By Taylor Mueller, Sports Information Assistant
LINCOLN, Neb. – Running in their first full length races of the season, the Concordia men’s and women’s cross country teams traveled to Pioneer Park in Lincoln Neb., to participate in the Woody Greeno Invitational. Competing against top competition, the Bulldogs raced in a large field that contained 226 men and 271 women.
The men placed third among 18 teams in the college division. Junior Ben Sievert was first for the Bulldogs, racing to an eighth place overall finish and a time of 25:58. Senior Hayden Hohnholt was second in 26:25 and 11th place overall. Sophomore Jordan Portzeba was next in 27:00, followed by junior Josh Allwardt in 27:10 and senior Adam Prahlow in 27:15.
“Ben and Hayden ran well,” head Coach Kregg Einspahr said. “I think Hayden is capable of running better but it was a solid race for him. Our men finished third behind two really good teams.”
Einspahr was also pleased with the performance of his top sophomore runner.
“Jordan Potrzeba really showed good improvement,” Einspahr said. “He’s a great competitor and he continues to get better and continues to surprise me. He really impressed me today.”
Although there is much work to be done, Einspahr was satisfied with his team’s performance.
“We’ve got a long ways to go, but I was pleased with how we looked and how we competed today,” Einspahr said. “I think our men can compete at the top of the GPAC. They’re going to keep getting better. Overall we’ve got a real solid men’s team.”
Finishing behind Iowa Central Community College and Nebraska Kearney, Concordia beat three other GPAC conference schools that were in attendance.
The women placed seventh among 18 teams in the college division and were led by sophomore Kim Wood who took 23rd overall and finished in 23:57. Freshman Jessy Sweet was 25th overall and raced to a time of 24:01. Junior Renee Williams followed in 24:39, junior Haley Harpham finished in 25:02 and sophomore Megan Burma crossed the finish line in 25:14. The women finished third behind Dordt and Doane among GPAC attendees.
Einspahr believes Wood, Sweet and the rest of the squad will build upon Saturday’s effort.
“Overall I thought our women ran well,” Einspahr said. “I was pleased with how they did. Kim and Jessy continue to get better. Kim put in some really good time in the summer and that’s going to start to show up. The same goes for Jessy. We’ve got a bunch of hard workers.”
The Bulldogs head up to St. Paul, Minn., to compete in the Roy Griak Invitational on Saturday, Sept. 28. As the biggest cross country meet in the nation, it will host top competition.
“We will be running with some great competition,” Einspahr said. “We hope to go up there and represent Concordia well. It’s another big field. I think it’s good for us to run in big races.”