Concordia women's XC/TF lands at No. 5 in final 2023-24 USTFCCCA program standings

By Jacob Knabel on Jun. 20, 2024 in Cross Country, Track & Field


SEWARD, Neb. – In the final 2023-24 NAIA Program of the Year Standings released by the U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA), the Concordia University women’s track & field and cross country programs landed at No. 5 nationally. The standings are calculated using a point system based on team finishes at the NAIA National Championships. The Bulldogs were ranked No. 1 among GPAC programs while situated behind only four programs nationally: College of Idaho, Cumberlands (Ky.), Taylor (Ind.) and Olivet Nazarene (Ill.).

This past 2023-24, Head Coach Matt Beisel’s women’s squads turned in NAIA national finishes of 18th in cross country, third in indoor track & field and 20th in outdoor track & field. Those placements resulted in a point total of 43 for Concordia in the USTFCCCA calculations. The rankings are determined by the lowest point totals and upward.

Throughout the 2023 cross country season, the Concordia women were paced by All-American Kylahn Freiberg, who finished 16th individually at the NAIA national meet. She was joined at the national championships in Vancouver, Wash., by teammates (in order of finish) Julie McIntyre, Hannah Beintema, Keeli Green, Keegan Beisel, Rylee Haecker and Alayna Vargas.

The Bulldogs emerged from the 2024 NAIA Indoor Track & Field National Championships in Brookings, S.D., with a team trophy after placing in a tie for third place. The meet was highlighted by the national championship won by the 4x800-meter relay group of Jenna Esch, Rylee Haecker, Julie McIntyre and Kylahn Freiberg. In continuing her incredible fifth season as a Bulldog, Freiberg was also a national runner up in the mile. Additional women’s All-Americans were Esch in the 800 meters, Abby Gerber in the shot put, Haecker in the 1,000 meters, Josie Puelz in the pole vault, Zoey Walker in the high jump, Abi Wohlgemuth in the weight throw and the 4x4 relay of Esch, Kayla Kirchner, Trinity Tuls and Jordan Koepke.

At the 2024 NAIA Outdoor Track & Field National Championships held in Marion, Ind., seven Bulldog women’s athletes took home All-America medals. Five athletes contributed to the All-America 4x4: Esch, Kirchner, Koepke, Tuls and Isabelle Salters. Individual All-America awards were captured by Esch in the 800 meters, Freiberg in the 1,500 meters, Koepke in the 400-meter hurdles and Gretchen Stottlemyre in the javelin.