Bulldog women break into NAIA top 25, men receive votes

By Jacob Knabel on Sep. 22, 2022 in Cross Country

Sept. 22 NAIA polls: Men | Women

SEWARD, Neb. – After appearing as high as No. 11 in the 2021 national rankings, the Concordia University Women’s Cross Country program is back in the NAIA top 25. The Bulldogs landed at No. 17 in the national coaches’ poll released on Thursday (Sept. 22) by the NAIA. Meanwhile, the men’s squad is listed third among teams that are receiving votes in the NAIA top 25 poll. At the conference level, Concordia is rated in a tie for first on the women’s side and second on the men’s side.

Those rankings are a reflection of the strong start for Head Coach Matt Beisel’s squads. At both of the first two meets, the Augustana Twilight (Sept. 2) and the Greeno/Dirksen Invitational (Sept. 17), the Bulldog men’s and women’s teams have outpaced all other GPAC and NAIA competition. At the Augustana Twilight, the women placed ninth out of 28 teams while the men finished 12th out of 32 teams. Two weeks later, Concordia was amongst the best teams in the “Gold Division” of the Greeno/Dirksen Invite, placing third out of 19 teams on the women’s side and sixth out of 21 teams on the men’s side.

Two Bulldogs have been honored by the conference for their individual efforts this 2022 season. Camden Sesna has already raked in two GPAC Runner of the Week awards while Kylahn Freiberg (maiden name Heritage) picked up the GPAC Runner of the Week award on the women’s side after she outran all conference competitors at the Greeno/Dirksen Invite. Sesna is a returning national qualifier along with Calvin Rohde and Rylee Haecker. In addition, Freiberg and Amie Martin ran at the 2019 NAIA national meet when the Concordia women placed 12th nationally as a team.

This marks the fourth straight season that the Bulldog women’s program has found its way into the top 25 at some point during the fall. On the other hand, the men’s program hopes to crack the NAIA top 25 for the first time since the 2014 season. Concordia is seeking to qualify both the men’s and women’s teams for nationals in the same season for the first time since 2009.

Next up is the Dean White Invitational hosted by Doane on Saturday. Details about the meet are available below.

Dean White Invitational – Saturday, Sept. 24

--Doane Cross Country Course | Crete, Neb.
--Men’s 8k – 9 a.m.
--Women’s 5k – 9:45 a.m.
--Results: Black Squirrel Timing