Bulldogs impress in home-opening track meet
By Taylor Mueller, Sports Information Assistant
SEWARD, Neb. – The Concordia men’s and women’s track and field teams continued their march towards the GPAC championship with another strong meet to add on to their successful season. Numerous athletes had stand-out performances and a few more Bulldogs were able to reach national qualifying marks. With numerous teams in attendance and a packed Walz Fieldhouse, the atmosphere was electric and the competition was at its finest.
“We had a very good meet,” head Coach Kregg Einspahr said. “We were just off qualifying in a couple of events but we had some meet winners today and some tremendous marks today. We had a lot of first and second (place finishers).”
Senior Sarah Kortze got things started for the Bulldogs with a national qualifying, first place finish in the 5000 and a time of 17:54.
“Sarah Kortze is off to a great start this season,” Einspahr said.
Sophomore Kim Wood continued to emerge as an athlete to watch, claiming not one, but two first place finishes in the mile and 1000 meter runs with times of 3:03 and 5:11 respectively.
“Kim Wood has had some break through performances last weekend and this weekend with her double win in the mile and 1000,” Einspahr said. “I think she’s finally figured out those middle distance events. It’s a little longer for her but she has great foot speed and great strength. She’s learning how to run some different races and it’s really starting to work.”
In the ring, senior Jamie Crouse continued to dominate the competition with her first place throw of 60’ 7 ¼” in the weight throw.
It wasn’t just Crouse who was taking care of business in the throwing events, however.
Sophomore Cody Boellstorff continued his own string of success with his toss of 61’ 7 ¾” in the weight throw – a new personal best.
Although Boellstorff was pleased with his performance, he acknowledged he still has room to improve.
“I was pretty happy with that one throw, but I still wish I could get a little more distance with the others,” said Boellstorff, who also hopes to qualify in the shot put for the national meet. “That one felt good, but nothing really seemed to click on the others.”
Across the board, the track and field team received a tremendous boost from the throwers, who had several individuals make progress in their events.
“The weight throwers just had a tremendous day today,” Einspahr said.
The throwers were not the only ones with tremendous efforts, however.
A week after qualifying for the national meet in the 3000 meter race, senior Hayden Hohnholt qualified for the 5000 meter run as well, finishing the day with a second place finish and a time of 15:00 in the event.
The Bulldogs swept the top two spots in the 1000 as senior Adam Prahlow and junior Charlie Bloomfield took first and second in 2:34 and 2:37 respectively.
In the 3000, junior Ben Sievert gutted out a first place finish in a race that saw numerous lead changes between Sievert and two other runners throughout the race. Sievert crossed the line in 8:42.
Senior Carson Farr qualified for the national meet in the pole vault with his clearance of 15’07.” The leap was good enough for second place for the emotional pole vaulter.
Also in the pole vault, the Bulldog women were terrific as Cassandra Starks and Shelby Yelden both cleared 11' 5" to automatically qualify for nationals.
In a race chalk full of Concordia athletes, senior Ben Hinckfoot grinded out a second place finish in 1:22.45 in the 600 meter run, with sophomore teammate Jaap Van Gaalen right behind him for third in 1:22.57.
Freshman CJ Muller had another phenomenal night with his second place finish in the 400 meter run in 50.21. Not far behind him was junior Taiheem Pleasant who placed third in 50.67.
The Bulldogs ended the night with a bang as the 4x400 meter relay team of Muller, and seniors Jonathon Becker, Alex Heiden and John Cartier raced to a first place finish. All of those left in attendance in the Walz Fieldhouse were on their feet as Cartier crossed the line in 3:21, and held off the competition.
Becker also improved upon his national qualifying mark in the 60 meter hurdles. He ran a time of 8.24 in the prelims of the event on Saturday.
The Bulldogs will split up next weekend as they send athletes to either the Devaney Center in Lincoln for the Sevigne Husker Invite or to Crete, Neb., for the Nicely Invite. Starting times are yet to be announced.
1 February 2014