SEWARD, Neb. – Junior Jacob Cornelio, sophomore Cody Williams and head coach Matt Beisel were honored with major conference awards on Thursday (May 9), as announced by the GPAC. In addition, 47 Concordia University athletes earned all-conference recognition in one or more events courtesy of their performances last week at the 2019 GPAC Outdoor Track & Field Championships in Yankton, S.D. Beisel’s squads placed first on the women’s side and third on the men’s side at the GPAC championships.
As the leading point scorer among GPAC men’s athletes at the conference meet, Williams was tabbed the Hauff Mid-America Sports GPAC Men’s Outdoor Track and Field Outstanding Athlete of the Year. Beisel was voted the Jim McMahon/Hauff Mid-America Sports GPAC Women’s Coach of the Year (earned the same award for indoor season). Finally, Cornelio was recognized with the Men’s Field Performance of the Meet for his personal best hammer throw of 202’ 5,” for a first-place claim. On the national scale, Beisel’s squads are ranked third in the NAIA on the women’s side and 11th on the men’s side.
Conference individual titles were claimed by Rachel Battershell (400 meters), Cornelio (hammer throw), Samantha Liermann (shot put), Erin Mapson (pole vault), Addie Shaw (discus) and Williams (long jump, 110 hurdles). Concordia athletes also combined for nine GPAC runner-up claims. The women completed a sweep of GPAC indoor/outdoor titles while the men followed up a second-place indoor finish with the third-place outdoor finish.
Williams is the fourth Bulldog male since 2011 to earn GPAC Outdoor Athlete of the Year accolades. The previous three were Lucas Wiechman (2017), Zach Lurz (2014) and Dana Schmidt (2011). Williams racked up 34 team points by way of conference titles in the 110 meter hurdles (14.88) and the long jump (23’ 7 ¼”) and place finishes of second in the high jump (6’ 7 ½”) and third in the triple jump (45’ 1 ¾”). Williams is an automatic national qualifier in the high jump and pole vault.
The depth of the women’s roster is made clear by its 29 all-conference athletes. Shaw led the way with 21 team points via her GPAC title in the discus in addition to place finishes of third in the hammer and fourth in the shot put. Liermann, who broke the GPAC meet record in the shot put, also placed top six in the same three events as Shaw did. Other Bulldogs to earn all-conference honors in three or more events included Battershell, Nathan Matters, Josiah McAllister Jamie Nikodym, Jacee Pfeifer and Williams.
Next up for the Bulldogs is Friday’s Concordia Twilight Meet. The season will then conclude with the 2019 NAIA Outdoor Track & Field National Championships in Gulf Shores, Ala., May 23-25.