SEWARD, Neb. – In conjunction with the NAIA release of official national qualifiers, the Concordia University track and field programs have announced their list of 17 athletes who will be traveling to the 2018 NAIA Indoor Track and Field National Championships. The championship meet will play out March 1-3 inside the Robert W. Plaster Center in Pittsburg, Kan.
Head coach Matt Beisel’s qualifying field includes six individuals who also competed at the 2017 indoor national championships. That group is headlined by junior Samantha Liermann, fresh off the second GPAC shot put title of her career. She is the reigning NAIA outdoor shot put national champion. Liermann is one of five Bulldogs who will compete in the women’s shot put. Liermann and teammate Adrianna Shaw, (ranked second and fifth nationally in the shot put, respectively) both have hopes of competing for a national title.
On paper, redshirt sophomore McKenzie Gravo may also have a shot at winning a championship. The two-time All-American is ready to make amends for no heighting at the GPAC championships. She is one of four pole vaulters heading to Kansas. The others are Anna Baack, Simon Brummond and Tyrell Reichert.
While many of the program’s qualifiers compete in field events, Ben Hulett (60 hurdles) and Josiah McAllister (1,000 meters) will represented Concordia on the track. Hulett is making a return trip to indoor nationals. He qualified as hurdler for both indoor and outdoor in 2018.
Baack and four other freshmen secured berths at nationals. She will be joined by fellow rookies Blake Becher (heptathlon), Jodi Fry (shot put), Kara Stark (high jump) and Cody Williams (heptathlon, high jump). GPAC champion Scott Johnson and Hulett are the lone seniors headed to the national championships.
The Bulldog track and field programs have put together an impressive run of success at the national championships. The men own an active streak of six-straight national meets with top-five finishes. Meanwhile, the women have placed 13th or better at each of the past five indoor national championships. Both programs reached the highest of highs recently with a team outdoor national title for the men in 2015 and the women in 2016.
Stretch Internet, the NAIA’s official video streaming company, will be broadcasting all sessions of the national championships. Packages can be purchased for $14.95. For more information, click here.
(Current national ranking in parentheses)
*2017 NAIA indoor national qualifier