Haecker, Rohde and Sesna officially named national qualifiers

By Jacob Knabel on Nov. 9, 2021 in Cross Country

2021 NAIA Cross Country National Qualifiers: Men | Women

SEWARD, Neb. – The Concordia University Cross Country program will have representation in both the men’s and women’s races at the 2021 NAIA Cross Country National Championship. As announced on Tuesday (Nov. 9), Bulldogs Rylee Haecker, Calvin Rohde and Camden Sesna have officially earned invitations to the national meet. Each of them garnered national bids based upon their finishes at last week’s GPAC championship meet.

This will mark the first time during Head Coach Matt Beisel’s six-year tenure that Concordia has qualified men’s runners for the national championships. The program’s most recent individual men’s national qualifier was Ben Sievert in 2014. On the women’s side, the Bulldogs qualified as a team in 2019 after capturing the GPAC title. Concordia then placed 12th in the NAIA, signaling the best national finish for the women’s program since 2005.

This will be the first experience at the national cross country meet for each of the three Bulldog qualifiers. However, Haecker, Rohde and Sesna all competed at the 2021 NAIA Indoor Track & Field National Championships. Haecker took home All-America awards for her efforts in the 1,000 meters (eighth place) and as part of the distance medley relay team (fourth place). The aforementioned trio picked up All-GPAC cross country honors thanks to placing in the top 10 at the conference meet on Nov. 6.

2021 GPAC Cross Country Finishes
Rylee Haecker – 7th (19:19.69 5k time)
Calvin Rohde – 10th (26:58.46 8k time)
Camden Sesna – 7th (26:34.08 8k time)

The 2021 NAIA qualifying field includes 36 team berths for both men and women. Individual national berths were handed out to 88 women and 82 men. The national meet is set to run on Friday, Nov. 19 in Vancouver, Wash. The men’s 8k race will begin at 10:30 a.m. local time in Washington with the women’s 5k race to follow an hour later.