SEWARD, Neb. – Junior Jessica Deterding and sophomore Cody Williams began action Friday afternoon (Feb. 15) at the 2019 GPAC Indoor Track & Field Championships hopeful of making runs at conference championships in the multi events. Ultimately a GPAC runner-up finisher, Deterding narrowly bested a school record in the pentathlon by the time she dropped to the track after completing the 800 meters. Meanwhile, Williams sits atop the conference in the heptathlon with four events in the books.
Head coach Matt Beisel’s squads both entered the meet ranked third in the NAIA, according to the U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association. Deterding put eight team points on the board for a women’s squad expected to challenge Doane’s reign at No. 1. The Bulldogs are serving as the host of the championship meet.
Deterding’s bid at a school record came down to the wire. In the final event, the 800 meters, the native of Eustis, Neb., needed to run under 2:30 to topple the program standard point total of 3,401 set in 2014 by Lydia Pomerenke. Deterding clocked in at 2:29.97. She did – by a whisker.
“I didn’t actually want the coaches to tell me what I needed to run because I get so nervous before it,” Deterding said. “So (Coach Wayne) Earney came up before it just said I needed to run under a 2:30 and left it at that. I had a good pacer with the Dordt girl. It was nice I didn’t have to come out and lead it. She set me up for a really good race and I was able to accomplish it.”
Deterding and freshman Kaylee Boyle were Concordia’s lone competitors in the pentathlon. Broken down by event, Deterding posted finishes of first in the long jump (18’ 1”), first in the shot put (35’ 8”), second in the 800 meters (2:29.97), third in the 60 meter hurdles (9.51) and fourth in the high jump (4’ 11”). Those series of performances moved Deterding up from her fourth-place GPAC finish in the pentathlon in 2018 (3,138 points).
Deterding began the meet with her career best sitting at 3,183 points. She knew she was capable of breaking the school record.
“It started off the hurdles and they go well it sets up your day,” Deterding said. “I knew the school record was in range this year but I don’t know if it was possible yet. It’s just exciting to see the work lead to a good result and set our team up well for the rest of the conference championship.”
Williams is the favorite in the heptathlon. He leads second place Levi Sudbeck of Doane, 2,852 to 2,713, points, heading into Saturday. Williams is in good position to unseat Sudbeck, the 2018 GPAC heptathlon champion. A native of Imperial, Neb., took first in the long jump (22’ 11 ¼”), second in the high jump (6’ 6 ¼”), third in the 60 meter dash (7.38) and fifth in the shot put (33’ 4”). The 60 meter hurdles, pole vault and 1,000 meter run will unfold on Saturday. Bulldogs in freshmen Zack Gentry (10th place) and Rees Lyon (11th place) are also competitors in the heptathlon.
The heptathlon will pick back up at 9 a.m. CST from the Fieldhouse. Field events will follow at 12 p.m. and running events will get started at 2 p.m. View the links below for coverage.