SEWARD, Neb. – For the second week in a row, the Concordia University track and field program is getting ready to host a meet inside the Fieldhouse. The annual Concordia Classic will run Thursday and Friday in a meet that will be larger than last week’s Polar Dog Invite. The Concordia Classic will feature a men’s heptathlon and women’s pentathlon.
Multi events are slated to begin at 3 p.m. CST on Thursday. The women’s pentathlon will be completed on Thursday while the men’s heptathlon will take place over both days of the meet. On Friday, field events will get underway at 2 p.m. with running events to follow at 2:30 p.m. The tentative meet schedule can be viewed HERE.
Live results can be followed HERE. The Concordia Sports Network will not be doing a live webcast for this meet.
Athletes from the following institutions, in addition to Concordia, will be on hand:
Bethany College (Kan.)
Concordia University Irvine (Calif.)
Kansas Wesleyan University
Mount Marty College
University of Nebraska-Kearney
Tabor College (Kan.)
It’s been an impressive first two weeks of the season for head coach Matt Beisel’s men’s and women’s squads. Bulldog athletes have combined for 14 automatic national qualifying marks and eight ‘B’ standard qualifying marks – numbers that put the 2019 squads ahead of teams from recent years at this point in the season. The women figure to be ranked especially high when the U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA) puts out national ratings on Wednesday, considering their wealth of top national marks. Addie Shaw leads the NAIA in the weight throw and is No. 5 in the shot put while Leah Larson (triple jump) and the women’s 4x400 meter relay also appear among the nation’s top five.
A total of seven new automatic qualifying marks were turned in at last week’s Polar Dog Invite. Four of those came from a deep pole vault group. Allie Brooks, McKenzie Gravo and Erin Mapson joined Jacee Pfeifer as qualifiers on the women’s side. Meanwhile, Gavin DeHaai cleared 15’ 5” to become this season’s first Concordia men’s pole vaulter to qualify for nationals. Many other vaulters tutored by assistant coach Jason Berry also have the ability to make it to nationals. Anna Baack and Tyrell Reichert were indoor qualifiers in 2018.
The multi events appear to be another strength for Bulldog track and field. The headliner of the group is sophomore Cody Williams, a 2018 All-American in the heptathlon. Concordia sent four athletes to the 2018 outdoor national championships in the multi events, including Jessica Deterding and Kennedy Mogul in the heptathlon.
Concordia also looks to be improved on the track. In the opening weekend, senior Josiah McAllister posted three GPAC leading times and was subsequently named the conference’s track athlete of the week. As it stands entering this week, the Bulldogs lead the GPAC in the men’s and women’s 4x400 meter relays, are No. 1 in the men’s 4x800 meter relay and No. 2 in the women’s 4x8. The Bulldog women’s 4x4 is the only GPAC relay team to own an ‘A’ standard qualifying time at this point in the season. Furthermore, Nathan Matters is qualified for nationals in the 600 meters.
Rival Doane will have select athletes entered into the competition. The Tigers have put 22 combined ‘A’ and ‘B’ marks on the board to this point in the season. Concordia University Irvine makes the longest trek to Seward. CUNE alum Keegan Bloomfield is currently the interim head coach/recruiting coordinator for the Eagles. Their staff includes another Bulldog alum in Benjamin Hinckfoot. Bethany has three ‘B’ marks to its credit.
After this week’s action, most Concordia athletes will then look forward to the Fred Beile Invitational hosted by Doane next Saturday (Feb. 2).