SEWARD, Neb. – For the 20th-straight year, Concordia will have representation at the NAIA cross country national championships. Head coach Kregg Einspahr’s 19th-ranked men’s squad received an at-large bid to the 2013 championships, as announced by the NAIA on Monday afternoon. The event will take place on Saturday, Nov. 23 at Rim Rock Farm in Lawrence, Kan.
This year will mark the 12th time in the past 13 seasons that Einspahr has guided the men to the national championships. Over his 22 years as head coach, Einspahr’s men’s and women’s cross country teams have now combined for 31 appearances on the national stage. At least one Concordia cross country squad has reached the national championships in 20-consecutive seasons.
The men get a bid despite a third-place finish at Saturday’s GPAC championship meet. Concordia had hoped to capture a second-straight conference title after winning last season.
Individually, senior Beau Billings, junior Charlie Bloomfield, senior Hayden Hohnholt, sophomore Jordan Potrzeba, senior Adam Prahlow and junior Ben Sievert all carry prior national championship experience having run at last year’s meet in Vancouver, Wash. Colin Morrissey, last year’s GPAC Runner of the Year, is Concordia’s only 2012 national championships competitor that has graduated and moved on. As a team, Concordia placed 21st.
Had Concordia not garnered a team at-large bid, Sievert, Hohnholt, Potrzeba and Billings would have received individual bids to nationals after each finished among the top 15 at the GPAC championships.
On the women’s side, Bulldog junior Renee Williams came up just short of qualifying individually. She topped Concordia with a 15th-place finish at the GPAC meet. The men’s 8K race will begin at 10:30 a.m. CST on Nov. 23.
A total of 32 teams and 97 individuals are set to compete at the men’s cross country national championships. In all, 64 different NAIA institutions will be represented at the meet.
For more information on the 2013 NAIA Cross Country National Championships, visit the NAIA’s cross country page HERE.
For year-by-year national team finishes for Concordia cross country since 1992, click HERE.
Concordia runners with national championships experience:
2012: 146th place (26:36)
2010: 191st place (27:25)
2012: 218th place (27:18)
2012: 126th place (26:26)
2012: 272nd place (28:19)
2012: 242nd place (27:34)
2010: 236th place (27:56)
2012: 51st place (25:38)