GENEVA, Ohio – A total of 21 Bulldog athletes competed on day two of the 2014 NAIA Indoor Track and Field National Championships, hosted on Friday by the SPIRE Institute in Geneva, Ohio. Two of Concordia’s All-America performances on the day came from the throws with senior Jamie Crouse notching yet another top finish.
With one day remaining in the event, a total of eight Bulldog competitors have garnered All-America plaques. Several more individuals will have the opportunity to add to that total on Saturday.
“The theme of the day was we did well – we just needed a little more,” assistant coach Ed McLaughlin (throws) said. “We’re looking forward to finishing strong tomorrow.”
Crouse claimed All-America status in the weight throw for the third-straight year to close her indoor career in that particular event. The senior hurled the weight a distance of 59’ 1 ¼” to place third. The only disappointment for the native of Belgrade, Neb., was again falling short of the school record of 61’ 11 ¾”.
“She’s more upset than I am,” McLaughlin said. “She had one great throw that landed out of bounds. If that’s in bounds we’re having a different conversation right now.
“She’s upset she didn’t get the school record. She really wanted it.”
Sophomore Cody Boellstoff got the afternoon off to a good start with an All-America garnering seventh-place finish in the weight throw. The native of Waverly, Neb., recorded a toss of 59’ 8 ¼” to put two team points on the board.
For the first time in her career, junior Shelby Yelden posted an All-America finish by clearing 11’ 10 ¾” (personal best) in the pole vault, slotting her in fifth place. The Seward native was one of three Bulldog women to qualify for nationals in the pole vault, joining teammates Rianne Gross and Cassie Starks, who just missed All-America honors with a ninth-place finish.
It was a busy day on the track for sophomore Kim Wood. She ran the anchor leg for the women’s 4x800 meter relay that took eighth place and All-America recognition with a time of 9:25.70. The group of senior Jenean Williams, freshman Marti Vlasin, junior Erika Schroeder and Wood set the school record in the event the previous day by clocking in at 9:12.94.
That time was simply too difficult to duplicate with both Williams and Wood competing in multiple events.
“We asked a lot of Kim and I thought she did a great job of coming back from the mile,” head coach Kregg Einspahr said. “This is a really a great learning experience for her. She ran the mile and the 1,000 and she was kind of exhausted after that.”
Wood, a native of Greeley, Neb., completed the 1,000 meters in 2:56.95 to place fourth in the prelims. She will run the same race on Saturday for a chance at another All-America honor.
Also on Friday, junior Ben Sievert qualified for the finals of the one mile by coming in at 4:17.67 – his best mark of the season.
A total of 16 Bulldogs will compete in eight different events on Saturday as All-American plaques will be on the line for each. Seven of those athletes will be competing in the shot put (four men’s and three women’s). In addition, the accomplished Sarah Kortze will take aim at more laurels in the 5,000 meters and Concordia’s blazing men’s 4x400 meter relay will also take the track at the conclusion of the day.
“We think we’ve got people in places who should be able to come through,” Einspahr said. “Kim with a night’s rest is very capable in the 1,000 and Sarah knows how to run her race. The fast race in the prelims could hurt the rest of the competition.
“And our men’s 4x4 has a chance to do great.”
NeuLion, the NAIA’s official video streaming company of 17 select NAIA National Championship events, will be broadcasting all sessions of the national championships. Packages can be purchased for $5.95. For more information and to pre-register, click here.
For the schedule of events, click here.
Concordia All-America tracker: