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Bulldog women second, men third at GPAC Championships

By on Nov. 5, 2011 in Cross Country

Bulldog women second, men third at GPAC Championships

Concordia women qualify for NAIA Nationals for 17th time in last 18 years

The Concordia University cross country teams competed in the 2011 GPAC Championships on Saturday in Lincoln.  Nebraska Wesleyan won the men’s and women’s team titles.  The Concordia women came in second and will represent the GPAC at the NAIA National Championships, while the Bulldog men finished third overall.  The Concordia women’s cross country team has now advanced to the NAIA National Championship meet in 17 of the last 18 years.   

On the women’s side, Wesleyan finished with a team score of 28 to win the meet.  Concordia was second with a score of 84, just in front of Morningside College at 86.  Dordt College finished fourth with a score of 95.  A total of 89 runners competed in the women’s 5k race at Pioneers Park in Lincoln. 

Sarah Kortze (Rockford, Ill.) finished fourth overall with a time of 18:45.17.  Jena Schwalenberg (Columbus, Neb.) was close behind in sixth with a time of 18:49.75.  Both Kortze and Schwalenberg earned GPAC All-Conference honors for their efforts on Saturday.  Senior Martha Meineke (Denver, Colo.) came in 18th overall at 19:43.63, and Christina Hanson (Storm Lake, Iowa) was 27th at 20:06.26.  Anna Meyer (Seward, Neb.) finished in 30th at 20:09.67. 

“Our girls ran very well today to beat Morningside, who was ranked 11th in the NAIA coming in,” remarked head coach Kregg Einspahr.  “Sarah and Jena had solid races today to lead the way.  Overall, I think our older runners knew what was on the line today, and they put together a good race.” 

The Nebraska Wesleyan men took first with a team score of 24.  Dordt College came in second overall with a score of 80, and Concordia was third with a score of 91.  A total of 93 runners took part in the race.  

Ben Sievert (Frankenmuth, Mich.) finished fourth overall with a time of 26:17.04.  Sievert, who has enjoyed a very impressive freshman season for the Bulldogs, earned GPAC All-Conference honors for his efforts.  Beau Billings (Valentine, Neb.) finished in 21st overall at 27:15.46, while Hayden Hohnholt (Saratoga, Wyo.) and Adam Prahlow (St. Louis, Mo.) came in 23rd and 24th, respectively, for the Bulldogs.  Matt Trampe (Kearney, Neb.) came in 27th with a time of 27:31.80.  Injuries continued to plague top runner Colin Morrissey.  The junior from Omaha, who was last year’s GPAC Runner-up, finished 44th overall on Saturday. 

“Obviously, Ben Sievert had an outstanding race today for our men,” noted Einspahr.  “He’s had a tremendous freshman season for us.  Colin’s injury really limited him late in the season.  Dordt College ran a great team race today, and not having Colin up there as our top runner was tough to overcome.” 

Concordia’s men will await a possible at-large berth into the NAIA National Championships. 

The 2011 NAIA National Championships will be held on November 19 in Vancouver, Washington.