Pomerenke breaks own school record in third-place GPAC pentathlon finish
CRETE, Neb. – Concordia senior Lydia Pomerenke helped the Bulldogs get off to a good start on day one of the 2014 GPAC Indoor Track and Field Championships, held Friday at Doane College. The meet continues in Crete, Neb., on Saturday.
Pomerenke piled up a total of 3,362 points in Friday’s pentathlon to surpass her former school record of 3,227, a figure she recorded at the Concordia Invite on Jan. 31. The Seward native placed third in the GPAC to earn six points for the Bulldogs and her fourth-straight all-conference honor in the pentathlon. A seventh-place finisher last year in the pentathlon, Pomerenke hit personal bests in four of the five events.
Pomerenke was backed in the pentathlon by the all-conference finishes from teammates Sara Simmons and Montana Hayes in a loaded competition that concluded with eight of the top 13 marks in the NAIA. Simmons and Hayes tied for sixth with 3,145 points apiece – personal bests for both.
The trio of pentathletes combined for 11 team points in the difficult field. “They all competed out of their minds,” said Concordia assistant coach Mark Samuels of the field of performers.
"They all had really good days," head coach Kregg Einspahr said. "We had three in the top eight and Kierstyn (Besel) had a really good day as well. They competed extremely well and really had it going all day long."
In the men’s heptathlon, freshman Lucas Weichman (2,495 points) leads the way for Concordia with three of the seven events still to be contested on Saturday. Weichman sits in fifth place with freshman Brandon Cook (eighth, 2,443 points) and sophomore Brandon Ramos (ninth, 2,386 points) also in the running for all-conference recognition.
"I was extremely pleased with the guys," Einspahr said. "It was a really good first day for all three. I'm looking forward to seeing how it shapes up. I'm very optimistic about how things will go. They're all ahead of where they've ever been before."
The GPAC championships heat up on Saturday as the field and running events both commence at 2 p.m. Bulldogs looking to defend conference indoor titles from last season include the men’s 4x400 meter relay, John Cartier (400 meter dash), Jamie Crouse (weight throw) and Carson Farr (pole vault).
At last year’s indoor meet, the Concordia men placed third while the women finished fourth. On paper, the Bulldog men project to win the conference, but they will have to earn it at Doane, a program that has won the last seven GPAC indoor titles. On the other hand, the Concordia women are projected to finish second behind Doane.
"It never plays out the way it looks on paper," Einspahr said. "You throw the paper away and hope for the best."
With a GPAC title on the line, Concordia has stacked events to put its team in the best possible chance to win.
"At the end of the day it's about what is realistic," Einspahr said. "You can't run all of the races. In the case of Kim Wood, she has great marks in four different events. You allow them to do as many as they can. We always try to accomodate the individual and hope that serves the team effort."
21 February 2014