both our men’s and women’s 4x800s would place in the top eight at nationals, I wouldn’t have believed it. They did a tremendous job.
“There have been some years where we have only brought home a couple All-Americans. This is on the higher end, which is reflective of the strength of our relays.”
Saturday’s action marked the conclusion of the indoor track and field season. The outdoor schedule kicks off March 30 with the Wayne State Invite in Wayne, Neb. The Bulldogs will host three meets during the outdoor season, including the GPAC Championships, May 3-4.
Einspahr believes his Bulldogs will be even better suited for success in the outdoor season. He cited the 400 meter hurdles, the steeplechase, the 10,000 meter run, the weight throw and the javelin as some events in which the team expects particularly strong performances.
2 March 2013
Members of Concordia's All-American 4x400 relay pose with assistant coach Mark Samuels on Saturday following award ceremonies.