2012-2013 Indoor Track and Field

DECEMBER

  Dec. 14-15 Polar Dog Dual - Concordia/Hastings Bulldog Fieldhouse Seward, Neb. Results

JANUARY

  Jan. 18 Prairie Wolf Invite Devaney Center Lincoln, Neb. Results
  Jan. 27 Concordia Classic   Bulldog Fieldhouse Seward, Neb.

Results

FEBRUARY

  Feb. 1-2 UNK Charlie Foster Classic UNK Kearney, Neb. Results
  Feb. 1-2 Husker Invite UNL Lincoln, Neb. Results
  Feb. 8 Concordia Indoor Invitational   Bulldog Fieldhouse Seward, Neb.

Results

  Feb. 15-16 GPAC Indoor Track and Field Championships Multi events- Doane
All other events- UNL
Crete/Lincoln, Neb. Results

MARCH

 

Feb. 28 - March 2

NAIA Indoor Track and Field National Championships  SPIRE Institute Geneva, Ohio

Results

 

2013 Outdoor Track and Field

MARCH

  March 29-30 Wildcat Classic Wayne State College Wayne, Neb. Men's results
Women's results

APRIL

  April 6 UNK Loper Invite UNK Kearney, Neb.  Results
  April 13 Concordia Outdoor Invite   Concordia University Seward, Neb. Results
  April 19-20 Doane Relays Doane College Crete, Neb. Results
  April 24 University of Nebraska Mini Meet UNL Lincoln, Neb. Results
  April 25 Nebraska Wesleyan Dual NWU Lincoln, Neb. Results
  April 25-27 Drake Relays Drake University Des Moines, Iowa Results

MAY

  May 3-4 GPAC Championships   Concordia University Seward, Neb.

Results

  May 10 Concordia Twilight Meet Concordia University Seward, Neb. Results
  May 23-25 NAIA  National Championships  Indiana Wesleyan Univ. Marion, Ind. Results
Team Standings

2013 - Men's Track and Field Roster

Name Event Year Hometown High School
Josh Allwardt Distance So. Frederick, Md. Urbana
Koby Archuletta Distance Fr. Paxton, Neb. Paxton Consolidated
Adam Aschenbrenner Throws So. Malcom, Neb. Malcolm
Jonathon Becker Hurdles Jr. Hartington, Neb. Hartington Cedar Catholic
Tyler Berryman Mid Distance Fr. Lafayette, Ind. McCutcheon
Beau Billings Distance Jr. Valentine, Neb. Valentine
Garrett Blomstedt Sprints/Jumps Fr. Sutherland, Neb. Sutherland
Charlie Bloomfield Mid Distance So. Blair, Neb. Blair
Cody Boellstorff Throws Fr. Waverly, Neb. Waverly
Brock Braniff Throws Fr. Tekamah, Neb. Tekamah-Herman
Marcus Brees Distance So. Lincoln, Neb. Lincoln Northeast
Trevor Bresson Hurdles Fr. Colorado Springs, Colo. Classical Academy
Daniel Brown Sprints Jr. Omaha, Neb. Roncalli Catholic
Travis Brown Jumps Fr. North Platte, Neb. North Platte
John Cartier Sprints Jr. Las Vegas, Nev. Faith Lutheran
Matthew Chapa Hurdles So. Buffal, Min. Mayer Lutheran
Cole Dickes Hurdles/Jumps Fr. Waco, Neb. York
Nathan Ernstmeyer Throws Sr. Elwood, Neb. Elwood
Trey Farmer Throws So. Seward, Neb. Seward
Carson Farr Pole Vault Jr. Cambridge, Neb. Cambridge
Daniel Gibson Distance Sr. Grand Island, Neb. Heartland Lutheran-
Garrett Golke Sprints Jr. Gowan, Mich. Greenville
Ben Harms Pole Vault Fr. Wilcox, Neb. Wilcox-Hildreth
Joel Heckmann Distance Sr. Sioux Falls, S.D. O'Gorman
Alex Heiden Sprints Jr. Lincoln, Neb. Lincoln Lutheran
Benjamin Hinckfoot Hurdles Jr. Colorado Springs, Colo. The Classical Academy
Thomas Hinrichs Hurdles Fr. Auburn, Neb. Auburn
Jared Hoffman Mid Distance Sr. Griswold, Iowa Griswold
Hayden Hohnholt Distance Jr. Gillette, Wyo. Saratoga
Jacob Kettner Sprints/Jumps Fr. Salem, Mo. Salem
Robert Klingsporn Sprints/Jumps Sr. Polk, Neb. High Plains
Jordan Larrington Throws Jr. Elm Creek, Neb. Elm Creek
Zachary Lurz Throws Fr. Torrington, Wyo. Torrington
Andrew Malan Distance Jr. Lincoln, Neb. Lincoln Lutheran
Nathan Mann Multi Events Jr. Auburn, Neb. Auburn
Ben Montgomery Mid Distance Fr. North Platte, Neb. Norht Platte
Daniel Moore Jumps So. Fuita, Colo. Central
Colin Morrissey Distance Sr. Omaha, Neb. Millard South
Tanner Moyer Throws Fr. Fremont, Neb. Arlington
Taylor Mueller Distance Fr. Cedar Rapids, Iowa Thomas Jefferson
Crayton Noe Pole Vault Fr. Seward, Neb. Seward
Blaze Novak Sprints So. Seward, Neb. Seward
Creighton Pearse Distance So. Kearney, Neb. Kearney Catholic
Bryan Pick Sprints Jr. Plattsmouth, Neb. Plattsmouth
Taiheem Pleasant Hurdles So. Lincoln, Neb. Lincoln Northeast
Jordan Potrzeba Distance Fr. Hastings, Neb. St. Cecilia
Adam Prahlow Distance Jr. Florrisant, Mo. Lutheran North
Brandon Ramos Multi Events Fr. Kihei, Hawaii St. Anthony
Jacob Reifenrath Sprints So. Hartington, Neb. Cedar Catholic
Luke Riley Distance So. Hickman, Neb. Lincoln Christian
Joel Ripke Throws Fr. Lafayette, Ind. Jefferson
Casey Roberts Distance So. Wamego, Kan. Wamego
Jose Rojas Throws So. Nogales, Ariz. Nogales
Garrett Schimonitz Sprints Fr. Elsie, Neb. Paxton
Benjamin Schulteis Throws So. Greenfield, Iowa Greenfield 
Ben Sievert Distance So. Frankenmuth, Mich. Frankenmuth
Joshua Slechta Throws Fr. Kennard, Neb. Creighton Prep
Noah Smith Sprints Jr. Largo, Fl. Indian Rocks Christian
Philip Stahly Throws Fr. Lafayette, Colo. Peak to Peak
Blake Vajgrt Multi Events So. Seward, Neb. Seward
Tim von Behren Mid Distance Jr. Falls City, Neb. Falls City
Jaap van Gaalen Mid Distance Fr. Kaiserslautern, Germany Ramstein
Matthias Wollberg Distance So. Kearney, Neb. Kearney 
Darnell Woods Hurdles  Jr.  Phoenix, Ariz.  Tolleson Union
Darvin Woods Throws Fr. Phoenix, Ariz. Tolleson Union
Spencer Zysset Distance Jr. Hastings, Neb. Hastings St. Cecilia

2013 - Women's Track and Field Roster

Name Event Year Hometown High School
Lindsay Anderson Pole Vault Sr. Columbus, Neb. Columbus
Stephanie Aurich Pole Vault Jr. Mayer, Minn. Mayer Lutheran
Tanel Baehr Mid Distance So. Mesa, Ariz. Mountain View
Bailey Baker Throws Fr. Seoul, South Korea Seoul Foreign School
Savanah Baker Sprints/Mid Dist. Fr. Broomfield, Colo. Broomfield
Kierstyn Besel Multi Event So. Broomfield, Colo. Denver Lutheran
Breanna Brockhaus Mid Distance Fr. Humphrey, Neb. St. Francis
Ashlee Brown Pole Vault Sr. North Platte, Neb. North Platte
Megan Burma Distance Fr. Platte, S.D. Sunshine Bible Academy
Kattie Cleveland Throws Fr. Petersburg, Neb. Boone Central
Stephanie Coley Throws Fr. Gering, Neb. Gering
Jamie Crouse Throws Jr. Belgrade, Neb. Fullerton
Michaela Curran Distance Fr. Wahoo, Neb. Wahoo
Rachel Cutler Sprints/Jumps Fr. Kalispell, Mont. Glacier
Amanda Dechant Multi Events Fr. Bayard, Neb. Bayard
Talitha Elbert Mid Distance Fr. Kaiserslautern, Germany Ramstein American
Ally Ellis Mid Distance Fr. Plain City, Utah Fremont
Brittany Erdmann Throws So. Chanhassen, Min. Mayer Lutheran
Kellie Fegter Pole Vault Sr. Holdrege, Neb. Holdrege
Ericka Fischer Hurdles So. Hartington, Neb. Cedar Catholic
Brittny Fox Sprints Fr. Raymond, Neb. Raymond Central
Rianne Gross Pole Vault So. Riverside, Calif. Riverside Poly
Haley Harpham Distance Fr. McCook, Neb. McCook
Montana Hayes Pole Vault So. Superior, Neb. Superior
Paige Hemmer Hurdles/Jumps Jr. Dell Rapids. S.D. Colman-Egan
Katie Herther Throws Jr. Sioux Falls, S.D. Lincoln
Shelby Hohnholt Distance So. Saratoga, Wyo. Saratoga
Melanie Jochimsen Sprints Fr. Cedar Rapids, Iowa Linn-Mar
Elizabeth King Throws Fr. Billings, Mont. Billings West
Jessica Klaustermeier Sprints Fr. Waconia, Minn. Mayer Lutheran
Myria Knapp Multi Events Jr. North Platte, Neb. Maxwell
Alexandria Kolpin Sprints/Hurdles Fr. Overland Park, Kan. Blue Valley Northwest
Sarah Kortze Distance Sr. Rockford, Ill. Rockford Lutheran
Fallon Kostbahn Pole Vault Fr. Grand Island, Neb. Grand Island
Winonah Krug Distance Jr. Monroe, Mich. Lutheran South-
Megan Letts Sprints/Jumps Jr. Lakewood, Colo. Green Mountain
Amy Mann Sprints/Pole Vault Fr. Auburn, Neb. Auburn
Cynthia Mick Hurdles/Pole Vault Fr. Carleton, Neb. Shickley
Kamala Moore Pole Vault Sr. Lincoln, Neb. Lincoln Southwest
Candace Norman-Kolling Sprints Fr. Crawford, Neb. Crawford
Lauren Pankow Distance Fr. Milwaukee, Wis. Milwaukee Lutheran
Jericca Pearson Sprints/Jumps So. Gibbon, Neb. Gibbon
Tracy Peitz Jumps So. Hartington, Neb. Cedar Catholic
Nicole Perry Throws Fr.
Menifee, Calif. Paloma
Lydia Pomerenke Multi Events Jr. Seward, Neb. Lincoln Lutheran
Katie Rich Multi Events Sr. Tilden, Neb. Elkhorn Valley-
Erika Schroeder Sprints So. Davenport, Neb. Bruning-Davenport
Elizabeth Schwab Throws Fr. Blue Hill, Neb. Blue Hill
Jena Schwalenberg Distance Sr. Columbus, Neb. Columbus
Katelyn Shoup Jumps Fr. Clarks, Neb. High Plains
Sara Simmons Multi Events So. Sumner, Neb. Sumner-Eddyville-Miller
Theresa Staley Mid Distance So. Lincoln, Neb. Lincoln Northeast-
Cassandra Starks Sprints/Pole Vault So. Haigler, Neb. Dundy County-Stratton
Shelby Stolze Sprints/Hurdles Fr. Norfolk, Neb. Lutheran Northeast
Jenny Suing Sprints So. Crofton, Neb. Crofton
Jenean Williams Mid Distance Jr. North Mankato, Min. Mankato West
Renee Williams Distance So. Lincoln, Neb. Lincoln Christian
Kim Wood Mid Distance Fr. Greeley, Neb. Greeley-Wolbach
Shelby Yelden Pole Vault Jr. Seward, Neb. Seward
Quriosity Young Sprints Fr. Lincoln, Neb. Lincoln Northstar

2013 - Track and Field Coaching Staff

Head coach: Kregg Einspahr

Assistant coach (sprints, hurdles, jumps): Mark Samuels

Assistant coach (throws): Ed McLaughlin

Assistant coach (pole vault): Jason Berry

Assistant coach (jumps): Nick Mann

Assistant coach (distance): Suzanne Weeder-Einspahr

Assistant coach (throws): Tasha Osten McLaughlin

Indoor track and field season preview

12 DEC 2012

At a glance:
● MEN
2011-12 Finishes: Second in GPAC; 38th at NAIA National Championships
Head Coach: Kregg Einspahr (21st year)
Key Returners: Johathon Becker, John Cartier, Nate Ernstmeyer, Carson Farr, Alex Heiden, Ben Hinckfoot, Jared Hoffman, Colin Morrissey, Adam Prahlow, Jose Rojas, Ben Sievert, Noah Smith
Key Losses: Adam Dannehl, David Eads, Derek Rodine
Key Newcomers: Cody Boellstorf, Cole Dickes, Thomas Hinrichs, Zachary Lurz
2011-12 GPAC All-Conference: Noah Smith (60 meter dash); Jonathon Becker (60 meter hurdles, 400 meter dash); John Cartier (200 & 400 meter dash); David Eads (600 & 800 meter run); Jared Hoffman (800 meter run); Matt Trampe (800 meter run, 1 mile run); Adam Prahlow (1000 meter run; 1 mile run); Hayden Hohnholt (1 mile run, 3000 meter run); Ben Sievert (5000 meter run); 4x400 meter relay (Jonathon Becker, Benjamin Hinckfoot, David Eads, John Cartier); 4x800 meter relay (Charlie Bloomfield, Matthew Chapa, Spencer Zysset, Andrew Malan); Nate Mann (high jump); Derek Rodine (shot put, weight throw); Dustin Johns (weight throw); Adam Dannehl (heptathlon); Marcus Ruhl (heptathlon)
2011-12 All-Americans (*denotes returnee): 4x400 meter relay (*Jonathon Becker, *Benjamin Hinckfoot, *Alex Heiden, *John Cartier); 4x800 meter relay (*Jared Hoffman, Matt Trampe, *Adam Prahlow, David Eads)

● WOMEN
2011-12 Finishes: Fifth in GPAC; 29th at NAIA National Championships
Head Coach: Kregg Einspahr (21st year)
Key Returners: Ashlee Brown, Jamie Crouse, Brittany Erdmann, Kellie Fegter, Sarah Kortze, Lydia Pomerenke, Jena Schwalenberg
Key Losses: Lauren Eickemeyer, Martha Meineke, Sara Retzlaff
Key Newcomers: Stephanie Coley, Amanda Dechant, Jessica Klaustermeier, Kim Wood, Quriosity Young
2011-12 GPAC All-Conference: Lydia Pomerenke (60 meter hurdles, pentathlon); Jena Schwalenberg (1000 meter run, 1 mile run); Martha Meineke (1 mile run, 3000 meter run); 4x400 meter relay (Erika Schroeder, Montana Hayes, Megan Letts, Christina Tomka); 4x800 meter relay (Jenean Williams, Erika Schroeder, Toni Hulinsky, Christina Tomka); Kellie Fegter (pole vault); Ashlee Brown (pole vault); Brittany Erdmann (shot put); Lauren Eickemeyer (shot put, weight throw); Jamie Crouse (shot put, weight throw); Sara Retzlaff (weight throw); Myria Knapp (pentathlon)
2011-12 All-Americans (*denotes returnee): *Jamie Crouse (weight throw); *Brittany Erdmann (shot put); Martha Meineke (one-mile run)

Outlook:
Concordia head track and field coach Kregg Einspahr enters his 21st season at the helm of the men’s and women’s programs fresh off a 2012 GPAC women’s outdoor championship. The Bulldogs hope to build off that momentum as they enter the 2012-13 indoor season.

Fourteen of the 25 Concordia individuals who qualified for last season’s NAIA Indoor Track & Field National Championships are back in the fold for the upcoming campaign. That list includes returning All-Americans Jamie Crouse (weight throw) and Brittany Erdmann (shot put) on the women’s side and the complete men’s 4x400 meter relay team and half of the men’s 4x800 meter relay quartet.

Individually, a seasoned and supremely talented men’s squad features junior John Cartier, whose name is littered all over Concordia record books amongst the school’s all-time great runners, and sophomore Jose Rojas, a thrower with big potential.

“I think our men’s team this year might be one of the best conference teams that we’ve ever had,” Einspahr said. “You never know until you get into the season just how things are going to shape up as far as what other teams have and don’t have, but I think our men’s team is extremely talented – probably the most balanced team we’ve ever had.”

The Bulldog men finished last season in second at the GPAC indoor meet with 19 individuals who earned all-conference in a total of 23 events. Cartier, a Las Vegas native, grabbed all-GPAC recognition in the 200 and 400 meters and as part of the loaded 4x400 meter relay team. Junior Jonathan Becker (60 meter hurdles, 400 meter dash, 4x400 meter relay), junior Adam Prahlow (1,000 meter run, one mile run) and junior Hayden Hohnholt (one mile run, 3,000 meter run) are other returners who garnered all-conference mention in multiple categories.

“Our men’s 4x400 relay is going to be a very good team this year,” Einspahr said. “I think that’s important. We’ve got 400 meter guys that are running well. That adds a lot to your squad because they can move down and do shorter sprints and some can move up and do longer sprints like the 600. I’ve always felt that if you have a strong 4x4, that adds a lot to your team.”

According to Einspahr, the team’s biggest areas of strength are in the long sprints and hurdles. He also added that he is excited about the squad’s group of throwers, which includes Rojas. Junior Ben Hinckfoot and Becker will team to give Concordia a great duo of hurdlers, while senior Colin Morrissey and sophomore Ben Sievert provide a pair of terrific distance runners. The two powered the Bulldog cross country squad to a GPAC championship this past fall.

The Concordia women, who bounced back from a fifth-place indoor finish at the conference meet to claim the GPAC outdoor title, appear to have particularly strong throwers with Crouse (two-time All-American) and Erdmann leading the way. Both were all-conference honorees in the shot put and the weight throw.

They are complemented by a solid unit of pole vaulters. Concordia brings back national qualifiers Ashlee Brown and Kellie Fegter (finished first and third, respectively, in the event at last year’s GPAC meet) to form an outstanding nucleus along with junior Cassandra Starks among others.

“On the women’s side, we’re a pretty balanced team,” Einspahr said. “We filled some areas where we were a little bit weaker last year – the sprints and the hurdles. I think that’s actually going to be a strength of ours this year. We’re very good in the pole vault and in the throws with Jamie Crouse and Brittany Erdmann leading that group.”

The Bulldog women also boast a stable of accomplished distance runners. Two-time cross country All-American in senior Sarah Kortze and senior Jena Schwalenberg, an all-conference performer in the 1,000 meter and one-mile runs last season, head a nice group of distance runners.

Of the 16 competitors who claimed GPAC all-conference honors on the women’s side last season, 12 return this season. That group includes junior Lydia Pomerenke, all-conference in the 60-meter hurdles and pentathlon, as well as five Bulldogs who qualified for nationals.

The depth of talent that permeates the 127 members of the Concordia track and field teams has led Einspahr to bestow some lofty preseason praise upon his squads.

“I would say that these are two of the best conference level track and field teams that we’ve ever had in terms of having the numbers of men and women that can fill just about all of the events,” Einspahr said. “We have scoring potential in just about all of them to do well at the conference meet. In our conference you have to have a balanced squad to be able to compete for the conference championship.”

The Bulldogs will need their quality depth if they want to rise to the top of the loaded GPAC.

“There are too many good athletes and too many teams that are pretty balanced in our conference,” Einspahr said. “It’s a great track conference. If not the best small college track conference in the country, then it’s got to be right up there. That’s exciting.”

However, stiff competition won’t change consistently high expectations for Bulldog track and field.

“Every year we like to think that we can challenge for the conference championship,” Einspahr said.

Concordia begins the season on Friday and Saturday when it hosts the Polardog Multi-Events in the Field House. The Bulldogs will compete against Hastings College on both days. Friday’s action begins at 5 p.m., while the first events get underway at 10 a.m. on Saturday. 

Bulldog distance medley teams shine on day one of Polar Dog Dual

14 DEC 2012

SEWARD, Neb. – The Bulldogs kicked off the 2012-13 indoor track and field season on Friday evening with day one of the team’s Polar Dog dual event against conference rival Hastings. Head coach Kregg Einspahr’s squads, which played host inside the Concordia University Fieldhouse, turned in several impressive marks, including great performances by both the Bulldog men’s and women’s distance medley relay teams that fell just short of NAIA automatic qualifying times.

“They’ve been training really well and I thought they all competed really well today,” assistant coach Mark Samuels said. “We had three or four of our girls have personal bests in the (multi events) and multiple personal bests throughout all of the events they were competing in, so it was a really good start to the first meet of our season.

“On the men’s side, Brandon Ramos had a great high jump today. He jumped 6’ 4”, which was really good for him, and that just kind of set the tone for a good first day. And then we had a couple of our distance medley relay teams come close to national qualifying marks.”

Concordia’s women’s distance medley quartet topped Hastings by more than a full minute as it clocked in at 12:45.76, roughly five seconds off the NAIA qualifying mark. The Bulldogs were represented in the event by freshmen Kim Wood and Jessica Klaustermeier, junior Megan Letts and senior Jena Schwalenberg, who finished the race strong by completing the final leg.

The men’s distance relay posted a time of 10:23.93 behind the efforts of sophomore Ben Sievert and junior Ben Hinckfoot, senior Jared Hoffman and junior Adam Prahlow. That time was only .43 seconds short of the NAIA qualifying time and almost 40 seconds faster than the time turned in by Hastings’ distance medley team.

Individually, sophomore Theresa Staley and junior Beau Billings both captured individual titles in the 5,000 meter run. Staley beat out teammate Haley Harpham, a freshman who finished second, with a time of 21:22.97. Meanwhile, Billings came in at 16:09.10 to top fellow Bulldog Joel Heckmann by about 14 seconds.

Freshman Katelyn Shoup debuted with a solid performance in the shot put. Her mark of 33’ 1 ¾” put her atop the leaderboard on Friday, ahead of Concordia’s Myria Knapp and her figure of 32’ 3”. Shoup also competed in the 60 meter hurdles, the high jump and the long jump as part of the women’s pentathlon.

Junior Lydia Pomerenke, a Seward native, tallied a total of 2,787 points in the pentathlon to finish 97 behind Hastings’ Audrey Gaspers at the head of the pack. Pomerenke was consistent across the board with top-three marks in the 60 meter hurdles (third), high jump (third), shot put (third) and long jump (third).

Ramos’ high jump, referenced by Samuels, placed him third on the night. The redshirt freshman also competed favorably in a trio of additional categories.

Day two of the dual meet will pick up Saturday with a full slate of competitions. Saturday’s action will begin with more multi events followed by field and running events.

“I’m looking to see how the team competes,” Samuels said. “Everybody’s a little tired right now. We’ve been training all fall to get ready for the season. Christmas break is always a nice time to get a little recovery, but we want to see where we’re at and where we need to improve. I really want to see where our male sprinters are at in the 200 and 400 area and then that 4x4 that will be trying to go for a national qualifying mark.”

Bulldogs earn seven automatic qualifying marks in season opening event

15 DEC 2012

By Taylor Mueller, Sports Information Assistant

SEWARD, Neb. – Concordia’s men’s and women’s track and field squads opened up the 2012-2013 season with the Polar Dog Dual against Hastings College. The two-day event hosted by Concordia’s Fieldhouse concluded Saturday with several standout performances by Bulldog competitors.

Numerous Bulldogs wasted little time in qualifying for the NAIA Indoor Track & Field National Championships with Concordia posting “A standard” marks in a total of seven events. The Bulldogs also broke a total of seven Polar Dog meet records (see full list below).

Junior and two-time All-American Jamie Crouse turned in perhaps the most impressive effort of the day with a weight throw that measured at 59’ 3 ½”. That figure bested second place teammate Stephanie Coley by nearly five feet and set new meet and personal records while coming up less than one-tenth of an inch short of the Fieldhouse record.

“Jamie had a great day,” assistant coach Ed McLaughlin said. “She’s been injured for about six weeks. This was her first week throwing. Her mark was a personal best by three feet and she won conference last year by three feet, so that just puts her right up there challenging for top All-America honors already. If she can stay healthy, the sky’s the limit right now.”

Performing well and earning a bid to Geneva, Ohio, was the men’s 4x800 meter relay with a time of 7:54.73. Making up the team was senior Jared Hoffman, sophomore Charlie Bloomfield, junior Adam Prahlow and sophomore Ben Sievert. In the 400 meter dash, junior John Cartier stole the show with a time of 49.15, also setting a meet record.

“Today it was a culmination of efforts not only from me, but from my coaches, teammates and just training hard as a whole,” Cartier said. “I think it was good just to see where we were at. And just showing that the hard work we’ve been putting in is really going to pay off this year. Seeing where I was a freshman, I’ve definitely improved a lot not only physically, but emotionally and spiritually.”

Several other throwers also performed well. Coley, a freshman, participated in the weight throw and got a mark of 54’ 6” on the way to shattering the school freshman record by over six feet. Sophomore Brittany Erdman threw the shot put 42’ 9 ½”.

McLaughlin also commented on the great day that senior Nate Ernstmeyer had, who beat his personal best by two feet in the weight throw, measuring in at 55’ 1 ½”.

“He won the competition, which is great for him,” McLaughlin said. “He probably threw six feet farther today than he did at the same time last year. Potentially he could start getting up there. He’s about two feet off the national qualifying mark, but he does have a reporting mark.”

“I did pretty well,” Ernstmeyer said. “I handled it better than I thought I would. I’ve been practicing and working hard all semester. The team has been working hard.”

Ernstmeyer commented on what has gone into the success that he has experienced.

“Time put in the weight room and double time put in the weight room,” Ernstmeyer said. “Time put in the ring. It takes everything.”

In the 3,000 meter run, senior Collin Morrissey set a new meet record with a time of 8:40.22. In the ring, sophomore Jose Rojas threw the shot put 52’ 3 ¼”. Each of these athletes qualified for the national indoor track and field meet.

Numerous Polar Dog records fell as well. In the 60m hurdles, junior Jonathon Becker won with a time of 8.27 in the preliminaries prior to an 8.28 in the final. Cartier claimed the 200 meter dash with a time of 22.37, junior Carson Farr won the pole vault with a clearance of 14’ 11” and freshman Jessica Klaustermier crossed the finish line first in the 400 meter dash with a time 1:00.26.

Senior Ashlee Brown, a returning national qualifier, won the pole vault and cleared a height of 11’ 3”.

“It was a good meet, Brown said. “ It was a little disappointing that we came off the national qualifying mark by two inches. But it felt good to come out and vault. We got on some good poles, so that was exciting. We have a ton of potential on the team this year as far as girls’ vaults and guys’ vaults too. There’s a bunch of us that have a really good chance of qualifying. Overall for the team, I think we had a really good first meet.”

The Bulldogs will next compete in the Prairie Wolf Invite in Lincoln, Neb., on Jan. 18.

 

NAIA Automatic Qualifying Marks

  • Men’s 4x800 meter relay (7:54.73)
  • John Cartier – 400 meter dash (49.15)
  • Stephanie Coley – weight throw (54’ 6”)
  • Jamie Crouse – weight throw (59’ 3 ½”)
  • Brittany Erdmann – shot put (42’ 9 ½”)
  • Colin Morrissey – 3,000 meter run (8:40.22)
  • Jose Rojas – shot put (52’ 3 ¼”)

Polar Dog Meet Records Broken

  • Jonathan Becker – 60 meter hurdles (8.27)
  • John Cartier – 400 meter dash (49.15); 200 meter dash (22.37)
  • Jamie Crouse – weight throw (59’ 3 ½”)
  • Carson Farr – pole vault (14’ 11”)
  • Jessica Klaustermeier – 400 meter dash (1:00.26)
  • Colin Morrissey – 3,000 meter run (8:40.22)

Men's 4x400 paces Bulldgos at NWU invite

18 JAN 2013

By Taylor Mueller, Sports Information Assistant

LINCOLN, Neb. – The Concordia men’s and women’s track teams competed in the Prairie Wolf Indoor Invitational on Friday, an event so large, it needed two separate locations to hold it.

Representing the Bulldogs at Nebraska Wesleyan were the throwers, pole vaulters and jumpers. 

Throwing well for Concordia was junior Jamie Crouse, who placed fifth in the weight throw with a throw of 51’7 ¼”.

In the shot put, sophomore Brittany Erdmann claimed second place with a throw of 43’ 8”.

Senior Ashlee Brown had another impressive performance in the pole vaulting competition and cleared 11’ 1 ¾” to take sixth place.

On the men’s side, sophomore Trey Farmer took sixth place in the shot put competition with a throw of 50’ 2 ½”. Not far behind was sophomore Jose Rojas with a throw of 48’ 2 ½”, good enough for eighth place.

Junior Carson Farr finished in sixth place in the pole vault, clearing 14’ 11”.

All running events were held in the Devaney Sports Complex, the last time that the meet will be held there before renovations to the new University of Nebraska sports complex are finished.

The banked track combined with hundreds of spectators made for an exciting atmosphere.

In the men’s 5,000 meter race, sophomore Ben Sievert claimed fourth place with a time of 15:12.

Junior Jonathon Becker took third place in the 60 meter hurdles with a time of 8.25.

Senior Colin Morrissey won a narrow mile victory as he raced to a time of 4:18. Close behind in fifth place was junior Adam Prahlow in 4:22.

Junior Ben Hinckfoot placed second in the 600 meter run with a time of 1:23.

In the 800 meter run, senior Jared Hoffman cruised to a third place finish with a time of 1:56 as junior John Cartier raced to third place in the 200 meter dash with a time of 22.23. In the 3000 meter race, Morrissey took second place with a time of 8:39, while junior Noah Smith placed fifth in the 60 meter dash.

The 4x400 meter squad of sophomore Taiheem Pleasant, Becker, Hinckfoot, and Cartier cleaned up nicely with a first place finish in a time of 3:22.

On the women’s side, senior Jena Schwalenberg had a good night as she placed second in the mile with a time of 5:12. A few hours later, she was back at again, taking third place in the 3000 meter run with a time of 10:43.

In the 800 meter run, junior Megan Letts finished in third place with a time of 2:23. Sophomore Erika Schroeder took fifth place with a time of 2:26.

The Bulldogs are back in action on Sun, Jan. 27, when Concordia hosts the Concordia Classic inside the Fieldhouse.

Morrissey tabbed GPAC Track Athlete of the Week

23 JAN 2013

GPAC Release

Concordia senior Colin Morrissey has been named the Hauff Mid-America Sports GPAC Men’s Indoor Track Athlete of the Week, the conference announced Wednesday. The Omaha native has fought through injuries during the fall to earn GPAC Cross Country Runner of the Year.

“Colin had two very good races (at Nebraska Wesleyan). He’s off to a very strong start to the indoor season,” head coach Kregg Einspahr said. “He’s healthy, he’s running well. His training is going extremely well. I think he can run a very good 5,000 meter race this weekend.”

Morrissey receives the weekly honor from the GPAC thanks to NAIA automatic national qualifying marks in both of the races he competed in at the Prairie Wolf Invite hosted by Nebraska Wesleyan on Jan. 18. He beat out a field of 20 runners in the one mile run to claim first place with a time of 4:18.64. He also finished second in the 3,000 meter run by clocking in at 8:39.06. It was the second time already this season that Morrissey has bested the NAIA automatic qualifying time in the 3,000 meter event.

Morrissey has established himself as an accomplished long distance performer throughout his time at Concordia. He is a three-time All-GPAC cross country honoree and a three-time cross country national championships qualifier. Following the 2011 GPAC indoor track and field championships, Morrissey was named the Male Athlete of the Meet and subsequently the GPAC Indoor Track Athlete of the Year.

The Bulldogs host the Concordia Classic on Sunday. The action gets started at 1:15 p.m. with field events. Running events get underway at 2:30 p.m.

Concordia Classic features national qualifying time by Morrissey

27 JAN 2013

By Taylor Mueller, Sports Information Assistant

SEWARD, Neb. – The men’s and women’s track and field teams competed in the annual Concordia Classic in a packed Walz Fieldhouse as hundreds of athletes roamed the track. The Bulldogs had yet another impressive showing as they squared off against numerous conference rivals and NCAA Division II programs such as Nebraska-Kearney.

Junior Noah Smith got things started when he placed fourth in the 60 meter dash with a time of 7.15 seconds.

The Bulldogs swept the 400 meter dash as sophomore Taiheem Pleasant ran away with first place with a time of 50.75 seconds while junior Alex Heiden took second with a time of 50.92 seconds.

Junior Ben Hinckfoot took second in the 600 meter run with a time of 1:24 while freshman Jacob Kettner raced to fourth with a time of 1:25.

Junior Andrew Malan finished in second place in the 800 meter run with a time of 1:57.

Sophomore Charlie Bloomfield claimed first place with a time of 2:35 in the 1000 meter run while fellow sophomore Ben Sievert took second in the mile with a time of 4:21.

Junior Jonathon Becker took fourth place in the 60m hurdles with a time of 8.39.

The Bulldog 4x400 meter relay team of Becker, freshman Jaap Van Gaalen, Hinckfoot, and Heiden, took third in a time of 3:28.

The distance medley relay squad of junior Adam Prahlow, senior Jarrod Hoffman, Malan and Sievert ran away with first place and a time of 10:26.

Junior Carson Farr represented the Bulldogs in the pole vault, and placed third with a clearance of 15' 5 1/2" - a personal best.

Throwing the shot put 50' 6 3/4" and taking fourth was sophomore Jose Rojas.

Senior Colin Morrisey, who has qualified for nationals in the mile, the 3000 meter run and the 5000 meter run, had another good day when he took first in the 5000 with a time of 15:01.

“I was kind shooting for a really fast time today,” Morissey said. “Coach Thought I could run a fast time, I’ve been practicing really well. I fell off pace, but when you fall of pace, you don’t want to make up for lost time because then you start going up and down because then your time might be overall worse. It was a good race. It felt pretty good.”

Morissey talked about his winter break strategy, and how it has helped him.

“I decided to take this winter break pretty strong,” Morissey said. “I just really wanted to commit to getting a better base together so that I could carry myself through the season.”  

On the women’s side, Jessica Klaustermeier took second in the 400 meter dash with a time of 1:01.

Kim Wood was the champion of the 600 meter run as she raced to a time of 1:38.

In the women’s 800 meter run, taking second was junior Jenean Williams with a time of 2:26.07. Right behind her was junior Megan Letts, who claimed third with a time of 2:26.55. Erika Schroeder took fourth with a time of 2:26.77.

Sophomore Renee Williams took fourth in the 1000 meter run with a time of 3:15.

The women’s 4x400 meter team, of freshmen Klaustermeier, Quriosity Young, Shelby Stolze, and Brittny Fox claimed third with a time of 4:10.

Jumping to second place in the pole vault was senior Ashlee Brown who cleared 10' 11". Freshman Katelyn Shoup took fourth in the triple jump, with a leap of 35' 8 1/2".

Taking care of business in the ring was sophomore Brittany Erdmann, who threw the shot put 44’ 6” for third place.

Throwing the weight a total of 58” 1 ¾” was junior Jamie Crouse.

“It’s not my best throw, but it’s still where I want to be,” said Crouse, whose final season goal is to be an All-American and finish in the top two at the national meet. “I’ve had a hard week of practice but I got some confidence back. I’ve got to work for more technique for conference.”

Morissey added that he is excited for what the season will bring, and is looking forward to the final stretch.

“I think we’re going to have a good season,” Morissey said. “We’re all shaping up pretty good, and we really want it to be our year this year to win that conference championship. It’s going to take a good effort from everyone.”

Bulldog track and field scatters across Nebraska

01 FEB 2013

Select members of head coach Kregg Einspahr’s Concordia track and field began competition at two-day meets at the Husker Invite hosted by the University of Nebraska and at the Charlie Foster Classic hosted by the University of Nebraska-Kearney on Friday.

Several Bulldogs who had achieved high early-season marks were invited to compete in Lincoln against a loaded field that included a bevy of NCAA Division I competitors. Meanwhile, Concordia multi-event athletes got started in Kearney on Friday.

Both juniors Jamie Crouse and Jonathan Becker competed favorably against tough competition. Crouse tossed the weight throw 57’ 5 ¾” to take 11th place, landing higher than 15 NCAA Division I throwers. Becker finished 19th in the 60 meter hurdle preliminaries with a time of 8.34 and 27th in the 400 meter dash preliminaries on the track at the Devaney Center.

Other athletes representing Concordia in Lincoln included Carson Farr and Noah Smith. Farr placed 20th in the pole vault with a mark of 14’ 8 ¼” while Smith ended up 40th in the 60 meter dash preliminaries by clocking in at 7.09.

A total of seven additional Bulldog athletes will be in action on Saturday. The list includes Jared Hoffman (800 meter run), Colin Morrissey (3,000 meter run), Adam Prahlow (one mile run), Erika Schroeder (one mile run), Jena Schwalenberg (one mile run), Ben Sievert (3,000 meter run) and Kim Wood (600 meter run). View the complete Husker Invite schedule HERE. Live results will be available HERE.

In Kearney, sophomore Montana Hayes had a good day with a third place finish in the shot put and a sixth place claim in the 60 meter hurdles as part of the women’s pentathlon. In the men’s pentathlon, freshman Brandon Ramos took third in both the long jump and the high jump.

Plenty more Bulldogs will be aiming for high marks in their respective crafts on Saturday at the Charlie Foster Classic. 

Several Bulldogs shine in weekend meets at UNL, UNK

02 FEB 2013

By Taylor Mueller, Sports Information Assistant

The Concordia men’s and women’s track and field teams wrapped up their second and final day of competitions as numerous members split destinations to compete in meets in Kearney and Lincoln, Neb.

Only a handful of Concordia athletes were sent to Lincoln, a meet that included runners such as Olympian Jeremy Wariner. As one of the smallest schools at the meet, the Bulldogs squared off against NCAA Division I athletes.

Standing out was freshman Kim Wood, who raced to an eighth place finish with a time of 1:35 in the 600 meter run.

"She improved her time by about three seconds, which really bodes well for her future,” head coach Kregg Einspahr said. “She ran an excellent, smart race. She put herself in great position for the conference and national meets."

Also in action was senior Colin Morrissey, who competed in the Invitational 3,000 meter race. Although he led the race for 12 laps, Morrissey held on to finish in eighth place, as he coasted to a time of 8:29.

“He had a very good race,” Einspahr said. “He ran a good, smart pace. As his fitness level continues to come along, he's going to keep getting better. His time will be one of the faster ones in the NAIA.”

Meanwhile, on the other side of the state, the majority of the track team was competing in the Charlie Foster Classic.

Junior Jamie Crouse crushed the competition with a weight throw of 56’3”, to take first in the event. Assistant coach Ed McClaughlin was not surprised, and has come to expect such performances from Crouse. Concordia nearly cleaned house in the event, as sophomore Brittany Erdmann, Freshmen Stephanie Coley and Nicole Perry all placed in the top nine.

Erdmann’s throw of 51’1” was a personal best, while Coley’s toss of 45’4¼” was enough to earn her an automatic qualifying mark in the shot put.

Freshman Cynthia Mick had a good day in the pole vault competition, as her clearance of 11’3” helped her to a fifth place and qualified her for the “B” standard in NAIA competition.

On the track, freshman Thomas Hinrichs topped the competition in the 400 meter dash and took first place with a time of 53.45. Not far behind was junior Garrett Golke, who placed second in 53.51.

In the sand pit, freshman Garrett Blomstedt leapt to a fourth place finish with a jump of 21’11 ¾.

The Bulldogs will be back in action when they will host the Concordia Invitational Meet on Feb. 8.

Bulldogs complete regular season at Concordia Indoor Invite

09 FEB 2013

By Taylor Mueller, Sports Information Assistant

SEWARD, Neb. - The Walz Fieldhouse was packed with athletes and energy throughout the day on Friday as the Concordia men’s and women’s track and field squads completed a long day of competition in the nine hour Concordia Indoor Invitational.

Numerous Bulldogs had impressive performances as they used the last regular season meet to improve their times and attempt to qualify for the conference meet.

In the women’s 1000 meter run, freshman Kim Wood continued to impress with her third place finish and time of 3:03 behind senior Jena Schwalenberg, who placed second in 3:02.

“I wasn’t (sure) what to expect as far as time, but I just hoped to stay with Jena Schwalenberg because she’s a senior and I figured she’d know what’s going on,” Wood said. “I just tried to stick with her throughout the race and it seemed to work pretty good.”

“Kim Wood and Jena Schwalenberg had an outstanding race in the 1,000,” head coach Kregg Einspahr said. “Those are both very good times for them. They competed extremely well.”

With her recent success, Wood is sure to be placed in numerous events come the conference meet. As for what she will run, she is not sure, but she admitted that the 1000, 600, 4x800 and possible the 4x400 meter races were not out of the picture.

“I came from a really small school so it was pretty normal to be in four events just to fill up as many spots as we could to get points,” Wood said. “I was used to it in high school but this is a bit different competition, but I’m still looking forward to it, it will be a good challenge.”

Although he didn’t clear his personal record that he set a week ago, Junior Carson Farr had another solid day in the pole vault, clearing 15’1 to take fifth place overall.

“It could have gone a lot worse,” Farr said. “I feel a little selfish sometimes being pouty, but I should have had it. There were a couple good attempts at it.”

Farr talked about what he hopes to accomplish next week and what he can do to give himself a better chance at being successful.

“15’7” is definitely my goal for next week for conference,” Far said. “16’1” is actually my goal for the season so overall, that’s kind of what I’m shooting for. I’ve got to swing a lot better. I don’t swing very aggressively off the ground and I break it too early as well as not dropping my shoulders back.”

Wood and Farr were not the only athletes who had impressive performances, however.

Sophomore Ben Sievert just missed the national qualifying mark in the mile run by a few tenths of a second with his time of 4:21.

Junior Megan Letts was edged out by two other competitors at the finish line and placed third in the women’s 800 meter run with a time of 2:23.

Senior Jared Hoffman edged out teammate Andrew Malan in a tight race to take second and third in the men’s 800 meter run as they raced to times of 1:58.32 and 1:58.97.

In the men’s 1000 meter race, junior Adam Prahlow used a tremendous kick to come from behind to gut out a 2:31, second place finish.

“Adam Prahlow had a very good 1,000 meter race,” Einspahr said. “He got on track for the year. He’s been battling some health problems and recently had a bout with the flu, so that was a good race for him.”

Junior Ben Hinckfoot toed the finish line just ahead of teammate Jonathon Becker, to take second in the 60 meter hurdles with a time of 8.39. Becker crossed the line in 8.46 to take third.

The men’s 4x400 meter relay team of Becker, freshman Jaap Van Gaalen, sophomore Taiheem Pleasant and junior Alex Heiden chased down the competition to claim second place with a time of 3:22.

“It was a great meet – a big meet,” Einspahr said. “There was some great competition.  A lot of the coaches left saying some very nice things about both our facility and the way the meet was run. I think that speaks well for Concordia. It was a good day – a long day, but a good day.”

Pomerenke, multi-event athletes open day one of GPAC Championships

15 FEB 2013

GPAC Release

CRETE, Neb. – The GPAC Indoor Track and Field Championships opened on Friday with the multi events taking place at Doane College. On the women’s side, Concordia’s Lydia Pomerenke, Montana Hayes and Kierstyn Besel all set new personal bests for total points in the pentathlon.

Pomerenke, a junior from Seward, placed sixth in the long jump (16’ 5 ¾”) and seventh in both the 800 meter run (2:37.35) and the shot put (30’ 9 ¼”) on the way to scoring a new personal record of 2,939 points. That placed her seventh overall in the conference and first among the three Bulldog participants.

Hayes (10th) and Besel (12th) came in with 2,803 and 2,608 points, respectively. Hayes posted her highest placement in the shot put as she notched a mark of 30’ 11 ¾” to finish sixth in that event. Meanwhile, Besel finished fourth in the 800 meter run by clocking in at 2:36.45.

On the men’s side, freshman Brandon Ramos represented Concordia by concluding day one in seventh place with four of the seven events in the heptathlon completed. The other three will take place on Saturday morning at 9 a.m. Ramos tallied 2,496 points aided by a long jump of 20’ 10” that allowed him to claim sixth place in the event.

The meat of the GPAC Championships will play out on Saturday. The men’s heptathlon will finish up before giving way to a flurry of field and running events in the afternoon at the University of Nebraska’s Devaney Center. The complete schedule can be viewed HERE. Live results for Saturday will be available HERE.

Here are some thoughts from head coach Kregg Einspahr that he provided prior to the start of the conference championships:

  • On the men’s meet: “The GPAC men scores out to be an extremely close race between Doane, Morningside and Concordia. We’ve had some injuries recently and some sickness. It’s really taken it out of some of our guys. So we’ll have to get healthy and hopefully really come out and have a very good meet and battle for the conference championship.”
  • On the women’s meet: “On the women’s side, the clear favorite is Doane. We’re trying to get ourselves in the top tier of the conference. That’s not going to be easy to do this year. We’re a little bit of a young team. We have some people competing well. We’re particularly strong in the pole vault and the shot put. We’ll see how it all shakes out at the conference meet.”

Bulldog men claim third, women fourth at GPAC Championships

17 FEB 2013

By Taylor Muller, Sports Information Assistant

LINCOLN, Neb. – The Concordia men’s and women’s track and field teams fell short in their respective quests to become conference champions, as they wrapped up the indoor season with the GPAC conference meet at the Devaney Sports Center. The men’s squad finished in third place, while the women’s team claimed fourth.

Although the Bulldogs did not claim any team championships, numerous athletes had standout performances, a few even winning conference titles.

Senior Jena Schwalenberg had a busy, but successful day as she won the 3,000 meter race in a time of 10:28 and placed third in the mile with a time of 5:09. Both times qualified Schwalenberg for the NAIA championship meet.

Junior John Cartier coasted to a 400 meter crown in 49.36, while senior Colin Morrissey took first in the 3,000, finishing in 8:39. 

In the women’s weight throw, junior Jamie Crouse once again handled the competition easily with a throw of 59’2” to win the event while junior Carson Farr cleared 15’5” in the pole vault to take first place. Both Crouse and Farr qualified for the NAIA championships in Geneva, OH.

"We had some tremendous competitive efforts with John Cartier winning the 400 meters and Carson Farr winning the pole vault,” head coach Kregg Einspahr said. “Colin Morrissey finished in second in the 5,000 meters in what was really a great race. After running what he might have thought was a subpar mile, he came back with an excellent race in the 3,000 meters. That's a very difficult three events to race in one meet. He scored 22 points and had a great day. He just missed the Most Valuable Athlete of the Meet."  

The men’s 4x400 meter relay team of sophomore Taiheem Pleasant, junior Ben Hinckfoot, junior Jonathon Becker and Cartier won a thrilling race in 3:18, which will send them to the NAIA championship meet.

Einspahr was pleased with the way the 4x400 meter relay team competed.

"The men's 4x400 had a very good race - extremely exciting. Cartier anchored us to a win in what was a great finish. It's always uplifts your spirits when you can win that last race in the meet."

After leading the 5,000 meter race with just 50 meters to go, Morrissey took second, finishing just .38 seconds behind the winner, with a time of 15:28. Sophomore Ben Sievert placed third in 15:36.

The women’s 4x800 meter relay team of freshman Kim Wood, junior Jenean Williams, sophomore Erika Schroeder and junior Megan Letts qualified for the NAIA national meet with their second place finishing time of 9:30.

Becker placed second in the 60 meter hurdles with a time of 8.29, while senior Jared Hoffman took second in the men’s 800 meter run with a time of 1.55.

Wood took second in the women’s 600 meter run with a time of 1:35, as she was just edged out by the winner at the finish line.

Freshman Cynthia Mick had an impressive performance in the women’s pole vault as she cleared 11’7” to take third place. Mick’s jump earned her a trip to Ohio.

Several throwers had solid performances as well.

Sophomore Brittany Erdmann took third in the shot put with a throw of 45’4” ¼, which qualified her for the national championships. Freshman Stephanie Coley also qualified for nationals with a throw of 45’ ¼” , as did Crouse who threw the shot put 42’10 ¼”.

On the men’s side, sophomore Jose Rojas also qualified for a trip to Geneva with his throw of 52’ in the shot put, with which he claimed fourth place.

Although they just narrowly missed qualifying for the national meet, the women’s 4x400 meter relay team of Wood, freshmen Jessica Klaustermeier, Quriosity Young, and Shelby Stolze placed fourth with a time of 4:04, improving their relay time by five seconds.

"On the women's side, our competitors in the 4x400 put together a great race. We improved by about five seconds and were just off the national qualifying time,” Einspahr said. “All four are freshman so that certainly bodes well for the future. A lot of our young athletes got to find out what the intensity of the GPAC Championships is like."

Einspahr added his final comments on the conference championship meet, and added a little of what he is looking forward to.

"Overall I'm pleased with our individual performances,” Einspahr said. “I'm happy with finishing third on the men's side and fourth on the women's side, but our expectations are to finish higher. We'll gear up for the outdoor season and hope to improve our finish."

The NAIA championship track and field meet will be Feb. 28 – March 2 in Geneva, Ohio.

NOTE: The top eight placeholders in each event are recognized as GPAC all-conference.

GPAC announces indoor track and field honors

20 FEB 2013

GPAC Release | 2013 GPAC Indoor Track and Field Championships results

The Great Plains Athletic Conference wrapped up the 2013 GPAC indoor track and field honors by announcing award winners for Coach of the Year and Performances of the Meet on Wednesday. All-conference honors were bestowed upon individuals who placed in the top eight of his/her respective events at the GPAC Championships on Feb. 15-16. For relays, the top three earned all-conference honors.

In total, Concordia had 40 all-conference performances – 22 for the men and 18 for the women. The Bulldogs also notched first-place finishes in six events.

On the men’s side senior Colin Morrissey, junior Jonathon Becker and sophomore Ben Sievert each posted three individual all-conference performances, while Becker and Hinckfoot both took part in Concordia’s first-place 4x400 meter relay team.

On the women’s side, four Bulldogs produced all-conference marks in two individual events: sophomore Brittany Erdmann, senior Jena Schwalenberg, junior Jenean Williams and freshman Kim Wood. Wood and Williams also combined on a second-place finish in the 4x800 meter relay.

The following individuals received all-conference recognition for Concordia:

MEN (22):

  • 4x400 meter relay – first – (Pleasant, Hinckfoot, Becker, Cartier)
  • Jonathon Becker (second in 60 meter hurdles; seventh in 200 meter dash; eighth in 400 meter dash)
  • Garrett Blomstedt (seventh in long jump)
  • Cody Boellstorff (eighth in weight throw)
  • John Cartier (first in 400 meter dash; eighth in 200 meter dash)
  • Carson Farr (first in pole vault)
  • Benjamin Hinckfoot (fifth in 60 meter hurdles; fifth in 600 meter run)
  • Jared Hoffman (second in 800 meter run)
  • Colin Morrissey (first in 3,000 meter run; second in 5,000 meter run; fifth in one mile run)
  • Taiheem Pleasant (sixth in 400 meter dash)
  • Adam Prahlow (eighth in one mile run)
  • Jose Rojas (fourth in shot put)
  • Ben Sievert (third in 5,000 meter run; sixth in one mile run; sixth in 3,000 meter run)
  • Noah Smith (eighth in 60 meter dash)

WOMEN (18):

  • 4x800 meter relay – second – (Wood, J. Williams, Schroeder, Letts)
  • Ashlee Brown (sixth in pole vault)
  • Stephanie Coley (fourth in shot put)
  • Jamie Crouse (first in weight throw)
  • Brittany Erdmann (third in shot put; seventh in weight throw)
  • Jessica Klaustermeier (seventh in 400 meter dash)
  • Megan Letts (eighth in 800 meter run)
  • Cynthia Mick (third in pole vault)
  • Lydia Pomerenke (seventh in pentathlon)
  • Jena Schwalenberg (first in 3,000 meter run; third in one mile run)
  • Jenean Williams (sixth in 800 meter run; seventh in 600 meter run)
  • Renee Williams (seventh in one mile run)
  • Kim Wood (second in 600 meter run; seventh in 1,000 meter run)
  • Shelby Yelden (fourth in pole vault)

26 Bulldogs officially anoounced as national qualifiers

22 FEB 2013

NAIA Release

Twenty-six Concordia track and field athletes, including 15 men and 11 women, have officially been named qualifiers for the 2013 NAIA Indoor Track and Field National Championships (view list at bottom). The NAIA announced the complete field on Friday for the event, which is set to take place Feb. 28 – March 2 in Geneva, Ohio.

The Bulldogs’ list of qualifiers is headed by four GPAC champions on the men’s side and two on the women’s side. Senior Colin Morrissey, who qualified for nationals in three events, will focus on the 3,000 meters and could also aid the distance medley relay team in Geneva. Meanwhile, junior two-time All-American Jamie Crouse looks to add to her already stellar resume in the weight throw. Her season best toss of 59’ 3 ½” in the weight throw ranks third in the NAIA.

“I think we’ve got several competitors who can place in All-American territory,” head coach Kregg Einspahr said. “On the men’s side, I think Carson Farr in the pole vault and Colin Morrissey in the 3,000 meters both have an excellent chance to place in the top eight.

“On the women’s side, our strongest entrant would be Jamie Crouse in the weight throw. She sits very well on paper. She’s been throwing consistently well all season.”

Einspahr also expects strong performances from the likes of senior Jena Schwalenberg in the one mile, freshman Kim Wood in the 600 meters and from both men’s and women’s relay teams, the men’s 4x400 meter relay team in particular. The Bulldog 4x400 quartet of Taiheem Pleasant, Benjamin Hinckfoot, Jonathon Becker and Cartier took first place at the GPAC Championships.

The Bulldog women are notably loaded in the pole vault and throws competitions. Led by freshman Cynthia Mick, who has the 10th best pole vault mark in the NAIA this season, Concordia will travel three women’s vaulters to the national championships. Crouse is backed in the throws by freshman Stephanie Coley and sophomore Brittany Erdman, both of whom will have a shot to reach All-America status.

Of the 26 Concordia participants, just five are seniors, 10 are juniors, eight are sophomores and three are freshmen. Twelve of this year’s Bulldog entrants also competed in the 2012 NAIA Indoor Track and Field National Championships where Crouse and both men’s 4x400 and 4x800 meter relay teams captured All-America honors, among returning performers.

“We’ll see what happens. We’ll hopefully have some people step up,” Einspahr said. “There are many that are certainly capable. You just never know what to expect when you get to the national championships.”

For the first time ever, the entire national championships will be video-streamed live and free by the NAIA.

2013 Concordia Indoor Track and Field National Qualifiers

*Current national rankings in parentheses

MEN

  • Jonathon Becker, junior
    -60 meter hurdles (14th, 8.25)
    -4x400 meter relay (7th, 3:20.53
  • Charlie Bloomfield, sophomore
    -4x800 meter relay (5th, 7:54.53)
    -Distance medley relay (18th, 10:23.93)
  • John Cartier, junior
    -400 meter dash (5th, 49.15)
    -4x400 meter relay (7th, 3:20.53)
  • Nathan Ernstmeyer, senior
    -Weight throw (20th, 55’ 1 ½”)
  • Trey Farmer, sophomore
    -Shot put (17th, 50’ 11”)
  • Carson Farr, junior
    -Pole vault (14th, 15’ 5 ½”)
  • Alex Heiden, junior
    -4x400 meter relay (7th, 3:20.53)
    -Distance medley relay (18th, 10:23.93)
  • Benjamin Hinckfoot, junior
    -4x400 meter relay (7th, 3:20.53)
    -4x800 meter relay (5th, 7:54.73)
  • Jared Hoffman, senior
    -4x800 meter relay (5th, 7:54.73)
    -Distance medley relay (18th, 10:23.93)
  • Andrew Malan, junior
    -4x400 meter relay (7th, 3:20.53)
    -4x800 meter relay (5th, 7:54.73)
    -Distance medley relay (18th, 10:23.93)
  • Colin Morrissey, senior
    -3,000 meter run (7th, 8:31.84)
    -Distance medley relay (18th, 10:23.93)
  • Taiheem Pleasant, sophomore
    -4x400 meter relay (7th, 3:20.53)
  • Adam Prahlow, junior
    -4x800 meter relay (5th, 7:54.73)
  • Jose Rojas, sophomore
    -Shot put (14th, 52’ 3 ¼”)
  • Benjamin Sievert, sophomore
    -4x800 meter relay (5th, 7:54.73)
    -Distance medley relay (18th, 10:23.93)

WOMEN

  • Ashlee Brown, senior
    -Pole vault (17th, 11’ 3”)
  • Stephanie Coley, freshman
    -Shot put (9th, 45’ 5 ¾”)
    -Weight throw (11th, 54’ 6”)
  • Jamie Crouse, junior
    -Shot put (18th, 42’ 10 ¼”)
    -Weight throw (3rd, 59’ 3 ½”)
  • Brittany Erdmann, sophomore
    -Shot put (10th, 45’ 4 ½”)
  • Megan Letts, junior
    -4x800 meter relay (3rd, 9:32.21)
  • Cynthia Mick, freshman
    -Pole vault (10th, 11’ 7”)
  • Erika Schroeder, sophomore
    -4x800 meter relay (3rd, 9:32.21)
  • Jena Schwalenberg, senior
    -1 mile run (9th, 5:09.62)
    -4x800 meter relay (3rd, 9:32.21)
  • Jenean Williams, junior
    -4x800 meter relay (3rd, 9:32.21)
  • Kim Wood, freshman
    -600 meter run (5th, 1:35.64)
    -4x800 meter relay (3rd, 9:32.21)
  • Shelby Yelden, sophomore
    -Pole vault (17th, 11’ 3”)

Three of four Bulldog relay teams qualify for finals at NAIA indoor championships

28 FEB 2013

The 2013 NAIA Indoor Track and Field National Championships got underway Thursday at the SPIRE Institute in Geneva, Ohio. A quartet of relay teams (three men’s and one women’s) represented Concordia on the event’s first of three days. Three of the four advanced to the finals.

The Bulldog women’s 4x800 meter relay team of junior Megan Letts, senior Jena Schwalenberg, freshman Kim Wood and junior Jenean Williams got Concordia started in the 2013 championships with an exciting first-place finish in heat three of the preliminaries. The Bulldog quartet rallied after a fall on the first leg and clocked in at 9:23.73 to advance to the finals of the event on Friday.

“The big story came in the women's 4x800 meter relay where Jena Schwalenberg had the lead-off leg and in the first lap, was tripped and fell hard to the track,” head coach Kregg Einspahr said. “I have rarely seen a team have someone fall so hard and catch up from so far behind in a relay. That was just a great, gutsy competitive effort. Frankly I was shocked that they were able to get back into it and win their heat.”

The Concordia men’s 4x400 meter relay team of sophomore Taiheem Pleasant and juniors Benjamin Hinckfoot, Jonathon Becker and John Cartier nearly toppled a school record on the way to qualifying for the finals, which will take place on Saturday. The foursome combined on a time of 3:15.97 to finish third in its heat and only one-hundredth of a second off the Bulldog all-time record.

“Taiheem got us in good position (third) with his lead-off leg,” Einspahr said. “We maintained that position throughout the race with two very good 48-second legs from Jonathon Becker (third leg) and John Cartier with the anchor leg.”

Einspahr’s group of men’s 4x800 runners also came through with another time that qualified for the finals. Sophomore Ben Sievert, junior Adam Prahlow, junior Andrew Malan and senior Jared Hoffman clocked in at 7:41.88, finishing roughly two seconds away from the school record. Einspahr noted Hoffman for his outstanding anchor leg (1:53) of the race and Malan for his rapid improvement throughout this season. Malan checked in at 1:54 on the third leg.

The men’s distance medley team of Hoffman, junior Alex Heiden, Prahlow and Colin Morrissey came up just short of a finals qualifying time amongst a particularly loaded field. The group’s mark of 10:07.15 also came close to a school record. That time would typically be plenty good enough to propel a distance medley relay team to the finals.

Action in Geneva continues on Friday at 9 a.m. CST. A total of 17 Bulldogs will compete on day two, including junior Jamie Crouse in the weight throw, junior John Cartier in the 400 meter dash and senior Colin Morrissey in the 3,000 meter run. Crouse will take aim at her third career All-America performance. Both men’s and women’s 4x800 meter relay teams will also take part in the finals of their events early in the evening on Friday.

“We’ve got a lot going on tomorrow,” Einspahr said. “We’re excited to get going again. We’re looking forward to the throws and we’re anxious to see how we do in the finals of both 4x800s. We hope to have some more good performances.”

The national championships can be streamed online for free via the NAIA. To register, click HERE.

Here’s the Friday schedule for Concordia athletes (all times are CST):

  • 12 p.m. – men’s weight throw: Nathan Ernstmeyer
  • 12:20 p.m. – 60 meter hurdles: Jonathon Becker
  • 2:10 p.m. – 400 meter dash: John Cartier
  • 2:25 p.m. – 600 meter run: Kim Wood
  • 2:30 p.m. – women’s pole vault: Ashlee Brown,Cynthia Mick and Shelby Yelden
  • 3 p.m. – women’s weight throw: Stephanie Coleyand Jamie Crouse
  • 4:45 p.m. – 3,000 meter run: Colin Morrissey
  • 5:45 p.m. – finals of women’s 4x800 meter relay:Letts, Schwalenberg, Wood and J. Williams
  • 6 p.m. – finals of men’s 4x800 meter relay:Sievert, Prahlow, Malan and Hoffman

Crouse collects another All-America honor at National Championships

01 MAR 2013

Junior Jamie Crouse entered the 2013 NAIA Indoor Track and Field National Championships no stranger to the national stage. On Friday she picked up her third career All-America honor with her toss of 57’ 9 ¼” in the weight throw. Crouse’s performance stood out most among the 17 Concordia athletes who competed on day two of the indoor championships at the SPIRE Institute in Geneva, Ohio. Crouse and eight other Bulldogs seized the status of All-America on an exciting day of action.

Crouse’s third-place finish in this year’s weight throw was an improvement from her seventh-place mark at the 2012 event when she recorded a throw of 55’ 10”. Crouse has now earned All-America honors in the weight throw in back-to-back years to go with her All-America mark in the hammer throw at last season’s outdoor championships. The only disappointment for Crouse was simply that she did not win the event after having the lead going into the final.

“She’s happy with getting third place and another All-America honor, but she wasn’t content,” throws coach Ed McLaughlin said. “She was sitting in first going into the final so of course she wanted to finish first. Still, last year shot got seventh and she moved up to third this year, which was a significant improvement.”

The day concluded with both of Concordia men’s and women’s 4x800 meter relay teams hitting the track. The Bulldog quartet of Megan Letts, Jena Schwalenberg, Kim Wood and Jenean Williams clocked in at 9:20.04, placing in fourth to earn All-America status. The time was also the fourth-fastest in school history for a women’s 4x800 meter relay. The All-America capped an outstanding two days for the group, which overcame a fall on the first leg of its race on Friday before rallying to win the heat.

Not to be outdone, the Bulldog men’s 4x800 meter relay team of Ben Sievert, Adam Prahlow, Andrew Malan and Jared Hoffman also came in fourth place to take All-America honors. The men’s foursome completed the race in 7:42.83.

“Our two relays had super races,” head coach Kregg Einspahr said. “They got after it and were very competitive. They really did a nice job. I was very pleased that both relays were All-Americans.”

Senior standout Colin Morrissey finished sixth in his heat and 10th overall in the 3,000 meter preliminaries to qualify for Saturday’s finals in the event. Morrissey, who also competed on Thursday as part of the distance medley relays, completed the 3,000 meter run in 8:33.39.

No school qualified more women’s pole vaulters for nationals than Concordia, who was represented by senior Ashlee Brown, freshman Cynthia Mick and sophomore Shelby Yelden on Friday. Mick put forth the best performance for Concordia by clearing 11” 5 ¾” on the way to a 10th-place finish in her first taste of national championships competition.

Other individual competitors for Concordia on day two included juniors John Cartier and Jonathon Becker and freshman Kim Wood. Cartier finished fifth in his heat of the 400 meter dash preliminaries with a time of 50.36. Becker ran the 60 meter hurdles in 8.44 to place seventh in his heat. Wood’s time of 1:37.43 in the prelims of the 600 meter run positioned her about 1.5 seconds off a finals qualifying mark.

Crouse will be one of 12 Bulldog athletes competing on the final day of the championships on Saturday when she participates in the shot put. She’ll be joined by teammates Stephanie Coley and Brittany Erdmann in the event.

On the men’s side, Seward native Trey Farmer and Jose Rojas will make their first appearances at the 2013 event in the shot put at 12 p.m. CST on Saturday.

“They were sitting around watching all day today so they are pretty pumped to get going tomorrow,” McLaughlin said. “We’re excited to see what they can do.”

Elsewhere, Jena Schwalenberg will compete in the finals of the one mile run and the men’s 4x400 meter relay will do the same. Carson Farr will also take aim at All-America honors in the pole vault.

The Bulldogs are looking for more superb individual performances on the event’s final day.

“We’ll see what we can get done. It’s been a great competition to watch so far,” Einspahr said. “Our conference has been outstanding and we’ve really represented the state of Nebraska extremely well. Today was a little bit of a mixed bag for us but we had some tremendous performances.”

Here’s the Saturday schedule for Concordia athletes (all times are CST):

  • 9 a.m. – women’s shot put: Stephanie Coley, Jamie Crouse and Brittany Erdmann
  • 11:25 a.m. – finals of women’s one mile run: Jena Schwalenberg
  • 12 p.m. – men’s shot put: Trey Farmer and Jose Rojas
  • 12:15 p.m. – men’s pole vault: Carson Farr
  • 1:20 p.m. – finals of men’s 3,000 meter run: Colin Morrissey
  • 3:15 p.m. – finals of men’s 4x400 meter relay: Pleasant, Hinckfoot, Becker and Cartier

Bulldogs complete NAIA indoor championships with 16 All-Americans

02 MAR 2013

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.

The inspiring story of the Concordia women's 4x800 meter relay

06 MAR 2013

By Jake Knabel, Sports Information Director

The story of the Concordia women’s 4x800 meter relay team at the 2013 NAIA Indoor Track and Field National Championships nearly ended just as it got started. Barely a minute into the preliminary race, senior Jena Schwalenberg, navigating the turn on her second lap, got tangled up with the competitor behind her and fell hard to the track. Eight minutes and 18 seconds later, Bulldog freshman Kim Wood raced across the finish line in 9:23.73, somehow in front of the rest of the pack.

Stunning. Shocking. Inspiring. Improbable. Gutty. It was a performance too incredible to tag with just one word. So impactful were the efforts of these four Bulldogs that the moment transcended school allegiances, if only for a few seconds.

The crowd of spectators, coaches and athletes looked on in wonderment inside the spacious SPIRE Institute in Geneva, Ohio. Coaches from conference rivals like Morningside and Dordt morphed into fans for that stretch run as Wood sprinted to the finish. The only thing missing was Al Michaels.

“When they won the heat I put my hand in the air as if it was my own girls, and I didn’t even know any of them,” Morningside head coach David Nash said. “I shouted, ‘Yes!’ It was that inspiring of a moment. Things like that happen very rarely.”

Sheer joy pulsated throughout Schwalenberg and fellow 4x800 meter teammates in juniors Jenean Williams and Megan Letts as they watched the race come to a dramatic conclusion. Cheers reverberated inside the complex as Wood motored past a trio of runners in the final 150 meters.

“I can’t explain how excited our team was when we saw Kim finish that race in first place,” Schwalenberg said. “I’ve never seen Megan Letts jump so high.”

Added Williams, “I was in complete shock.”

Letts would not argue with Schwalenberg’s assessment. Letts, a native of Lakewood, Colo., leapt high into the air and then darted over to Wood to embrace her teammate as part of a magical moment seldom duplicated.

“I could not contain my joy and instantly started screaming,” Letts said. “And then I ran to give Kim the biggest hug ever. I was smiling so big, and had to be glowing with how much happiness was inside of me. I knew that my prayer had been answered, and couldn't thank God enough for letting something good come of what seemed to be a hopeless situation.”

The emotional high contrasted starkly with the letdown Concordia head coach Kregg Einspahr felt after watching Schwalenberg plunge to the track. A slip up like that at the national meet typically spells doom. The 21-year head coach failed to recall such an example of perseverance with so much on the line.

“I was just beside myself,” Einspahr said. “I figured beforehand that we had a chance to finish in the top five of the finals, so I was mad at the time.

“I couldn’t believe that they had caught up. I went from being angry to disappointed to overjoyed. I don’t know that I’ve seen that ever. I’m real proud of them.”

As Schwalenberg went down, the crowd gasped, and an audible “Oh no” can be heard in the video placed on the Concordia Track and Field YouTube channel. Schwalenberg picked herself back up and continued competing tenaciously despite the long odds of Concordia getting back into contention.

“I didn’t think I’d see anything like that ever again in my life,” Nash said. “At that point, whatever chance they had – it wasn’t looking good. I mean, you’re going against the best in the country. You can’t have a disadvantage like that.”

Williams, a junior from North Mankato, Minn., took the baton from Schwalenberg for the second leg with the team still in last by a wide margin. About 2:20 after, Williams had surpassed one competitor when she handed off to Letts, determined to make up the ground that had been lost. Letts posted roughly the same split as Williams to move Concordia into fifth place out of the eight teams in the heat. Wood took over from there, shining in perhaps the most exciting finish to a race at this year’s championships.

That momentum carried the quartet to a fourth-place, All-America finish (9:20.04) in the finals of the event to complete an incredible, storybook weekend. Faced with congratulatory outpourings from many coaches and fellow athletes, the group deflected credit at every turn.

“I had no idea how we were going to end up in that race after I had handed off to Jenean, but I just kept praying and cheering on my teammates,” Schwalenberg said. “The team was able to accomplish all that we did through the grace of God. Without Him, none of this would have been possible.”

The riveting race made one particular athlete, who sat in the infield half-heartedly paying attention after initially seeing the fall on the first leg, look up surprised to see Concordia cross the finish line first in the preliminary. ‘Did your team just win that?’ he asked in bewilderment.

“Words don't do it justice,” Letts said. “I am beyond blessed to have been part of a race like that. Nothing will ever top how proud I was of my teammates that we never stopped believing in ourselves and each other. To God be the glory.”

There were also several pats on the back from spectators and coaches, appreciative of being treated to an unlikely comeback that saw a team of fierce competitors rise from dead-in-the-water to smiling, plaque-wielding Bulldogs perched upon the medal stand.

“It was an amazing feeling,” Williams said. “I think it was even more satisfying knowing that we had been in dead last at one point during the prelims and then ended up in fourth overall.”

While the relay team from Morningside seized the national title in the event, the Mustang head coach left the championships moved by the mettle displayed by the Concordia foursome.

“My girls had a special day in the same relay, but the Concordia women will always stick in my mind,” Nash said. “I will share this story to others for many seasons to come.”

2013 outdoor track and field season preview

28 MAR 2013

At a glance:
● WOMEN
2011-12 Finishes: First in GPAC; 15th at NAIA National Championships
Head Coach: Kregg Einspahr (21st year)
2011-12 GPAC All-Conference: Ashlee Brown (pole vault); Katelyn Butts (discus; hammer throw); Jamie Crouse (hammer throw); Marlee Denton (hammer throw; javelin); Lauren Eickemeyer (shot put); Brittany Erdmann (shot put); Kellie Fegter (pole vault);Christina Hanson (1,000 meter run); Toni Hulinsky(3,000 meter steeplechase); Sarah Kortze (5,000 meter run; 10,000 meter run); Megan Letts (4x400 meter relay; 4x800 meter relay); Martha Meineke (5,000 meter run; 3,000 meter steeplechase); Anna Meyer (3,000 meter steeplechase); Jericca Pearson (high jump; triple jump);Lydia Pomerenke (heptathlon); Sara Retzlaff (discus; hammer throw); Katie Rich (shot put); Erika Schroeder(4x400 meter relay); Jena Schwalenberg (1,500 meter run; 5,000 meter run); Sara Simmons (100 meter hurdles; heptathlon); Cassandra Starks (pole vault);Bethany Sutton (800 meter run; 4x400 meter relay; 4x800 meter relay); Christina Tomka (4x400 meter relay; 4x800 meter relay); Jenean Williams (4x800 meter relay); Shelby Yelden (pole vault)
2011-12 National Qualifiers Ashlee Brown (pole vault); Jamie Crouse (hammer throw); Marlee Denton(hammer throw; javelin); Lauren Eickemeyer (shot put);Brittany Erdmann (shot put); Kellie Fegter (pole vault);Christina Hanson (marathon); Sarah Kortze (10,000 meter run); Martha Meineke (4x800 meter relay);Jerrica Pearson (triple jump); Lydia Pomerenke(Heptathlon); Sara Retzlaff (Hammer Throw; Discus);Katie Rich (Shot Put); Erika Schroeder (4x800 meter relay alternate); Jena Schwalenberg (4x800 meter relay); Bethany Sutton (4x800 meter relay); Jenean Williams (4x800 meter relay)
2011-12 All-Americans: Jamie Crouse (hammer throw);Lauren Eickemeyer (shot put); Brittany Erdmann (shot put); Martha Meineke (4x800 meter relay); Sara Retzlaff (hammer throw); Jena Schwalenberg (4x800 meter relay); Bethany Sutton (4x800 meter relay);Jenean Williams (4x800 meter relay)

● MEN
2011-12 Finishes: Third in GPAC; 57th at NAIA National Championships
Head Coach: Kregg Einspahr (21st year)
2011-12 GPAC All-Conference: Joshua Allwardt(10,000 meter run); Jonathon Becker (110 meter hurdles; 400 meter hurdles; 4x100 meter relay; 4x400 meter relay); Travis Besel (4x800 meter relay); Beau Billings (10,000 meter run); Charlie Bloomfield (3,000 meter steeplechase); John Cartier (200 meter dash; 400 meter dash; 4x100 meter relay; 4x400 meter relay);Adam Dannehl (decathlon); David Eads (4x400 meter relay; 4x800 meter relay); Nathan Ernstmeyer (hammer throw); Carson Farr (pole vault); Garrett Golke (4x100 meter relay); Bryan Heidemann (high jump); Benjamin Hinckfoot (110 meter hurdles; 400 meter hurdles; 4x400 meter relay); Jared Hoffman (800 meter run; 4x800 meter relay); Dustin Johns (hammer throw); Andrew Malan (4x800 meter relay); Nick Mann (long jump);Adam Prahlow (1,500 meter run); Derek Rodine (shot put; hammer throw); Ben Sievert (1,500 meter run; 5,000 meter run); Noah Smith (4x100 meter relay)
2011-12 National QualifiersJonathon Becker (400 intermediate hurdles); John Cartier (200 meter dash; 400 meter dash); David Eads (4x800 meter relay); Alex Heiden (4x800 meter relay alternate); Benjamin Hinckfoot (110 meter hurdles); Jared Hoffman (4x800 meter relay); Adam Prahlow (4x800 meter relay); Derek Rodine (shot put; hammer throw); Jose Rojas (shot put);Ben Sievert (4x800 meter relay)
2011-12 All-Americans: David Eads (4x800 meter relay); Jared Hoffman (4x800 meter relay); Adam Prahlow (4x800 meter relay); Ben Sievert (4x800 meter relay)

Outlook:
After GPAC finishes of third and fourth for the Bulldog men and women, respectively, and a total of 16 All-America performances during the indoor season, head coach Kregg Einspahr’s track and field squads are gearing up for the outdoor season. With an even deeper and more talented roster for the spring, Concordia hopes to improve its placement within the GPAC.

“We would like to finish better than what we did as a team from our indoor finishes – third on the men’s side and fourth on the women’s side,” Einspahr said. “Although that’s a good performance in this conference, we have higher expectations than that. We would certainly like to improve on that and we think we can. We add some events in the outdoor that I think will work in our favor.”

On the women’s side, the Bulldogs aim to defend their 2012 GPAC outdoor championship. They will have to do so without the services of three 2012 GPAC outdoor individual champions – Bethany Sutton (800 meter run), Martha Meineke (3,000 meter steeplechase) and Lauren Eickemeyer (shot put) – but get a boost from the return of the likes of sophomore Jericca Pearson among others.

Pearson won the triple jump at last season’s GPAC outdoor championships and is one of several women’s basketball standouts that join the Bulldog track and field team this spring. Senior Katie Rich qualified for nationals in the shot put and sophomore Sara Simmons turned in all-conference performances in the 100 meter hurdles and the heptathlon.

The biggest area of strength for the Bulldog women may be rooted in their group of All-American throwers. Junior Jamie Crouse, a three-time combined indoor and outdoor All-American, will enter the spring as the GPAC favorite in the hammer throw. She is flanked by fellow All-Americans in sophomore Brittany Erdmann and freshman Stephanie Coley.

Erdmann, a three-time All-American in the shot put, has thrived under the tutelage of throws coach Ed McLaughlin. Erdmann and her throws teammates are proud to represent one of the team’s top units.

“I really take pride in being a thrower, especially at Concordia,” Erdmann said. “I love the team and we do have an amazing throwing program. Overall the entire track team is great, but I have really felt a connection with throwing.”

Two-time cross country All-American and 2012 GPAC Cross Country Runner of the Year Sarah Kortze will also be a key to another possible team GPAC title. Kortze, who did not compete in the indoor season, qualified for nationals last year while garnering all-conference honors in two events. She is one of the GPAC’s most accomplished distance runners and will compete in the 5,000 and 10,000 meter runs.

Kortze will be surrounded by plenty of other steady distance performers in senior Jena Schwalenberg, a 2013 indoor All-American in the one mile and as part of the 4x800 meter relay, as well as freshman sensation Kim Wood, another 2013 indoor All-American.

The pole vault figures to be another area of strength for the Bulldog women, who qualified three individuals for the indoor national championships – senior Ashlee Brown, freshman Cynthia Mick and sophomore Shelby Yelden. Under the guidance of pole vault coach Jason Berry, the Bulldogs expect to be well-represented at the outdoor nationals in this event once again.

Overall, the balanced women’s roster should give Concordia a chance to give Doane, the conference favorite, a run for the title.

“If you had told me at the beginning of the outdoor season that we would win the conference championship, I’m not sure that I would have believed you,” Einspahr said. “We just kept improving every week and had our best performances of the season at the conference championship. We’ll see about this year. I do think we’re going to move up in the conference standings (from indoor).”

Added Erdmann, “Expectations are definitely high. We graduated quite a few but we also brought in quite a few freshmen who have some pretty good potential. If we work hard I’m sure we can get back up to the top of the rankings.”

Einspahr’s men also harbor aspirations of a top-flight GPAC finish and success under the national spotlight. The Bulldogs’ 21st-year head coach hopes his squad will have the fortune of better health and avoid sicknesses like it did during the winter. If this happens, Concordia will be a major player in the conference race.

“We’re very strong on the track,” Einspahr said. “The added events like the javelin and the discus typically favor Doane, but I think that could be an interesting conference championship between Concordia and Doane. It’s pretty early to say how we would score out. I’m optimistic that we’ll be in pretty good shape as far as the men’s team championship goes.”

Einspahr knows what he has in senior Colin Morrissey, the 2012 GPAC Runner of the Year, and is excited about the return of junior Hayden Hohnholt, who redshirted during the indoor season. Hohnholt plans to add scoring potential in the steeplechase and in the 5,000 and 10,000 meter runs. The Gillette, Wyo., native earned GPAC all-conference cross country honoree this past fall.

The men appear to be particularly strong in the relays again after placing both their 4x400 and 4x800 meter relays in the top eight at the indoor nationals. Familiar names like Jonathon Becker, John Cartier, Garrett Golke, Alex Heiden, Jared Hoffman, Andrew Malan, Adam Prahlow, Tai Pleasant and Ben Sievert provide a wealth of depth for loaded 4x100 and 4x800 outdoor relay teams. The men’s 4x800 came away from last season’s outdoor nationals with All-America honors.

Then there is the fantastic group of hurdlers headed by Becker and Benjamin Hinckfoot, under the direction of assistant coach Mark Samuels. Both Becker and Hinckfoot recorded all-conference marks in the 110 and 400 meter hurdles at last season’s GPAC outdoor championships, while Becker competed in the 60 meter hurdles at the 2013 indoor championships.

In the pole vault, junior Carson Farr sets his sights on defending his GPAC indoor title with a similar achievement in the outdoor competition. Farr just missed out on All-America accolades at indoor nationals.

McLaughlin’s male throwers were well represented with three individuals at the indoor nationals. The Bulldogs could easily push that number to four or more for outdoors with a group already seasoned on the national stage. McLaughlin looks for big things from Nate Ernstmeyer (All-GPAC hammer thrower), Jose Rojas (NAIA’s top freshman shot putter last season), Trey Farmer (standout freshman shot putter) and Joel Ripke (candidate to reach nationals in the discus). Freshman Cody Boellstorff is also expected to score points in the shot put and the hammer.

Concordia already has one national outdoor qualifier in sophomore Matthias Wollberg, who reserved his place at nationals by taking second place at the Warrior Half Marathon in Fremont, Neb., on Dec. 1. He clocked in at 1:12.42.

With the GPAC championships set to take place May 3-4 here at Bulldog Stadium on campus, Einspahr believes Concordia has another reason to expect good things this spring.

“It’s a big factor,” Einspahr said. “It really is a home field advantage to be able to run in your home facility where you’re comfortable. You know where the bathrooms are. You know how things work. I think it’s just the familiarity of the environment that is a very positive factor. In addition you have the support of the campus. It really is a home field advantage. I think that works in our favor.”

The season gets underway Friday and Saturday in Wayne, Neb., at the Wayne State Invite. A total of nine events are scheduled prior to the national championships on May 23-25.

Bulldogs open outdoor season with several first-place finishes

30 MAR 2013

By Taylor Mueller, Sports Information Assistant

The road to the outdoor GPAC championships is underway as the Bulldog track and field teams traveled to Wayne State College in Wayne, Neb., to compete in the Wildcat Classic.

The long awaited nice weather cleared up for opening day, although strong winds continued to blow throughout the day. Nevertheless, several Bulldogs had impressive performances in the outdoor season opener.

Sophomore Ben Sievert got things started with a first place finish in the 10,000 meter run with a time of 33:45.96.

Einspahr was pleased with the men’s performance and explained that several runners were trying out different events than what they typically compete in.

"We had a good day, particularly on the men's side,” head coach Kregg Einspahr said. “We won quite a few events and had some real solid performances. We ran several distance and middle distance runners in events they might not normally run and they did a good job."

In the 400 meter dash, junior John Cartier ran away with first place in 50.16 seconds while junior Benjamin Hinckfoot claimed first place in the 110 meter hurdles with a time of 14.87 seconds.

On the women’s side, All-American indoor thrower junior Jamie Crouse placed fourth in the hammer throw with a toss of 174’03”. Crouse competed in a loaded field that included a winning throw of 196’04” by Wayne State’s Lachel Milander.

Three women’s pole-vaulters didn’t waste any time in qualifying for the national championships as they cleared the national automatic qualifying mark.

Senior Kamala Moore, freshman Cynthia Mick and junior Shelby Yelden each cleared a mark of 11’9” ¾ to tie for first and automatically qualify for the outdoor national championships.

"With it being this early in the spring season the conditions were not quite ideal,” Einspahr said. “It was breezy and cool outside which is about what you would expect in Nebraska in March. But overall it was a very good meet for the first time out."

All-American Sarah Kortze was back in action after not competing in the indoor track season. Kortze took second place in the women’s 10,000 meter run with a time of 39:19.

"We held her back a little in the 10,000 meters,” Einspahr said. “We didn't want her to try to run with the leader. We just wanted her to get a solid race in. She's healthy now and looking good."

Several athletes were not in attendance as the coaches gave members of the team the option as to whether or not they wanted to compete on Easter weekend.

"We had a fair number gone today with it being Easter weekend,” Einspahr said. “We told our athletes that if they wanted to go home for Easter, that was fine. We left it up to them."

The Bulldogs will be back in action next Saturday at the Loper Invite at the University of Nebraska-Kearney. Concordia will host its first meet of the spring on April 13 when the Concordia Outdoor Invite will take place.

Dick Young Classic meet canceled

03 APR 2013

The Dick Young Classic outdoor track and field meet, scheduled for April 20 at Grinnell College, has been canceled. The Bulldogs will look to fill that open date with a different meet. Changes to the schedule will be announced on ConcordiaBulldogs.com.

Bulldogs add meet for April 19-20

05 APR 2013

Head coach Kregg Einspahr's track and field squads have added the Doane Relays to the outdoor track and field schedule. The event will take place April 19-20, with the bulk of the events playing out on the second day.

The Doane Relays take the place of the Dick Young Classic, which was canceled. The Dick Young Classic was originally scheduled for April 20 at Grinnell College.

Crouse shatters school hammer throw record at Loper Invite

07 APR 2013

By Taylor Mueller, Sports Information Assistant

KEARNEY, Neb. – The men’s and women’s track and field teams were back at it again as the Bulldogs traveled to Kearney, Neb., to compete in the UNK Loper Invite which turned out to be a very busy and successful day for Concordia. With temperatures reaching the high 60’s but strong wind gusts blowing throughout the meet, it was near perfect conditions for the Bulldogs on Saturday.

In only their second outdoor meet of the season, head coach Kregg Einspahr was pleased with the improvements that his team has made.

“There’s always a transition from indoor to outdoor as far as dealing with the elements,” Einspahr said. “We’ve had a great start to outdoor with some of the events that we don’t have for indoor, particularly in the hammer, the javelin, the 400 intermediate hurdles and the steeplechase. It’s early to tell, but we’re seeing a lot of good things. Despite the windy conditions we’ve had, we’ve gotten off to a good start.”

The windy conditions certainly didn’t faze junior three-time All-American Jamie Crouse.

With a toss of 183’ in the hammer throw, Crouse crushed the school record by four feet as well as her personal record by eight feet.

Freshman Stephanie Coley had a good day of her own by breaking the school freshman record in the hammer throw with a toss of 162’ 9”, which was good enough for fifth place.

In her first meet of the track and field season after finishing up her basketball season, senior Katie Rich wasted no time in qualifying for the NAIA track and field meet with her 42’ 6 ¼” mark in the shot put.

The harsh winds didn’t seem to bother senior Sarah Kortze either. After not competing in the indoor season, Kortze has worked her way right back into the front of the competition, as she took first place in the women’s 5,000 meter race with a time of 18:16.

“She looks back on track,” Einspahr said. “She’s running very well.”

Also running well was sophomore Tai Pleasant, who finished in second place with a time of 53.94, just off a school record in the 400 intermediate hurdles.

Junior John Cartier took second place in the men’s 400 meter race with a time of 48.94. After sustaining an injury in December, Cartier has bounced back well and is continuing to improve.

“He ran probably his best 400 of the year,” coach Mark Samuels said. “He ran really well. He’s starting to get back to where he was before Christmas before the injury.”

In the pit, freshman Jacob Kettner leapt 45’10” in the triple jump, besting his personal record by over a foot and finished in fourth place.

After finishing up her basketball season, sophomore Jerrica Pearson competed in her first meet of the season, jumping 36’ 05” ¾ in the triple jump and clearing 5’ 01” feet in the high jump to finish second in both events.

“I’m really happy with how we did in the sprints, jumps and hurdles,” Samuels said. “We really competed well. We’ve seen so many of our athletes make big improvements over the past few weeks.”

Freshman Elizabeth King had a solid performance in the javelin throw, coming up just 11 centimeters short of a national qualifying mark.

“The highlights obviously were Jamie breaking the school record in the hammer and Elizabeth King coming up just short of a national qualifying mark in the javelin,” coach Ed McLaughlin said.

McLaughlin commented on the hard work ethic that the throwers have been displaying, but noted that there is room to improve mentally.

“They work their tails off and then show up on the day of the meet and see what happens,” McLaughlin said. “The kids pushed through some windy conditions today. Some were really ready to go and some weren’t as ready. There were just enough low points to make a coach cringe, but we did some great things on the women’s side.”

The Bulldogs will be back at it again on April 13 when they host the Concordia Outdoor Invite.

Crouse, Pleasant grab weekly GPAC track and field honors

10 APR 2013

GPAC Release

Concordia junior Jamie Crouse and sophomore Taiheem Pleasant were both recognized by the GPAC on Wednesday for their performances at the UNK Loper Invite. Crouse was named the GPAC/Hauff Mid-America Sports Women’s Field Athlete of the Week, while Pleasant garnered GPAC/Hauff Mid-America Sports Men’s Track Athlete of the Week.

Crouse put forth a big performance in the hammer throw at the University of Nebraska-Kearney on April 6. The Belgrade, Neb., native’s toss of 183’ broke former Bulldog Sara Retzlaff’s previous school record of 179’3”. Crouse’s mark was an automatic national qualifying mark that currently ranks as the third best hammer throw in the NAIA this season. In addition to winning the hammer throw at UNK, Crouse finished sixth in the shot put with a mark of 41’ 9 ¼”.

Pleasant, a Lincoln native, fell five-hundredths of a second short of first place and one-hundredth of a second short of a school record in the 400 meter hurdles at UNK. His time of 53.94 ranks fourth in the NAIA this season and represents a ‘B’ national qualifying mark. Pleasant also ran the third leg for Concordia’s 4x400 meter relay team that finished second by clocking in at 3:18.20 at UNK. That time ranks ninth on the NAIA leaderboard.

Both Crouse and Pleasant will be back in action on Saturday as the Bulldogs host the Concordia Outdoor Invite.

Crouse, Kortze topple school records

13 APR 2013

By Taylor Mueller, Sports Information Assistant

SEWARD, Neb. – The cold, breezy atmosphere wasn’t enough to slow the Concordia Bulldogs as they charted more school record-breaking performances at Saturday’s Concordia Outdoor Invite inside Bulldog Stadium.

Junior Jamie Crouse and senior Sarah Kortze chalked up two more school records in the hammer throw and the 10,000 meter race, respectively. Crouse’s throw of 190’5’ was good enough for third place, while Kortze gutted out a 36:55, 10,000 meter performance that allowed her to claim first place.

“Sarah came out and started the meet out with a great run in the 10k,” head coach Kregg Einspahr said. “She broke the school record by over 20 seconds. She has one of the top times in the NAIA to this point. That was an excellent race. She did a great job of pacing herself. She actually ran much faster in the second half of her 10k race than the first half, so she’s running very well.”

Einspahr went on to comment on Crouse’s performance as well.

“She’s competing very well,” Einspahr said. “It was very good competition – she didn’t win the event, but it’s one of the top marks in the NAIA.”

Winning GPAC conference honors just a week ago, sophomore Taiheem Pleasant had another stellar day, taking first in the 200 meter dash with a time of 21.88.

“I talked to my coach before the race and said, ‘coach, I want to run a (200 meter race).’ So I just put it all together and I got to about the halfway point and I realized my legs weren’t tired and I had more,” Pleasant said. “I crossed the finish line and I looked at the results and I ran under twenty-two (seconds), and it was a good day.”

Pleasant also ran the third leg of the 4x400 meter relay, which took first place as well.

“It feels good,” Pleasant said about his performances over the course of the day. “Being part of the (4x400 meter relay team), and the school record indoor (team). Alex Heiden really stepped up and he finally went under fifty (seconds) again, and freshman Jaap Van Gaalen is doing good so it’s nice running with those guys, just knowing that I have their back and they have my back and we put it all on the line for each other. “

Einspahr also had positive things to say about Pleasant’s full day’s work.

“Tai Pleasant had an excellent day,” Einspahr said. “He won the 200 and had a very good leg in the 4x4. It was nice to win that 4x4. I thought they looked pretty good. We have some work to do on our handoffs, but on a cool, breezy day that’s a good time. It bodes well for the future and it’s always nice to win that last race of the meet. So I think we have some things coming around. Tai also looked very good in the 100.”

Pleasant noted that a change in strategy, especially at practice, has been paying dividends for his success.

“Coaches’ practices have been a lot tougher than what they’ve been in previous years and my teammates like John Cartier and Ben Hinkfoot and (Jonathon) Becker; we just go at it every day in practice so it’s just like the performance is finally showing up on the track, so I’m pretty happy about that,” Pleasant said.

Several other Bulldogs had stand out performances as well.

Junior John Cartier finished in second place in the 400 meter dash with a time of 49.32 while freshman Kim Wood continued her outstanding season with a second place finish in the 800 meter run in 2:22.

Junior Adam Prahlow took second place in the 1,500 meter run in 3:59 while fellow junior Hayden Hohnholt claimed second in the 3000 meter steeplechase with a time of 9:33.

““Hayden Hohnholt looked very good in the steeplechase,” Einspahr said. “He was second. He’s really coming around.”

The 4x400 meter relay team of Van Gaalen, junior Alex Heiden, Pleasant and Cartier finished scorched their way to first place with a time of 3:17.

Freshman pole-vaulter Cynthia Mick tied for second place with a clearance of 11' 1 3/4" while junior Carson Farr vaulted to a height of 15’5” to take first place in the men’s competition.

After narrowly missing the NAIA national qualifying mark in the javelin throw a week ago, freshman Elizabeth King came up just short again with a throw of 133.’ King took home first place honors with the toss.

In their first scored meet of the season, both the men’s and the women’s teams came up short in the final standings, as the men took second to Doane College with 154 points and the women scored 144 points, falling to Doane as well.

With all the impressive performances, Einspahr admitted that there is still room to improve.

“We have some areas we’re kind of struggling in,” Einspahr said. “We have some guys and gals in the middle distances who need to start running with a little more confidence and aggressiveness. We’re getting behind in races and staying there instead of challenging toward the front of the pack and trying to hold people off from that position. So we have some work to do.”

Concordia will be at it again on April 19-20 when it travels to Crete, Neb., to compete in the Doane Relays.

Crouse, Kortze collect weekly GPAC track and field honors

17 APR 2013

GPAC Release

School record holders Jamie Crouse and Sarah Kortze both received weekly GPAC track and field honors, the conference announced Wednesday. For the second-straight week, Crouse earns GPAC/Hauff Mid-America Sports Women’s Field Athlete of the Week for another big performance in the hammer throw. Meanwhile, Kortze garnered GPAC/Hauff Mid-America Sports Women’s Track Athlete of the Week.

Crouse, a junior from Belgrade, Neb., broke her own Concordia record in the hammer throw with her toss of 190’ 5” – another automatic national qualifying mark – at the Concordia Outdoor Invite this past weekend. That mark ranks first among all GPAC throwers and third on the NAIA leaderboard. The 190’ 5” hammer throw out-distanced Crouse’s former school record of 183’ set a week earlier at the UNK Loper Invite.

Kortze, a senior from Rockford, Ill., also shattered her own school record in the 10,000 meter run with her time of 36:55 at the Concordia Outdoor Invite. That mark topped her previous best in the 10,000 meters by more than 20 seconds and helped her win the race on April 13. Her time in the 10,000 meters ranks first in the GPAC and sixth nationally. She has automatically qualified for the national championships.

Kortze also received GPAC Cross Country Runner of the Week on three occasions (Sept. 19, Oct. 10, Oct. 24) and NAIA National Runner of the Week once (Sept. 19) this past fall when she was the GPAC Cross Country Runner of the Year.

Crouse and Kortze will be back in action on Friday and Saturday at the Doane Relays in Crete, Neb.

Concordia Boston Marathoners recount tragic day

18 APR 2013

By Jake Knabel, Sports Information Assistant

Concordia alums Ryan and Katie Zulkoski mingled about the streets of Boston as explosions rocked the city, resulting in three confirmed deaths and well over 100 injuries on Monday afternoon. The Zulkoski couple and other former Bulldogs such as Jordan Tucker were fortunate to escape injury after running or attending the famed Boston Marathon.

“It’s just pretty shocking,” said Tucker, who struggled to find the right words to describe the situation. “It’s very shocking for this to happen at an event like this.”

The Zulkoski couple was separated when the pandemonium commenced. Ryan, along with his brother-in-law and sister-in-law (Katie’s sister), found himself in the middle of the two bombs on Boylston Street. Thankfully, Ryan walked on the opposite side of the street, about a half-a-block away from the first detonation. About 10 seconds later, back behind Ryan and his family members, another loud bang sent tremors running through the city streets.

“When it went off, I heard it but I didn’t see it,” Katie said. “The runner by me who I was chatting with had run the Boston Marathon before and said, ‘oh, this is something new.’ It sounded like cannons at a high school football game. We thought it was some kind of celebration.”

Ryan heard the first thunderous boom, saw the rush of smoke and was unsure what to make of it. Then a second blast rattled Boylston, seemingly confirming the worst.

“I thought maybe the first one was an accident,” Ryan said. “Then the second one went off behind us. At that point we knew it was something bad and not an accident. People started tipping over the barriers and getting onto the street.

“People were definitely worked up, but they weren’t completely freaked out. It was crazy.”

He stayed calm even as phone calls failed due to the high volume of cell phone activity. He didn’t know Katie was OK until she returned his text.  She was safe -- beyond the finish line, where several runners gathered around the parked busses to throw on fresh sweats.

Katie reunited with Ryan and the rest of the group about 20 minutes after the explosions. They fought through the masses of people flooding the streets, while avoiding the bomb sites and the bloody mess the explosions created.

The Zulkoski group began to fully understand the gravity of what had occurred when they stopped to eat at a nearby restaurant with Katie needing to rest after completing the marathon in 3:53:19. News broadcasts already reported two deaths and dozens of injuries in the immediate aftermath.

“It finally hit us when we sat down at the restaurant,” Ryan said. “We didn’t know if it was all just smoke. We didn’t know if anyone was seriously wounded. Once we saw that people had died it really hit home. It made us all appreciate that we were in the middle of it and we were fine.”

The Zulkoski party next sought refuge at their hotel. What would have been a short taxi ride to the hotel turned in to a two-hour walk. The mass of people fleeing the area left no available taxis in sight. They made it safely to the hotel and then caught a flight at 12 p.m. on Tuesday, eventually making their way back home to Bellevue, Neb.

Home. Sweet. Home. Indeed.

“We kept saying how lucky we were to not be any closer to the explosions,” said Katie, a 2009 Concordia graduate and former Bulldog track and field All-American. “I was able to finish the marathon and we were able to meet up. Some runners didn’t finish and some weren’t able to find their family.

“It’s crazy to think we were that close to something like this.”

Tucker, a native of Fort Collins, Colo., and 2009 Concordia graduate as well, completed the marathon in two hours, 41 minutes, 46 seconds – about an hour-and-a-half before the deadly explosions left the city in chaos. Tucker and his father, who remained in Boston on Tuesday as part of their planned vacation, left the nearby parking garage just 10 to 20 minutes prior to the two blasts.

Tucker and his father had left the scene, sparing them the heartbreaking images of the carnage that followed.

“We were sitting in our hotel and my uncle called to ask if we were all right,” Tucker said. “We were leaving the area and we saw ambulances going back in. I just assumed they were for the other runners, but obviously something else was going on.”

The chance to run in the Boston Marathon was a big deal for Tucker, a former cross country and track and field national qualifier at Concordia. It’s an event that attracts running enthusiasts from around the entire world to compete in a historic city complete with breathtaking scenery. Everything was perfect until evil surfaced, marring any joy that could have previously taken place that day.

“That was the fastest marathon I’ve ever run,” Tucker said. “It was a cool experience. It’s too bad what happened. That obviously overshadowed everything else.”

The horrifying occurrence that took place that day stained what should have been a day of triumph for runners like Katie and Jordan. Instead, April 15, 2013, will always be remembered as a date that victimized the innocent and brought horror to Boston.

Hinckfoot hurdles school record at Doane Relays

20 APR 2013

By Taylor Mueller, Sports Information Assistant

CRETE, Neb. – As the track season presses on, the Concordia Bulldogs took their talents to Crete, Neb., to compete in the Doane Relays at Doane College. Junior Benjamin Hinckfoot headlined the day’s action on Saturday as yet another school record was toppled on the track.

Head coach Kregg Einspahr was pleased with his team’s overall performance, despite the tough weather conditions.

“We made a lot of good progress today,” Einspahr said. “We had some real good performances. It was awful cold and breezy and windy. It was another good day of competition. It was a very competitive meet. Unfortunately the chilly weather really didn’t allow for times to be reflective of the talent there whatsoever.”

Hinckfoot set yet another Concordia record with his 53.85, first-place finish in the 400 meter hurdles. The victory erased the 10-year old record set by Josh Gerken who ran the race in 53.93. Fellow teammate Taiheem Pleasant, who currently sits at third place on the all-time list, took second in the event with a time of 54.12.

“Our big highlight was Benjamin Hinckfoot setting a new school record in the 400 intermediate hurdles,” Einspahr said. “With Hinckfoot, Tai Pleasant and Jonathon Becker coming back from injury, we have a really good hurdles crew.”

The Bulldogs saw too more members qualify for the NAIA national championships as freshman Elizabeth King claimed her third straight first place finish in the javelin with a throw of 138’10.”

Sophomore Joel Ripke threw the discus 162’08” to claim fourth place and a trip to the NAIA national meet as well.

“He’s got a great future,” Einspahr said of Ripke. “He’s tall and big and has a lot of potential.”

After recently battling fatigue, sophomore Ben Sievert found his groove as he placed first in the 1,500 meter race in a time of 4:03.

“Ben Sievert had a very good race today to win the men’s 1500 meters,” Einspahr said. “He has had some tired legs lately, and seems to have gotten over that now.”

Junior Jamie Crouse dominated the competition yet again in the hammer throw with a toss of 178’11” and a first-place finish. Her career and season personal record is 190’ 5”.

Sophomore Jerrica Pearson continued her recent success with a mark of 36’6” ¼ in the triple jump, placing her in second to finish the day while freshman Joshua Slechta took second in the men’s javelin throw with his toss of 167’08”.

The Bulldogs dominated the men’s steeplechase as junior Hayden Hohnholt placed first in a time of 9:33 while teammate Beau Billings was not far behind in second with a time of 9:50.

The men’s 4x400 meter relay team took care of business once again as they coasted to a first-place finish and a time of 3:18.

“Our 4x4 continues to look really good,” Einspahr said. “A couple of years ago our B team from this year would have beaten our A team back then. We have a lot of interchangeable parts to work with.”

In the next few days, the Bulldogs will prepare several athletes to the prestigious Drake Relays in Des Moines, Iowa, where they will face off against top quality competition from around the nation.

Athletes and relays who are expected to make the three hour trip are senior Sarah Kortze in the 10,000 meter run, Crouse in the hammer throw and several men’s relays, including the 4x100, the 4x400 and the 4x800.

Concordia athletes not traveling to Drake will head to Lincoln, Neb., for either the University of Nebraska Mini Meet or the Nebraska Wesleyan Dual meet on April 24 and 25, respectively.

Hinckfoot rides school record to GPAC weekly honor

24 APR 2013

GPAC Release

For the third-straight week, at least one Bulldog track and field athlete has been recognized by the GPAC. On Wednesday Concordia junior Benjamin Hinckfoot was named GPAC/Hauff Mid-America Sports Men’s Track Athlete of the Week.

Hinckfoot garners the distinction thanks to a school record-setting performance in the 400 meter hurdles at the Doane Relays on April 20. Hinckfoot took first place in the event with a time of 53.85 – eight hundredths of a second faster than the former school record set by Josh Gerkens at the 2003 GPAC outdoor championships. Hinckfoot’s 400 meter hurdle time ranks second in the GPAC and sixth nationally.

The Colorado Springs, Colo., native also ran a leg for the Bulldogs’ first-place 4x400 meter relay at the Doane Relays. Hinckfoot and company clocked in at 3:18.16 – about three seconds faster than the second-place relay squad from Doane.

Hinckfoot and the Bulldogs will be fractured into three different meets this week as they prepare for the GPAC Championships (May 3-4). Action this week begins Wednesday at the University of Nebraska Mini Meet and continues with the Nebraska Wesleyan Dual (Thursday) and the Drake Relays (Thursday through Saturday). Hinckfoot is set to run the 110 and 400 meter hurdles on Wednesday in Lincoln.

Bulldogs claim three individual titles at UNL Pre-Drake meet

24 APR 2013

LINCOLN, Neb. – Bulldog track and field got the week started early with a number of select athletes competing in the University of Nebraska’s Pre-Drake meet in Lincoln, Neb., on Wednesday. John Cartier (200 meter dash), Jamie Crouse (hammer throw) and Adam Prahlow (800 meter run) each captured individual titles amongst the strong field of competitors.

Cartier ran a season best 21.96 in the 200 meters to come in ahead of second- and third-place finishers from the University of Nebraska. For Crouse, whose personal record in the hammer is 190’ 5”, her toss of 175’ 7” was just ordinary for her – but still out-distanced the next closest challenger by more than a foot. Finally, Prahlow edged out Wayne State’s Zach Thomsen in a photo finish in the 800 meter run by clocking in at 1:57.54.

There were several other solid performances by Bulldogs as sophomore Sara Simmons set a personal best with her time of 15.37 in the 100 meter hurdles – good enough for fourth place. Fellow sophomore Jericca Pearson stood out in the triple jump, recording a “B” national qualifying mark of 37’ 6 ½” – just short of the “A” mark.

In addition, freshman Kim Wood raced to a second-place finish in the 1,500 meter run (4:59.42), the Bulldogs showed off their prowess in the men’s hurdles (second, third and fourth place finishers – Benjamin Hinckfoot, Taiheem Pleasant and Jonathon Becker) and freshman sensation Cody Boellstorf of Waverly, Neb., came in second with a hammer throw of 167’ 7”.

Not to be outdone, Stephanie Coley managed second place in the shot put (46’ 1 ¼”) and another freshman – Elizabeth King starred once again. King came in just short of her personal best in the javelin as she finished second with a mark of 138’ 7”.

The Nebraska Pre-Drake meet featured athletes from the University of Nebraska, Hastings, Wayne State and many unattached participants who fought through cold and windy conditions typical of this Nebraska spring. According to Bulldog assistant coach Mark Samuels, the weather made it a difficult day to compete on the track.

A busy week of track and field action continues with a dual at Nebraska Wesleyan on Thursday in addition to the Drake Relays, which began Wednesday and run through Sunday. See below for the schedule of competitions involving Concordia athletes at the Drake Relays.

Drake Relays:

  • Thursday, 7:30 p.m. – Sarah Kortze (10,000 meter run)
  • Friday, 9:17 a.m. – Men’s 4x100 meter relay
  • Friday, 10:45 a.m. – Men’s 4x800 meter relay
  • Friday, 2:25 p.m. – Men’s 4x400 meter relay
  • Saturday, 9 a.m. – Jamie Crouse (hammer throw)
  • Saturday, 3:25 p.m. – FINALS for men’s 4x100 meter relay
  • Saturday, 4:12 p.m. – FINALS for men’s 4x400 meter relay

Kortze tops own school record in the 10k at Drake Relays

25 APR 2013

By Taylor Mueller, Sports Information Assistant

Senior Sarah Kortze is back at it again.

Traveling with a select few Bulldogs to the prestigious Drake Relays in Des Moines, IA, Kortze smashed her two-week old record of 36:55 with a time of 36:33 in the 10,000 meter run. Kortze placed 19th in a field of 34 runners.

“Sarah’s time is outstanding and was up against very good competition,” coach Kregg Einspahr said. “It was a new school record by more than 20 seconds which was great to see.”

With the men’s 4x100, 4x400, 4x800 relays set to take stage tomorrow in Des Moines, the rest of the Bulldog crew remained busy with the Nebraska Wesleyan Dual meet in Lincoln, NE. The meet provided a chance for Concordia to polish up and prepare for the conference meet to be hosted next weekend in Seward.

“It went pretty well,” Einspahr said. “We accomplished quite a bit, particularly in the women’s pole vault. (Sophomore) Jericca Pearson triple jumped well. She was barely off the national qualifying mark. We had a good showing in the steeplechase. (Sophomore) Renee Williams tried it for the first time ever and did a good job.”

Einspahr was also pleased with the men’s performances, particularly junior Jonathon Becker.

“On the men’s side, it was great to get more repetitions,” Einspahr said. “We have Jonathon Becker returning from injury. He ran the 110 hurdles and improved his time again today after running a good 200 yesterday. He’s rounding into pretty good shape.”

With the regular season coming to a close, all eyes are turning to the conference meet. Einspahr feels confident that his team will be ready to go.

“I think we have a lot of people coming around,” Einspahr said. “Most teams are ready to bust out at the conference meet. We may end up having some unfavorable weather next weekend, but we’ll see how it ends up. I like our chances being at home.”

Men's 4x4 records national qualifying time at Drake Relays

26 APR 2013

By Taylor Mueller, Sports Information Assistant

In their second day of action at the Drake Relays, the Concordia track and field programs had a bitter-sweet day.

The 4x400 meter relay team of sophomore Taiheem Pleasant and juniors Benjamin Hinckfoot, Alex Heiden and John Cartier sprinted their way to a national qualifying mark of 3:15.05 and a fifth place finish in their heat, but missed the finals by less than a second. Nevertheless, the squad continued to move in on the school record of 3:14.01, set in 2004 by a relay team that featured Mark Samuels, who is now the sprinting coach for Concordia University.

“Our 4x4 ran pretty well,” Samules said. “It was good to get that qualifying time out of the way before the conference meet next week. Hopefully bigger things are ahead for this group. I think they have a good chance to be All-Americans. They did well handling the atmosphere and running against good competition. It would have been nice to make the final, but they ran very well.”

With three members returning to the Drake Relays for the second straight year, the 4x800 meter squad of senior Jared Hoffman, juniors Andrew Malan and Adam Prahlow and sophomore Ben Sievert brought valuable experience to the talented field of runners. However, after Hoffman took a tumble in the first leg, the Bulldogs struggled to recover and finished in 14th place and a time of 8:12.13.

The mens’ 4x100 meter team of juniors Garrett Golke, John Cartier, Noah Smith and sophomore Garrett Bloomstedt finished in 7th place in their heat, but failed to reach the finals with their time of 42.79.

Junior Jamie Crouse will wrap up the Bulldogs’ trip to Des Moines when she competes in the hammer throw at 9 a.m. on Saturday. Her top hammer throw mark of 190’ 5” ranks third in the NAIA this season.

Crouse places 15th in the hammer throw at Drake Relays

27 APR 2013

DES MOINES, Iowa – Three-time All-American Jamie Crouse seized the opportunity to compete against some of the best throwers in the nation Saturday morning at the Drake Relays. With her toss of 176’ 9” in the hammer throw, the Belgrade, Neb., native placed 15th amongst the loaded field in Des Moines.

“Jamie threw OK, but she didn’t have her best today,” throws coach Ed McLaughlin said. “It just makes her want to work that much harder for the GPAC meet next week.”

Crouse’s mark at Drake ranks fourth among her hammer throws this season (see list below). All six of those listed measurements easily surpassed the automatic national qualifying mark. Her throw of 190’ 5” at the Concordia Outdoor Invite is a school record that currently ranks third in the NAIA and first in the GPAC this season.

Crouse’s hammer throw marks in 2013:

  1. 190’ 5” – Concordia Outdoor Invite (April 13)
  2. 183’ – UNK Loper Invite (April 6)
  3. 178’ 11” – Doane Relays (April 20)
  4. 176’ 9” – Drake Relays (April 27)
  5. 175’ 7” – UNL Pre-Drake (April 24)
  6. 174’ 3” – Wildcat Classic (March 30)

Crouse’s performance in the hammer throw wrapped up the weekend for Bulldog track and field, which also competed in four other events at the Drake Relays. Among the team’s top marks in Des Moines, senior Sarah Kortze finished the 10,000 meter run in a school record time of 36:33.47 to place 19th and the Concordia men’s 4x400 meter relay turned in an automatic national qualifying time of 3:15.05 – second fastest in school history.

Kortze’s time ranks fourth on the NAIA leaderboard this season while the men’s 4x400 meter relay mark at the Drake Relays is also fourth in the NAIA in its respective event.

Head coach Kregg Einspahr’s team now turns its attention to the most important part of the schedule with the GPAC Outdoor Track and Field Championships set to begin Friday, May 4. The two-day meet will be held on the Concordia University campus with the majority of events taking place inside Bulldog Stadium. The throws will be contested just outside the stadium.

FEATURE: Concordia All-American Kortze keeps on running

01 MAY 2013

By Taylor Mueller, Sports Information Assistant

Growing up in the fairly large city of Rockford, Ill., running wasn’t always a top priority for Sarah Kortze. Rather it started as mere interest, something she did to fill the time while spending it with her siblings.

She started low key, joining a local running club with her brothers to run a couple times a week “just for fun.” Kortze’s mentality became a little more serious, however, when sophomore year rolled around and she began to race competitively for her high school, something she credits her brother for getting her into.

“My older brother started running competitively in high school before I did and I saw how much fun he had and I wanted to be a part of that,” the senior said. “I was also pretty excited about being in a sport that you could compete in even if you weren’t very good at it. There was no bench to sit on, so I’d be able to compete regardless.”

Not long after, Kortze decided to bring her talents to Concordia University, where she immediately fell in love.

“I was really attracted to its close-knit, Christ-centered community and it has a very strong cross country and track program for the size of school it is and I was really happy about that,” Kortze said. “Also, it had the area of study that I wanted to go into.”

Kortze’s career has since exploded. Among the top feats on her impeccable resume are All-America, all-conference and conference Cross Country Runner of the Year honors while competing in cross country and track and field. She has also found her way to national championships on several occasions.

“Ever since I started running, my parents have always told me to just go out and do my best and honestly, that’s all you can do so that’s my goal for every race,” Kortze said.

No matter the amount of success, however, Kortze doesn’t let it get to her head. Ever humble, she is quick to acknowledge that while she is grateful for her talents and success, she keeps it in perspective.

“It’s definitely something very special that God gave me the ability to accomplish,” Kortze says simply.

It wasn’t always easy, however, as Kortze found herself fighting nagging pain and injuries, which at times threatened to slow her improvement.

“About half of my seasons here, I’ve had an injury that’s kept me out for two or more weeks in a season, so those times were very frustrating, you know, not really sure what was going to happen,” Kortze said. “But during those seasons, my mom was very helpful in helping me keep perspective. Also my friends here just helped me remember that God will work all things out for the good.”

And God has sure been good.

Kortze started the 2013 outdoor season with a whopping 20 second personal record in the Concordia Invitational 10,000 meter run with a time of 36:55. The time easily took care of her previous school record set in 2012 which stood at 37:19.

But Kortze wasn’t finished.

Competing at the prestigious Drake Relays in Des Moines, Iowa, on April 25, Kortze again smashed her two-week old record in a time of 36:33.

With the show she puts on every time she toes the starting line, it’s easy to assume that she’s bearing the weight of hundreds of watchful eyes, waiting to see her magic yet again. But Kortze isn’t fazed.

“It’s pretty easy to put more pressure on myself to do well in every race,” Kortze said. “Then I just have to remember that really, your best is all you can do and you just have to be OK with what your best is on any particular day.”

If running 35-45 miles a week isn’t enough, Kortze hits the weight room hard, often indulging in an intense routine of various core exercises, sit-ups, pushups, jump roping and leg machine lifts.

“Time in the weight room has really helped me become a stronger runner,” Kortze said.

But it’s not just the hours on the roads or the repetitions in the weight room that have molded Kortze. She credits her coach, Kregg Einspahr, and a disciplined lifestyle with giving her an extra edge over the competition.

“I just like listening to what coach tells us to do; (that is) really important,” Kortze said. “Even just getting your sleep, taking your vitamins and eating the right kinds of food, doing some extra weight room stuff. I think (those things) have really been very important to getting me where I am.”

Einspahr explained what he believes to be the qualities that enable Kortze to have a broad potential for success every time she sets foot on the course or track.

”She is very intelligent and understands her capabilities very well,” Einspahr said. “She also has developed a sense of what her strengths and weaknesses are. She has worked diligently to become a stronger athlete and to take care of her body through nutrition and post workout stretching.”

Adding that Kortze “is very dedicated, hard-working, and extremely intelligent,” Einspahr also noted that Kortze’s “patience and learning to plan races and then sticking to that race plan and executing it,” is something other runners can learn from.

Kortze takes her running career very seriously. But she’s not just in it for herself. In a grueling sport that requires a constant focus, dedication and all the effort she can muster, Kortze remembers to soak in the experience and the joys of being a runner.

“I just like being outside and enjoying God’s creation,” Kortze said. “Being with the team and working hard to reach goals that you really want to accomplish is really special.”

In a sport full of so many different types of emotions and feelings, Kortze explained what makes running different, and what most people don’t realize about the sport she loves.

“I think a lot of non-runners find it hard to understand the emotional aspect of running,” Kortze said. “Whether it’s the focus you have before a race or the frustration you have when you’re injured, even just the joy of being able to go out for a run. I think that if you don’t share a similar passion, it would be hard to understand those types of emotions.”

As for the remainder of the outdoor season, Kortze has her eyes set on personal goals, and is ready to chase them.

“I definitely have a few things in mind that I want to accomplish, but really all I can do is what God has given me the ability to do and if I do my best with that then I’ll accomplish everything possible for me to accomplish,” Kortze said.

When she’s not trekking across the gravel roads of Seward or strengthening her legs and core in the weight room, Sarah enjoys the outdoors and time spent with friends and family.

The future, in Sarah’s words, will “most definitely” include running, as well as a teaching position in the area of physics or biology for which she is preparing by double majoring in biology and physical science.

When she’s moved on from Concordia and her mark has been left, one thing remains for certain: whether she’s instructing a physics lab or competing in a road race, Sarah will be doing the best she can, just like her parents taught her.

Crouse honored by GPAC for third time in four weeks

01 MAY 2013

For the third time in the past four weeks, Concordia junior Jamie Crouse has garnered weekly recognition from the GPAC. On Wednesday the conference named Crouse the GPAC Women’s Field Athlete of the Week presented by Hauff Mid-America Sports. The Belgrade, Neb., native nabbed the same honor on April 10 and 17.

Crouse, who currently ranks third in the NAIA and first in the GPAC with her top hammer throw mark of 190’ 5”, competed in three different meets last week. While her best hammer throw of 178’ 11” last week came up short of her personal best, she put forth her top performance this season in the shot put with a toss of 45’ 6 ½” at the Nebraska Wesleyan Spring Open. That mark is an automatic national qualifying measurement that ranks ninth in the NAIA.

After capturing the GPAC title in the weight throw at the conference indoor meet, Crouse expects to win the hammer throw competition at the outdoor conference championships this weekend. The women’s hammer throw will get started at 5 p.m. on Friday.

Concordia to host GPAC Outdoor Track and Field Championships Friday and Saturday

02 MAY 2013

SEWARD, Neb. – For the first time since 2007, Concordia University will play host to the GPAC Outdoor Track and Field Championships when the 2013 event commences on Friday. The two-day meet, which will be held inside Bulldog Stadium, will kick start with the multi events on Friday at 1 p.m. and culminate with the awards ceremony at roughly 6 p.m. on Saturday.

Select events will be webcast live via the Concordia Sports Network throughout both days of the meet. For the complete schedule of events, click HERE.

“We are very excited to host the GPAC outdoor track & field championships this weekend,” Concordia head track and field coach Kregg Einspahr said. “This is one of the premier small college athletic conferences in the nation. Despite the weather forecast, we hope to host the meet in a fashion that allows our student-athletes to showcase this conference as one of the very best in all of college track and field. The competition is always fierce in the GPAC and this year is no exception.”

Einspahr’s Bulldogs are looking to improve upon their third-place finish on the men’s side and fourth-place finish on the women’s side at February’s GPAC indoor championships. The women would love to duplicate the success they have enjoyed recently as they have earned at least a share of the outdoor conference title in two of the last three years.

Concordia won titles in six different combined men’s and women’s events at the indoor championships and have clear favorites to win in several outdoor events. Junior Jamie Crouse (hammer throw), Sarah Kortze (10,000 meter run) and the men’s 4x400 meter relay all lead the GPAC in their respective events with marks that also rank highly on the NAIA leaderboard.

On the men’s side, Concordia figures to fare particularly well in the relays and in the hurdles – both specialties of junior standout Benjamin Hinckfoot. The Colorado Springs, Colo., native ranks second in the GPAC with his top time of 53.85 in the 400 meter hurdles. He also ran a leg for the Concordia 4x400 meter relay team that paces the GPAC with a time of 3:15.05.

More than anything, Hinckfoot is amped about competing in both the 110 and 400 meter hurdles.

“Those are definitely my favorite events to compete in,” Hinckfoot said. “Right now I’m really excited about this weekend. It’s going to be really good competition. It’s nice having Jonathon Becker and Tai Pleasant to run with and to compete with and to train with because they’re the best hurdlers in the conference.

“This weekend I’m looking to really compete well and get some good marks before the national meet.”

Joining Hinckfoot on the relays are the likes of John Cartier (GPAC 400 meter indoor champion), Pleasant (currently fourth in the GPAC in the 400 meter hurdles), Alex Heiden, Becker and several others. In other words, Concordia will be a force in each of the men’s relays.

An overall balanced roster means the Bulldog men should score points in virtually every event. Junior Carson Farr won the pole vault competition at the GPAC indoor meet and others such as freshman standout Cody Boellstorff (currently fourth in the GPAC in the hammer throw) will also add to the Concordia points tally.

“We’d really like to beat Doane,” Hinckfoot said. “The Concordia men’s track team has never won a conference championship and we’d really like to do that. We’ve got a really good shot this weekend. We have a really strong team from sprinters to field events all the way up to the distance guys.”

On the women’s side, the Bulldogs are not quite as balanced but do boast several great individuals. Assistant coach Jason Berry’s pole vaulters plan on holding down several spots among the conference’s top eight positions. Concordia had three of the top six finishers in the event at conference indoor championships and already has two who have automatically qualified for the outdoor national championships: Cynthia Mick and Kamala Moore.

Of course the most decorated athlete on the entire team is arguably Crouse, a three-time All-American expected to compete for a national title in the hammer throw. She leads a group of throwers that also includes automatic national qualifiers in Stephanie Coley (shot put), Brittany Erdmann (shot put) and Elizabeth King (javelin).

Other likely top female point scorers are Jericca Pearson in the triple jump and both Lydia Pomerenke and Sara Simmons in the heptathlon. Pomerenke sits 10th on the national leaderboard in points in her event, while Pearson has come agonizingly close to an automatic qualifying triple jump on several occasions.

With the event set to take place here on campus, the Bulldogs have an advantage as they look to put on a good show for the home crowd.

“It’s a big factor,” Einspahr said just prior to the start of the outdoor season. “It really is a home field advantage to be able to run in your home facility where you’re comfortable. You know where the bathrooms are. You know how things work. I think it’s just the familiarity of the environment that is a very positive factor. In addition you have the support of the campus. It really is a home field advantage. I think that works in our favor.”

While the weather forecast appears brisk for the weekend, Hinckfoot isn’t worried, simply because he’s used to it at this point. Cold and windy conditions have been the norm this spring.

“This entire spring season has been pretty much miserable,” Hinckfoot said. “It has not been very warm. It’s been windy. It’s been cold. So we’re prepared for it. We have a really strong team mentally and physically so I think we’re going to be able to compete very well. Because the championship is at home, we do have an advantage. We can go back into the locker room or back to or dorm rooms to stay warm.”

Coach Einspahr on expectations for the meet: “Our Bulldogs hope to compete for a finish in the top tier of conference teams. We have some outstanding women’s athletes competing, including Jamie Crouse, Sarah Kortze and Cythia Mick. In addition, I think we may have a very strong group in the women’s steeplechase and heptathlon. I also think Kim Wood is ready to have an outstanding meet and will be running the open 800 meters. On the men’s side, we have a tremendous group of hurdlers. In addition we have a strong hammer throw group. I look for Hayden Hohnholt to have a good meet in the distances.”

Sizing up the competition:

The GPAC stacks up as perhaps the top small-college track and field conference in the nation, so naturally there will be plenty of talent inside Bulldog Stadium on Friday and Saturday. Doane is the favorite on both sides after winning men’s and women’s GPAC titles at the indoor meet in February. Both Tiger squads finished in the top five at the national championships and bring in top-notch athletes like Rob Keeney – the indoor heptathlon national champion. Doane has 26 combined men’s and women’s performers who rank in the top 10 on the national leaderboard, including men’s discus leader Zack Lindsley.

On the men’s side, Morningside (second place at the GPAC indoor meet) should challenge Doane and Concordia for a top spot at the outdoor meet as well. The Mustangs possess indoor national championships Outstanding Performer of the meet Monte Larson – a national champion in the 800 meter run and as part of the 4x800 meter relay.

In addition, Morningside will feature a strong contender on the women’s side along with Concordia, Doane and Dordt. The Defenders are led by Briana Vander Woude, who broke a GPAC record in the pentathlon at the indoor meet. The Mustangs have strong relay teams as evidenced by their national championship in the 4x800 meter relay at the indoor national championships.

Concordia freshmen rule on day one of GPAC track and field championships

03 MAY 2013

SEWARD, Neb. – Day one at the 2013 GPAC Outdoor Track and Field Championships hosted by Concordia proved to be a big one for Bulldog freshmen on Friday. Concordia rookies Elizabeth King (javelin) and Cynthia Mick (pole vault) captured individual GPAC titles. Senior Sarah Kortze added a third individual title by taking the 10,000 meter run in 38:08.29.

With five events scored on both sides so far, the Concordia women’s 62.5 points lead heavily-favored Doane (42 points) for first place. On the men’s side, Doane paces the conference with 48 points. The Bulldogs sit fourth with 23 points.

Select events of Saturday’s second and final day of the GPAC Championships will be webcast live throughout the day via the Concordia Sports Network.

As expected, Concordia dominated the women’s pole vault competition as five Bulldogs scored in the event for a combined tally of 28 points. While Concordia fell short of its lofty aim to place seven of the top eight – a feat that would have forced assistant coach Jason Berry to dance an Irish jig on site – Mick shined by clearing 11’ 2 ½”.

“It was really exciting to go that high because for a while I’ve been stuck in kind of a rut,” Mick said. “Today it was just nice to get 11-2 and first place is obviously nice.”

Senior Ashlee Brown and Kamala Moore came in close behind as they tied for second with a clearance of 10’ 8 ¾” in the pole vault. Mick, Moore and Shelby Yelden top the team with a high-water mark of 11’ 9 ¾” that places each of them in elite territory.

“I love our pole vault program here,” Mick said. “It’s nice that we can compete so well and have so many good girls here. It’s a lot of fun to work with.”

King, who entered the GPAC championships ranked third in the javelin behind two Doane competitors, set a new personal best with her toss of 140’ 3.” That mark allowed her to take first place in the event for the fourth time in the last five meets.

King’s upset title emerged as one of the great stories of day one for the Bulldogs.

“I expected to do my best of course, but I really wanted to win,” King said. “I’ve never actually won a championship before.

“Really, I’m just excited that I scored points for my team and I’m excited to see how the rest of the weekend turns out. Hopefully people take this and they go out and do incredible things.”

Surprisingly, junior Jamie Crouse fell roughly a foot short of first-place finisher Abby Griffith of Doane in the hammer throw. Crouse’s personal best of 190’ 5” at the Concordia Outdoor Invite ranks third on the NAIA leaderboard, but the Belgrade, Neb., native was unable to duplicate that mark on Friday.

A balanced men’s squad got great day one outings from juniors Jonathon Becker and Benjamin Hinckfoot in the preliminaries of the 110 meter hurdles. Hinckfoot edged out Becker with a time of 14.73. Becker came in at 14.77. The finals of the event will be held at 2:25 p.m. on Saturday.

In the women’s heptathlon, junior Lydia Pomerenke and sophomore Sara Simmons shined. Assistant coach Mark Samuels believes Pomereneke stands a good chance of breaking a school record for total points in the heptathlon by the time the action concludes on Saturday. Simmons was impressive in her own right with first-place finishes in the 100 meter hurdles and 200 meter dash.

In the 4x800 meter relays, the Concordia men placed third and the women claimed fourth. The quartet of Jared Hoffman, Ben Sievert, Andrew Malan and Adam Prahlow clocked in at 7:51.27. The group of Kim Wood, Jenean Williams, Erika Schroeder and Jena Schwalenberg finished in 9:34.64.

Other top finishers for the men included Carson Farr in the pole vault and another freshman standout in Cody Boellstorff. Farr cleared 14’ 11” to earn second place after coming up just short in his attempts at 15’ 5”. Boellstorff placed fifth in the hammer throw with his toss of 168’ 4”.

The GPAC Championships will conclude on Saturday. The action gets started at 9 a.m. with the heptathlon and decathlon events. Field events begin at 12 p.m. and running events commence at 12:30 p.m.

Concordia’s deep and talented men’s relays will be showcased on Saturday while Becker and Hinckfoot figure to be neck-and-neck for the conference title in the hurdles. King and the Bulldog women want to shock the NAIA track world by knocking Doane off its perch.

“Everyone says it’s impossible. I think we can do it,” King said.

NOTE: The top-eight finishers in each event (top three for relays) earn all-conference recognition.

Hinckfoot, Kortze power Bulldog men and women to GPAC runner-up finishes

04 MAY 2013

SEWARD, Neb. – Temperatures hovered in the low 40s and a brisk wind whipped out of the north as the 2013 GPAC Outdoor Track and Field Championships came to a head at Bulldog Stadium on Saturday. Both junior Benjamin Hinckfoot and senior Sarah Kortze claimed individual titles on day two to push Concordia’s combined event title count to five on the weekend. Those finishes powered the Bulldogs to second place in both the men’s and women’s team standings.

“Obviously we always want to be in the hunt for the conference championship and top two in this conference is an outstanding finish,” Concordia head coach Kregg Einspahr said. “We’re very pleased with our team scoring.”

The Bulldogs finished with 57 total all-conference performances, including 30 on the men’s side and 27 on the women’s side. Concordia’s most all-GPAC marks from a single event came from the women’s pole vaulters, which placed five among the conference’s top eight.

After finishing second in the 110 meter hurdles at last year’s GPAC Championships, Hinckfoot rose to the top this year as he bested teammate Jonathon Becker (the 2012 champion), who placed third. Hinckfoot clocked in at 14.52 (NAIA automatic national qualifying time) in the finals of the 110 meter hurdles prior to placing second in the 400 meter hurdles with a time of 54.82.

“I had a really, really good 110 race, which I was really excited about,” Hinckfoot said. “The wind really helped. We had a good tailwind today. I kind of enjoy running in the colder weather.”

Kortze completed a fantastic weekend by winning yet another distance event. The 2012 GPAC Cross Country Runner of the Year won the 5,000 meter run on Saturday after having glided to first place in the 10,000 meter race on Friday. Kortze entered the weekend ranked sixth on the national leaderboard in the 10,000 meters.

“It was a fun weekend,” Kortze said. “God is good. He has been very gracious to me.”

Seward native Lydia Pomerenke finished off a strong performance in the heptathlon on Saturday. Her tally of 4,365 points in the event broke teammate Katie Rich’s previous school record of 4,204 points. Pomerenke placed second in the 200 meter dash, the long jump and the javelin to finish second overall, just behind Erin DeVries of Doane.

“It’s been a dream of mine the whole year,” said Pomerenke of breaking the school heptathlon record. “It’s really nice that I got to do it at conference at my home track. It’s pretty exciting with my family here.”

While senior Jena Schwalenberg came up short of individual titles, Einspahr noted that the Columbus, Neb., native put forth one of the best all-around performances for the Concordia women. She finished runner up in both the 1,500 meter and 5,000 meter races while also running the final leg for the fourth-place Bulldog 4x800 meter relay, as she contributed to 20 team points in the meet.

In Saturday’s throwing events, Stephanie Coley placed second in the shot put with a mark of 46’ 11 ½” and Jose Rojas took third in the men’s shot put with his toss of 48’ 9 ½”. In addition to Coley, Jamie Crouse (43’ 9 ¾”) and Brittany Erdmann (43' 2 ¼”) finished sixth and seventh, respectively, in the shot put to give Concordia three of the top seven in the event. Freshman Cody Boellstorff also took all-conference honors by notching a sixth-place shot put mark of 47’ 5 ¾”.

Junior John Cartier may have had the busiest weekend of any Bulldog track and field athlete as he took part in the 100 meter dash (seventh), 200 meter dash (third), 400 meter dash (third), the 4x100 meter relay (second) and the 4x400 meter relay (third). The combined team scoring of these Cartier-contributed events equaled 28 points.

Cartier was part of a deep group of 200 meter runners for Concordia, which had placeholders two through four in the event. Sophomore Tai Pleasant came in just five-thousandths of a second off the winner from Northwestern to take second. Junior Garrett Golke placed fourth.

One of the heartbreaks of the meet came in the men’s 1,500 meter run when sophomore Ben Sievert fell to the track just a few meters from the finish line, costing him a few places. He ended up sixth in the event with a time of 4:10.05.

“Ben Sievert had a tremendous race going in the 1,500 (meters),” Einspahr said. “He put it all on the line. He fell just before the finish line and it cost him a couple places. That was kind of tough on him but he bounced back in the 5,000 (to finish seventh).”

Both Concordia men and women improved their team finishes after coming in third and fourth, respectively, at the GPAC indoor meet in February. While Doane won conference titles on both sides, the Bulldogs were satisfied with the improvement.

“We all competed really well,” Hinckfoot said. “We knew what we had to do. Doane ended up beating us, but I think we’re all really happy with our performances today.”

Considering the stiff competition characteristic of the GPAC, Einspahr concurred with Hinckfoot’s assessment.

“Overall it was a great meet,” Einspahr said. “We had balance on both sides. We scored in most events. In this conference runner up is really an outstanding finish. Both guys and gals – I’m really proud of them.”

The Bulldogs will host the Concordia Twilight Meet on Friday, May 10. This will be the final competition before the NAIA National Championships take place in Marion, Ind., May 23-25.

NOTE: The top-eight finishers in each event (top three for relays) earn all-conference recognition.

Forty-five Bulldogs earn all-conference track and field honors

09 MAY 2013

GPAC Release

Forty-five Bulldog track and field athletes have officially been recognized as GPAC all-conference honorees (see complete list below). The list includes four individuals who won GPAC titles: Benjamin Hinckfoot (110 meter hurdles), Elizabeth King (javelin), Sarah Kortze (5,000 and 10,000 meter runs) and Cynthia Mick (pole vault). The GPAC recognizes the top eight placeholders in each event at the GPAC Championships as all-conference.

The Concordia men had 21 different athletes garner all-conference accolades as they combined on a total of 30 all-GPAC performances. The Bulldog men had at least one all-conference athlete in 16 of the 22 events at the 2013 GPAC Outdoor Track and Field Championships. Junior John Cartier led the way with all-conference efforts in three individual events while also running legs for the 4x100 and 4x400 meter relays that both finished in the top three.

On the women’s side, 24 different athletes received all-GPAC recognition as they collaborated on 30 all-league performances. The Concordia women scored points in 15 of 22 events at the GPAC Championships. Along with Kortze, Jena Schwalenberg put forth one of the top all-around outputs for the women with second-place finishes in both the 1,500 and 5,000 meter runs. The team’s most fruitful event was the pole vault where five Bulldogs placed in the top eight.

Head coach Kregg Einspahr’s teams will return to action on Friday when they host the Concordia Twilight meet. The action will get started at 2 p.m.

MEN (21)

  • Jonathon Becker (third in 110 meter hurdles; third in 400 meter hurdles)
  • Beau Billings (sixth in 3,000 meter steeplechase)
  • Cody Boellstorff (fifth in hammer throw; sixth in shot put)
  • John Cartier (second in 4x100 meter relay; third in 4x400 meter relay; third in 200 meter dash; third in 400 meter dash; seventh in 100 meter dash)
  • Nathan Ernstmeyer (eighth in hammer throw)
  • Carson Farr (second in pole vault)
  • Garrett Golke (second in 4x100 meter relay; fourth in 200 meter dash; sixth in 100 meter dash; seventh in 400 meter dash)
  • Alex Heiden (third in 4x400 meter relay)
  • Benjamin Hinckfoot (first in 110 meter hurdles; second in 400 meter hurdles; third in 4x400 meter relay)
  • Jared Hoffman (third in 4x800 meter relay)
  • Hayden Hohnholt (third in 5,000 meter run; fourth in 3,000 meter steeplechase)
  • Jacob Kettner (sixth in triple jump)
  • Andrew Malan (third in 4x800 meter relay)
  • Taiheem Pleasant (second in 4x100 meter relay; second in 200 meter dash; third in 4x400 meter relay; fifth in 400 meter hurdles)
  • Adam Prahlow (third in 4x800 meter relay; fourth in 1,500 meter run)
  • Joel Ripke (fourth in shot put)
  • Jose Rojas (third in shot put)
  • Ben Sievert (third in 4x800 meter relay; sixth in 1,500 meter run; seventh in 5,000 meter run)
  • Josh Slechta (fifth in javelin)
  • Noah Smith (second in 4x100 meter relay; fourth in 100 meter dash)
  • Jaap Van Gaalen (fifth in 400 meter dash)

WOMEN (24)

  • Tanel Baehr (sixth in 4x400 meter relay)
  • Ashlee Brown (second in pole vault)
  • Kattie Cleveland (eighth in discus)
  • Stephanie Coley (second in shot put)
  • Jamie Crouse (second in hammer throw; sixth in shot put)
  • Brittany Erdmann (seventh in shot put)
  • Montana Hayes (eighth in heptathlon)
  • Elizabeth King (first in javelin)
  • Jessica Klaustermeier (sixth in 4x100 meter relay; sixth in 4x400 meter relay)
  • Sarah Kortze (first in 5,000 meter run; first in 10,000 meter run)
  • Cynthia Mick (first in pole vault; sixth in 4x100 meter relay)
  • Kamala Moore (second in pole vault)
  • Jericca Pearson (fourth in triple jump; sixth in 4x100 meter relay; seventh in high jump)
  • Nicole Perry (seventh in hammer throw)
  • Lydia Pomerenke (second in heptathlon)
  • Erika Schroeder (fourth in 4x800 meter relay; sixth in 3,000 meter steeplechase)
  • Jena Schwalenberg (second in 1,500 meter run; second in 5,000 meter run; fourth in 4x800 meter relay)
  • Sara Simmons (fourth in heptathlon; seventh in 100 meter hurdles)
  • Cassandra Starks (sixth in pole vault)
  • Shelby Stolze (eighth in 100 meter hurdles)
  • Jenean Williams (fourth in 4x800 meter relay; seventh in 3,000 meter steeplechase)
  • Renee Williams (third in 3,000 meter steeplechase)
  • Kim Wood (third in 800 meter run; fourth in 4x800 meter relay; sixth in 4x400 meter relay)
  • Shelby Yelden (eighth in pole vault)
  • Quriosity Young (sixth in 4x100 meter relay; sixth in 4x400 meter relay; seventh in 100 meter dash)

Bulldogs tune up for nationals at annual Twilight Meet

10 MAY 2013

SEWARD, Neb. – The usual suspects claimed individual titles as Concordia played host for the final time in the 2013 outdoor track and field season with the Twilight Meet unfolding inside Bulldog Stadium on Friday. The meet served as a tune up for the NAIA National Championships (May 23-25) for All-Americans like Concordia junior Jamie Crouse, who won the hammer throw.

The Twilight Meet also gave several athletes one last chance to reach national qualifying marks. Bulldog sophomore Jericca Pearson took advantage by finally breaking through with an ‘A’ standard mark in the triple jump as she leaped 38’ ¾” to place second in the event. That performance relieved the anguish of coming up a centimeter short of the ‘A’ mark in what was her previous personal best.

“I was kind of frustrated with that because I was just so close,” Pearson said. “Then today I PR’d and I was just ecstatic. I was so happy and stoked I jumped into my teammates’ arms because I was so excited. It was a great experience today.”

Senior Colin Morrissey tried to gut out a qualifying time in the 5,000 meter run after sitting out with an injury since concluding the indoor season. The Omaha native finished in 15:51.67, about one minute short of an automatic berth to nationals. The effort was impressive considering Morrissey just started training again a week ago.

Both of Concordia’s 4x800 meter relay teams improved their times with marks that eclipsed the ‘B’ standard in their bids to reach nationals. The Bulldog women’s relay completed the race in 9:30.29 – roughly two seconds off the ‘A’ mark. Meanwhile the Concordia men’s quartet of Jared Hoffman, Ben Sievert, Jaap Van Gaalen and Adam Prahlow was just short of the ‘A’ mark with a time of 7:47.03.

In the throwing events, Concordia freshman Elizabeth King continued a remarkable first season by winning the javelin competition for the fifth time in the seven meets she has entered the event. The Billings, Mont., native tossed the javelin 138’ 8” to outdistance the second-place finisher by more than two feet on Friday.

The Bulldogs’ talented pool of women’s pole vaulters was led again by freshman Cynthia Mick on Friday. She equaled her personal best and ‘A’ qualifying mark by clearing 11’ 9 ¾” to take first in the event, just a week after also winning the pole vault at the GPAC Championships. The Bulldogs boasted four of the top eight individuals in the event.

Assistant coach Jason Berry will take three women’s pole vaulters to nationals. A fourth – senior Kellie Fegter – would have been a near lock for nationals had she not suffered a knee injury that sidelined her for the entire outdoor season.

On the men’s side, junior Carson Farr finished second in the pole vault with his clearance of 15’ 7” – a ‘B’ national qualifying mark that currently places him in a tie for 13th in the NAIA pending the results of other weekend meets. The top 16 automatically qualify for nationals.

Junior John Cartier missed the ‘B’ standard mark in the 400 meter dash by nine-hundredths of a second and the ‘A’ mark by just over a half second with his time of 48.59. That time allowed him to place first in the event in another busy meet for the Las Vegas, Nev., native. Cartier also put his talents to the test in the 800 meter run for the first time this season.

Not surprisingly, Crouse bounced back from her disappointing second-place finish in the hammer throw at the GPAC Championships last week to place first in the event on Friday with her throw of 175’ 5”. The Belgrade, Neb., native remains third on the NAIA leaderboard with her top mark of 190’ 5” in the hammer. She also owns an automatic national qualifying measurement in the shot put.

Head coach Kregg Einspahr’s squads now look forward to the 2013 NAIA Outdoor Track and Field National Championships to be held at Indiana Wesleyan University in Marion, Ind. The deadline for national championships entries is May 13. Several Bulldogs on the fringe of receiving bids to nationals will have to sweat out the results of other weekend meets around the country.

The national championships are highly anticipated by all Bulldog athletes, especially ones like Pearson who was limited last season by injury.

“Last year was difficult because I tore my quads,” Pearson said. “But this year I’ve been able to run and stuff. (I’m excited) just being able to get my legs underneath me and be able to perform and run fast on the runway and get my marks.”

Bulldogs set to take 32 athletes to NAIA outdoor national championships

17 MAY 2013

SEWARD, Neb. – Thirty-two Bulldog athletes, including 17 men and 15 women (full list below), will make their way east to Marion, Ind., for the 2013 NAIA Indoor Track and Field National Championships, held May 23-25. The NAIA officially announced the qualifying field on Friday.

The national championships will be streamed live by host Indiana Wesleyan University. The webcast can be viewedHERE.

Concordia’s qualifying list includes 14 athletes who achieved All-America status in one or more events at the indoor national championships in Geneva, Ohio, 15 individuals who also competed at the 2012 outdoor national championships and four 2013 GPAC outdoor titlists.

Bulldog head track and field coach Kregg Einspahr believes his large group of seasoned competitors is primed for solid performances in Marion after testing its mettle all season at loaded meets.

“Our conference is so challenging that it really prepares us well for the national championships,” Einspahr said. “The GPAC is perhaps the toughest conference in NAIA track and field. Having gone through that on a weekly basis, we feel well-prepared.

“We may even see a number of surprises. Once we get everyone out there on even footing, I think we’re going to look pretty good. I think we have a good chance of scoring out better than we do on paper.”

Junior Jamie Crouse, already a three-time All-American, represents Concordia’s best chance at an individual national title. The Belgrade, Neb., native ranks No. 3 on the NAIA leaderboard in the hammer throw with her school record toss of 190’ 5”. She leads a talent group of women’s throwers that also includes qualifiers Stephanie Coley and Brittany Erdmann. Crouse will join Coley and Erdmann in the shot put at the national meet.

While Crouse may be one of few serious title contenders for the Bulldogs, Einspahr believes his teams will come through once again with a bevy of All-America performances.

“We have a lot of guys and gals who have a good chance of finishing in the top eight,” Einspahr said. “We don’t necessarily have a lot of horses that we would anticipate being in the top three, but we have tremendous depth. We have a very good conference team with a lot of competitors who have a chance to be All-Americans.”

Concordia will show off plenty of depth in the men’s relays as 11 different Bulldogs will make up three national qualifying relays. Both senior Jared Hoffman and sophomore Ben Sievert return to run the 4x800 meter relay after earning All-America honors in the event at the 2012 outdoor championships. Meanwhile, junior John Cartier, sophomore Taiheem Pleasant and freshman Jaap van Gaalen will be busy as all three are expected to compete in two relays.

Bulldog women’s pole vaulters possess the potential for big points at the national meet. Assistant coach Jason Berry will take three vaulters into competition with Cynthia Mick, Kamala Moore and Shelby Yelden all aiming for All-America status.

Other top performers on the NAIA national leaderboard include senior Sarah Kortze (sixth in the 10,000 meter run) and junior Lydia Pomerenke (seventh in the heptathlon). Both competed in the same events at last season’s outdoor national championships. Kortze, a 2011 and 2012 cross country All-American, looks to add another feather in her cap after just missing out on All-America honors in Marion last year.

Sophomore Matthias Wollberg qualified for the marathon at nationals, but will not race because of injury. Coley also qualified in the hammer throw, but will focus solely on the shot put at nationals.

Of the 32 Bulldog athletes ready to travel to Marion on Monday, five are seniors, 14 are juniors, six are sophomores and seven are freshmen.

 

2013 Concordia Outdoor Track and Field National Qualifiers

*Current national rankings in parentheses

MEN (17)

  • Jonathon Becker, junior
    -110 meter hurdles (20th, 14.77)
    -4x400 meter relay (7th, 3:15.05)
  • Cody Boellstorff, freshman
    -hammer throw (10th, 174’ 11”)
  • John Cartier, junior
    -4x100 meter relay (15th, 41.77)
    -4x400 meter relay (7th, 3:15.05)
  • Nathan Ernstmeyer, senior
    -hammer throw (15th, 172’ 7”)
  • Carson Farr, junior
    -pole vault (15th, 15’ 7”)
  • Garrett Golke, junior
    -4x100 meter relay (15th, 41.77)
  • Alex Heiden, junior
    -4x400 meter relay (7th, 3:15.05)
  • Benjamin Hinckfoot, junior
    -110 meter hurdles (14th, 14.52)
    -400 meter hurdles (10th, 53.85)
  • Jared Hoffman, senior
    -4x800 meter relay (15th, 7:47.03)
  • Hayden Hohnholt, junior
    -3,000 meter steeplechase (23rd, 9:26.25)
  • Andrew Malan, junior
    -4x800 meter relay (15th, 7:47.03)
  • Taiheem Pleasant, sophomore
    -400 meter hurdles (13th, 53.94)
    -4x100 meter relay (15th, 41.77)
    -4x400 meter relay (7th, 3:15.05)
  • Adam Prahlow, junior
    -4x800 meter relay (15th, 7:47.03)
  • Joel Ripke, freshman
    -discus (14th, 162’ 8”)
  • Ben Sievert, sophomore
    -4x800 meter relay (15th, 7:47.03)
  • Noah Smith, junior
    -4x100 meter relay (15th, 41.77)
  • Jaap van Gaalen, freshman
    -4x400 meter relay (7th, 3:15.05)
    -4x800 meter relay (15th, 7:47.03)

WOMEN (15)

  • Stephanie Coley, freshman
    -shot put (4th, 47’ 11 ¾”)
  • Jamie Crouse, junior
    -hammer throw (3rd, 190’ 5”)
    -shot put (12th, 45’ 6 ½”)
  • Brittany Erdmann, sophomore
    -shot put (15th, 44’ 8 ¼”)
  • Elizabeth King, freshman
    -javelin (8th, 140’ 3”)
  • Sarah Kortze, senior
    -10,000 meter run (6th, 36:33.47)
  • Cynthia Mick, freshman
    -pole vault (10th, 11’ 9 ¾”)
  • Kamala Moore, senior
    -pole vault (10th, 11’ 9 ¾”)
  • Jericca Pearson, sophomore
    -triple jump (15th, 38’ ¾”)
  • Lydia Pomerenke, junior
    -heptathlon (8th, 4,365 points)
  • Erika Schroeder, sophomore
    -4x800 meter relay (19th, 9:30.29)
  • Jena Schwalenberg, senior
    -4x800 meter relay (19th, 9:30.29)
  • Sara Simmons, sophomore
    -heptathlon (17th, 4,164 points)
  • Jenean Williams, junior
    -4x800 meter relay (19th, 9:30.29)
  • Kim Wood, freshman
    -4x800 meter relay (19th, 9:30.29)
  • Shelby Yelden, junior
    -pole vault (10th, 11’ 9 ¾”)

Throwers shine on day one of NAIA outdoor nationals

23 MAY 2013

Four Bulldogs achieved All-America status on day one of the 2013 NAIA Outdoor Track and Field National Championships on Thursday. Distinguished junior Jamie Crouse led the way with her fourth-place finish in the hammer throw to earn All-American honors for the fourth time in her increasingly impressive career. Several other Bulldogs will take aim at similar success as the championships continue on Friday and Saturday in Marion, Ind.

The national championships are streamed live and freeHERE. Find live results HERE.

In addition to the four Bulldog All-America performances on Thursday, Concordia also advanced several athletes to the finals of their respective events. Junior Benjamin Hinckfoot continued a tremendous season by breaking his own school record in the 400 meter hurdles, clocking in at 53.54 to place second in his heat of the prelims. That finals-qualifying time broke his previous school record (set earlier this season) of 53.85. Hinckfoot will run in the 400 hurdles again on Saturday.

“The cool and damp weather helped Ben,” Concordia head coach Kregg Einspahr said. “He loves it. He’s a big, strong kid and ran really well today. He ran the second fastest 400 hurdles time today and is going into the finals looking like he could really do well.”

Crouse, who finished fifth in the hammer at last season’s outdoor championships, recorded a throw of 182’ 1”. She entered nationals ranked third in the NAIA with a season best and school record throw of 190’ 5”.

“Jamie’s been fighting a back injury about the last month,” throws coach Ed McLaughlin said. “Everything started to click again here. She’s been feeling pretty good and felt well enough to get fourth place. It’s hard to complain with fourth place at nationals.”

Equally as accomplished is senior Sarah Kortze. The Rockford, Ill., native clocked in at 36:40.06 to place fifth in the 10,000 meter run. The two-time cross country All-American, the last competitor of the day for the Bulldogs, ended Thursday in style.

“Sarah did a nice job staying with the second group of four,” Einspahr said. “The front three broke away and then Sarah’s group broke away from the rest of the pack. She did a very good job positioning herself and believing in her abilities. She ran a really good last two miles. It was a very good day for her.”

Then there were the freshmen who showed that the spotlight of the grand stage was not too bright. Rookies Elizabeth King and Cody Boellstorff both claimed All-America honors with top-eight finishes, and both saved their best for last. King set a new personal best in the javelin and placed fourth overall with a mark of 144’ 6”. Meanwhile, Boellstorff, one of the top freshmen throwers in all of the NAIA, took eighth place thanks to a personal best throw of 180 feet in the hammer.

In all, three of Concordia’s four All-Americans came from the throws on Thursday.

“It’s been a pretty amazing day,” McLaughlin said. “To have two All-Americans in the hammer and one in the javelin on the same day is pretty special. With two of them being freshmen it’s even crazier. Then we have two more freshmen going Friday.”

With four of seven events scored in the heptathlon, Concordia junior Lydia Pomerenke sits ninth with 2,644 points while sophomore Sara Simmons rests in 12th with 2,530 points. Pomerenke set a season best by clearing 4’ 11 ¾” in the high jump. Pomerenke and Simmons finished seventh and eighth, respectively, in the 200 meter dash as part of the heptathlon.

Among Concordia’s three relays (two men’s, one women’s) in competition on Thursday, the women’s 4x800 enjoyed the most success. The group, led by a great leg from freshman Kim Wood, qualified for Friday’s final with a time of 9:32.89 – third best in its heat. Both the men’s 4x100 and 4x800 relays fell just short of reaching the finals.

Einspahr felt particularly bad for the men’s 4x800, which came up two-hundredths of a second away from qualifying for the finals.

In addition, Concordia’s three women’s pole vaulters all came up short in their bids to reach the finals. The Bulldogs’ three national qualifiers in the event tied Bethel (Ind.) for the most in the NAIA.

Day two of three at the national championships gets started at 8:30 a.m. CDT. Pomerenke and Simmons will be the first Bulldogs in action as they continue in the heptathlon at 9:30 a.m. View the full Friday schedule for Concordia athletes below.

McLaughlin will lead three women’s shot putters into competition on Friday as Jamie Crouse returns to action and freshman Stephanie Coley and sophomore Brittany Erdmann debut at the 2013 outdoor championships. Hinckfoot will compete again when he takes the track at approximately 12:45 CDT for the 110 meter hurdles on Friday.

The men’s 4x400 meter relay will run at 7:15 p.m. CDT. The team will be without sophomore standout Taiheem Pleasant, who suffered an injury during training in Marion. Freshman Jaap Van Galen will take his place.

Competitors at the national championships are hoping for better weather on Friday after dealing with temperatures right around 50 degrees on Thursday. They also faced a steady wind and a pesky misting rain on the event’s first day.

Concordia All-Americans after Thursday:

  • Cody Boellstorff – eighth in hammer throw (180’)
  • Jamie Crouse – fourth in hammer throw (182’ 1”)
  • Elizabeth King – fourth in javelin (144’ 6”)
  • Sarah Kortze – fifth in 10,000 meter run (36:40.06)

Bulldogs competing on Friday (times listed are central):

  • 9:30 a.m. – women’s heptathlon (Lydia Pomerenke, Sara Simmons)
  • 12 p.m. – women’s shot put (Stephanie Coley, Jamie Crouse, Brittany Erdmann)
  • 12:45 p.m. – men’s 110 meter hurdles (Jonathon Becker, Benjamin Hinckfoot)
  • 4 p.m. – men’s discus (Joel Ripke)
  • 4:30 p.m. – women’s 4x800 meter relay (FINAL)
  • 4:30 p.m. – women’s triple jump (Jericca Pearson)
  • 7:15 p.m. – men’s 4x400 meter relay

Twenty-two Bulldog track and field athletes receive Scholar-Athlete honors

24 MAY 2013

-View men’s track and field Daktronics-NAIA Scholar-Athletes
-View women’s track and field Daktronics-NAIA Scholar-Athletes

Twenty-two Bulldog track and field student-athletes (list below) have been named 2013 Daktronics-NAIA Scholar-Athletes, as announced by the NAIA on Friday. Ten of the 22 honorees are repeat selections from last year’s track and field Scholar-Athletes.

In addition, 10 of the Concordia track and field Scholar-Athletes earned the same honor in the fall for cross country.

Concordia ends the 2012-13 athletics season with a total of 66 Scholar-Athletes. In the history of the prestigious academic honor, no other school has tallied more Scholar-Athletes than Concordia.

In order to be nominated by an institution's head coach, 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. A total of 517 NAIA track and field (204 men, 313 women) performers nationally earned Scholar-Athlete recognition.

2013 Concordia track and field Daktronics-NAIA Scholar-Athletes

  • Stephanie Aurich ● junior ● Mayer, Minn. ● Early Childhood Education
  • Beau Billings ● junior ● Valentine, Neb. ● Marketing
  • Ashlee Brown ● senior ● North Platte, Neb. ● Biology, Chemistry minor/Pre-Veterinar
  • John Cartier ● junior ● Las Vegas, Nev. ● Pre-Law
  • Kellie Fegter ● senior ● Holdredge, Neb. ● Exercise Science
  • Daniel Gibson ● senior ● Grand Island, Neb. ● Secondary Education - Math and Theology
  • Joel Heckmann ● senior ● Sioux Falls, S.D. ● Music/Pre-Sem
  • Paige Hemmer ● junior ● Colman, S.D. ● World and Intercultural Studies
  • Benjamin Hinckfoot ● junior ● Colorado Springs, Colo. ● Secondary Education - History and ESL
  • Jared Hoffman ● senior ● Griswold, Iowa ● Elementary Education
  • Hayden Hohnholt ● junior ● Gillette, Wyo. ● Middle Level Education - Math and Health/Physical Ed.
  • Myria Knapp ● junior ● North Platte, Neb. ● Elementary Education – Special Education
  • Sarah Kortze ● senior ● Rockford, Ill. ● Biology and Physical Science
  • Megan Letts ● junior ● Lakewood, Colo. ● Spanish
  • Andrew Malan ● junior ● Lincoln, Neb. ● Marketing, Journalism, and Graphic Design
  • Colin Morrissey ● senior ● Omaha, Neb. ● Secondary Education
  • Lydia Pomerenke ● junior ● Seward, Neb. ● Secondary Education - ESL/Spanish
  • Jena Schwalenberg ● senior ● Columbus, Neb. ● Elementary Education
  • Timothy von Behren ● junior ● Falls City, Neb. ● Exercise Science
  • Jenean Williams ● junior ● North Mankato, Minn. ● Elementary Education – Early Childhood
  • Shelby Yelden ● junior ● Seward, Neb. ● Middle Level Education
  • Spencer Zysset ● junior ● Hastings, Neb. ● Middle Level Education

Men's 4x4, Pomerenke headline Friday action at national championships

24 MAY 2013

Bookended by Junior Lydia Pomerenke at the beginning and by the men’s 4x400 meter relay at the conclusion, the Bulldogs got solid performances on day two of three at the 2013 NAIA Outdoor Track and Field National Championships in Marion, Ind., on Friday. Pomerenke rose to All-America honors in the heptathlon and the men’s 4x400 meter relay closed the day by qualifying for Saturday evening’s final.

Pomerenke’s All-America effort gives the Bulldogs a total of five All-Americans after the first two days of the outdoor championships. Adding Pomerenke’s two team points, the women sit in a tie for 10th place after 10 events scored with all Bulldog competitors finished for the weekend. The men have just one point so far, but will have plenty of opportunities to move up the team standings on Saturday.

The national championships are streamed live and freeHERE. Find live results HERE.

The men’s 4x400 meter relay broke a nine-year-old school record with a time of 3:13.26 in the preliminary race. Jaap Van Gaalen filled in for Tai Pleasant and collaborated on the record-breaking time along with Alex Heiden, Ben Hinckfoot and John Cartier. The former school record of 3:14.01 was held by a quartet of Bulldogs that included current assistant coach Mark Samuels.

“I was very happy to watch it fall off the board,” Samuels said of the previous record. “They ran very well and battled adversity with Tai going down (with an injury) and putting a freshman on leadoff. Jaap gave us a strong first leg.

“These guys have worked extremely hard to get where they’re at. They are a great group. They have paid their dues.”

Cartier posted the best split as part of a tremendous anchor leg, clocking in at 46.6 according to the stopwatch of head coach Kregg Einspahr. Cartier’s final kick allowed Concordia to finish third overall in the prelims – faster than any relays in the first of the two heats.

“Overall it was just a very good race,” Einspahr said. “It was great to see a new school record. It shows how deep and talented we are in the 4x4. It was an extremely close race and a great way to finish the day.”

Pomerenke, who finished 12th in the heptathlon last year, began the day in ninth after four of the seven events were scored. The Seward native finished strong and tallied a school record 4,485 points to put her in All-America territory at seventh place. Sophomore Sara Simmons also competed in the heptathlon and finished 10th with a personal best of 4,284 points.

“Lydia and Sara competed well,” Samuels said. “I think it helped having both there to move to events together and having someone to talk to. They really competed well and had a really good second day.

“Lydia’s worked so hard and is a great leader. It’s nice to see her get rewarded.”

Junior Benjamin Hinckfoot qualified for the finals of another hurdle competition by completing the 110 meter hurdles in 14.57, placing him ninth overall. On Thursday, Hinckfoot clinched a spot in the finals of the 400 meter hurdles with a school-record time of 53.54. The Colorado Springs, Colo., native will be busy on Saturday when the finals of both hurdles events and the men’s 4x400 meter relay commence.

“He’ll be fine,” Einspahr said of Hinckfoot. “He’s older and he’s a big, strong kid. He’s so strong it won’t affect him one bit. It’s nothing new for him to run three events in one day.”

Concordia hoped to have at least one All-American in the women’s shot put, but the trio of freshman Stephanie Coley, junior Jamie Crouse and sophomore Brittany Erdmann missed the finals of the event in a disappointing showing. Both Coley and Erdmann were All-Americans in the shot put at the indoor national championships.

Sophomore Jericca Pearson came agonizingly close to an All-America finish in the triple jump. Her mark of 38’ 3” was a personal best, but the Gibbon, Neb., native wound up two inches short of the eighth place finisher in the event.

Despite shaving roughly 10 seconds off of its time from Thursday, the Bulldog women’s 4x800 meter relay team fell outside of All-America territory with a ninth-place finish. Concordia completed the race in 9:23.59. Einspahr was pleased with the improvement and noted that, on paper, the relay was not even expected to make the final.

Friday’s weather proved much more favorable than Thursday’s conditions as temperatures climbed into the 60s. Samuels termed it a “perfect night for racing.”

Saturday will feature the men’s 4x400 meter relay, Hinckfoot in two hurdles events and the debut of pole vaulter Carson Farr at the 2013 outdoor championships. Farr, a junior from Cambridge, Neb., finished just outside of All-American recognition at the 2013 indoor national championships.

Concordia All-Americans after Friday:

  • Cody Boellstorff – eighth in hammer throw (180’)
  • Jamie Crouse – fourth in hammer throw (182’ 1”)
  • Elizabeth King – fourth in javelin (144’ 6”)
  • Sarah Kortze – fifth in 10,000 meter run (36:40.06)
  • Lydia Pomerenke – seventh in heptathlon (4,485 points)

Bulldogs competing on Saturday (times listed are central):

  • 12 p.m. – Carson Farr (pole vault)
  • 2:40 p.m. – Benjamin Hinckfoot (110 meter hurdles final)
  • 3:20 p.m. – Hinckfoot (400 meter hurdles final)
  • 5:25 p.m. – Men’s 4x400 meter relay final (Van Gaalen, Heiden, Hinckfoot, Cartier)

Hinckfoot breaks own school record on way to three All-America honors

25 MAY 2013

Junior Benjamin Hinckfoot enjoyed a banner afternoon on the final day of the 2013 NAIA Outdoor Track and Field National Championships on Saturday. Hinckfoot earned All-America honors in three separate events: the 110 meter hurdles, the 400 meter hurdles and as part of the 4x400 meter relay. In sum, nine Bulldog individuals combined on All-America performances in nine different events over the three-day championship meet hosted by Indiana Wesleyan University in Marion, Ind.

As a team, the Concordia women finished in 20th place with 16 points. The men tied for 42nd with five points.

“Obviously we would like to finish higher in the relay and in the team standings,” head coach Kregg Einspahr said. “In general we’re a fairly young team. The future certainly looks bright, and our competitive effort this weekend was very good. We finished better than we projected out on paper.”

Hinckfoot began his busy day with the 110 meter hurdle final in the afternoon. A disqualification due to false start in lane three guaranteed the Colorado Springs, Colo., native All-America honors. He went on to place eighth in the 110 hurdles, finishing in 14.70.

Incredibly, Hinckfoot broke his own school record twice in the 400 meter hurdles at the national championships. He made the finals by clocking in at 53.54 in Thursday’s preliminaries prior to posting a lightning fast time of 52.99 on Saturday to place seventh in the event.

“His first two hurdles were a little rough, but he finished up well,” Einspahr said. “That was an excellent time.”

The men’s 4x400 meter relay took the track early in the evening in what was the final event of the national championships. The quartet of Jaap van Gaalen, Alex Heiden, Hinckfoot and John Cartier came up just .02 seconds short of the school record it set in Friday’s preliminary. Concordia’s impressive time of 3:13.28 placed eighth in what was a “blazing fast” final as assistant coach Mark Samuels termed it.

“We were going all out and about matched our time from last night,” Einspahr said. “I think it hurt us running from behind and our handoffs cost us some time. With a new leg we weren’t as familiar with that handoff, but overall it was a great team effort. Those were the two fastest times in school history and we did it with a freshman.”

Saturday’s 4x400 time came in more than two seconds faster than the 3:15.71 mark that allowed the Bulldogs to take fifth at the 2013 indoor national championships. The indoor relay was manned by Jonathon Becker, Cartier, Hinckfoot and Taiheem Pleasant. Pleasant was unable to compete this weekend due to injury.

Junior Carson Farr got Saturday’s action started for Concordia with the pole vault. He cleared the opening height of 15’ 1”, but was unsuccessful in his attempts at 15’ 7”. He finished ninth, once again just outside of reaching All-America honors.

Farr was one of a number of near misses in bids for All-America honors over the weekend. The women’s 4x800 meter relay and Jericca Pearson (triple jump) both finished ninth in their respective events. In addition, Stephanie Coley placed 10th in the shot put.

Repeat track and field All-Americans on the weekend for Concordia included Cartier, Jamie Crouse, Heiden and Hinckfoot. First time track and field All-Americans included Cody Boellstorff, Elizabeth King, Sarah Kortze (two-time cross country All-American), Lydia Pomerenke and Jaap Van Gaalen. The Bulldogs totaled 16 All-America performances at the 2013 indoor championships.

With a great deal of the team’s top athletes returning next season, Concordia expects to see higher team finishes in 2014.

“My expectation year-to-year is top 15 finishes,” Einspahr said. “It’s not unusual for us to have teams in the top 10. We’ll keep working at it and get those team scores up. We had a real good conference team but we just did not have the real big horses at the top. We had lots of people seeded between eight and 18 in their events so they had to work hard to get into that top eight to score a point. It was a good meet overall.”

2013 Concordia outdoor track and field All-Americans:

  • Cody Boellstorff – eighth in hammer throw (180’)
  • John Cartier – eighth in 4x400 meter relay (3:13.28)
  • Jamie Crouse – fourth in hammer throw (182’ 1”)
  • Alex Heiden – eighth in 4x400 meter relay (3:13.28)
  • Benjamin Hinckfoot – seventh in 400 meter hurdles (52.99); eighth in 110 meter hurdles (14.70); eighth in 4x400 meter relay (3:13.28)
  • Elizabeth King – fourth in javelin (144’ 6”)
  • Sarah Kortze – fifth in 10,000 meter run (36:40.06)
  • Lydia Pomerenke – seventh in heptathlon (4,485 points)
  • Jaap van Gaalen – eighth in 4x400 meter relay (3:13.28)

Hinckfoot, Kortze and Morrissey named Academic All-District by CoSIDA

30 MAY 2013

Concordia seniors Sarah Kortze and Colin Morrissey and junior Benjamin Hinckfoot have each been named to the Capital One Academic All-District 6 Track & Field/Cross Country teams of the College Division, as announced by the College Sports Information Directors of America (CoSIDA) on Thursday. District 6 of the College Division includes NAIA and two-year schools in the states of Kansas, Montana, Nebraska and South Dakota, as well as Canadian institutions.

As stated by CoSIDA, “the 2013 Capital One Academic All-District Men’s and Women’s Track & Field/Cross Country Teams, selected by CoSIDA, have been released to recognize the nation’s top student-athletes for their combined performances athletically and in the classroom. Capital One has been the entitlement rights holder to CoSIDA’s Academic All-America teams programs since 2011.”

Kortze, a native of Rockford, Ill., is a two-time cross country All-American who added another All-America honor with her fifth-place finish in the 10,000 meter run at the 2013 NAIA Outdoor Track and Field National Championships. She took first place at the 2012 GPAC Cross Country Championships to earn GPAC Runner of the Year honors. The biology and physical science major has received Daktronics-NAIA Scholar-Athlete accolades for cross country and track and field in each of the last two years.

Morrissey, who hails from Omaha, Neb., received 2012 GPAC Cross Country Runner of the Year honors on the men’s side by placing first at the conference meet. Morrissey is a three-time cross country national qualifier and a three-time all-conference performer. This past indoor track and field season, Morrissey earned All-GPAC recognition in three events, winning the 3,000 meter run conference title. The secondary education major holds numerous all-conference track and field honors dating back to 2009.

Hinckfoot, a native of Colorado Springs, Colo., came into his own as a junior. Hinckfoot finished as an All-American in three different events at the 2013 NAIA Outdoor Track and Field National Championships. Along the way, the secondary education major twice broke his own school record in the 400 meter hurdles, won the GPAC 110 meter hurdle title and helped set a new Concordia record as part of the 4x400 meter relay team. Hinckfoot also starred on the All-America 4x400 meter relay at the indoor championships.

As all-district winners, the three Bulldog athletes will now receive consideration as part of the academic All-America ballot.

Kortze receives Capital One Academic All-America honors

24 JUN 2013

SEWARD, Neb. – The honors just keep pouring in for Concordia star senior runner Sarah Kortze. An All-American performer in both cross country and track and field, the Rockford, Ill., collected Capital One College Division Academic All-America® Women’s Cross Country/Track and Field First Team recognition on Monday, as announced by College Sports Information Directors of America (CoSIDA).

The latest accolade comes on the heels of Kortze being named Lincoln Journal Star State College Female Athlete of the Year on June 13. Kortze went up for Academic All-America honors after originally being selected to the academic all-district 6 team of the college division.

The biology and physical science major is well-known for her excellence in the classroom in addition to her success as a runner. She has been named a Daktronics-NAIA Scholar-Athlete in each of the past two seasons for both cross country and track and field.

Kortze earned GPAC Cross Country Runner of the Year honors in 2012 and won 2013 conference outdoor track titles in both the 5,000 and 10,000 meter runs. She broke her own school record with a 10,000 meter time of 36:33.47 at the Drake Relays on April 25. On Sept. 19, 2012, she grabbed NAIA National Runner of the Week honors.

In cross country, Kortze is a two-time All-American and a three-time all-conference performer.

Junior Benjamin Hinckfoot and Colin Morrissey joined Kortze as Capital One Academic All-District honorees. All-district selections were announced on May 30.

Update to track and field academic All-America honors

19 AUG 2013

SEWARD, Neb. - In addition to Sarah Kortze being named to the Capital One College Division Academic All-America® Women’s Cross Country/Track and Field team on June 24, junior Benjamin Hinckfoot and Colin Morrissey also received similar honors. Hinckfoot garnered first team Capital One Academic All-America® recognition and Morrissey was placed on the third team on the men's side.

The entire list of 2012-13 Capital One Academic All-America® honorees can be viewed HERE. Men's soccer standout Nathan Douglas (third team) is the other Bulldog to earn such a distinction during the 2012-13 academic year.