The second day of the 2014 NAIA Outdoor National Championships saw four more Bulldogs capture All-America honors and another two advance to the finals of running events to be held on Saturday. Concordia’s All-America count is now up to eight (six women, two men) with both John Cartier (400 meter dash) and Ben Hinckfoot (400 meter hurdles) set to officially collect All-America hardware on Saturday.
In terms of team scoring, the Bulldog women have piled up 28.5 points and sit in fourth place overall. The men have eight points for an 18th place standing heading into the final day of the meet. The national championships pick back up from Mickey Miller Blackwell Stadium in Gulf Shores, Ala., at 1 p.m. on Saturday with the men’s shot put.
“We’re off to a good start,” Einspahr said. “We have a little left but not a lot on the women’s side. Some teams that are powerful on the track could pass us, but we’ve had a good meet.”
Sophomore Stephanie Coley picked up her third career All-America honor in the shot put by placing fourth among the 24 competitors in Gulf Shores. The native of Gering, Neb., came up just short of a personal best with her toss of 47 1 ¾”. Other Bulldog competitors in the shot put were Kali Robb (17th), Brittany Erdmann (18th) and Jamie Crouse (24th).
“Stephanie has a great future,” Einspahr said. “She performed very well. To be an All-American that many times so early in her career bodes well. She came through in a pressure cooker of the national championships.”
Hinckfoot, already a finalist for Saturday’s 400 meter hurdles, reached the finals of the 110 meter hurdles by clocking in at 14.72 in the prelims on Friday. By reaching Saturday’s finals in both events, Hinckfoot has guaranteed himself All-America honors in the 110 and 400 meter hurdles for the second-straight year. Meanwhile, teammate Jonathon Becker just missed the finals with his time of 14.75 (10th in the prelims).
For the second-straight season, senior Lydia Pomerenke claimed All-America honors in the heptathlon. A seventh-place finisher a year ago, the Seward native moved up two spots to fifth with her school record 4,671 points. Pomerenke had a third-place finish in the javelin and a fourth place in the 200 meter dash of the heptathlon. Pomerenke broke the school record of teammate Sara Simmons, who joined Pomerenke with All-America honors. Simmons racked up 4,621 points, putting her sixth overall.
“Lydia had a tremendous day,” Einspahr said. “She performed even better than expected. It was really a great finish to her career. Lydia and Sara did a tremendous job.”
Cartier grabbed the final spot in the 400 meter dash finals with his season best time of 48.05, good for third in his heat and eighth overall in the prelims. He will run again at 4:40 p.m. on Saturday in the finals of the event. No matter what, Cartier will be an All-American in the 400 for the first time since 2011 (indoor).
In the men’s discus, Concordia’s only competitor finished in All-America territory. Freshman Zach Lurz ended up in sixth with his mark of 161’ 5.” Lurz, a native of Torrington, Wyo., was also an All-American in the shot put at the indoor national championships. He will compete in the shot put again on Saturday.
Concentrating solely on the 800 meter run this weekend, sophomore Kim Wood missed out on the finals by just over a second. She placed fourth in heat No. 3 and 10th overall by clocking in at 2:12.58 – a mark that actually broke her own former school record of 2:13.08.
“I was confident Kim would advance in the 800,” Einspahr said. “She set a new school record so it was a disappointment she didn’t advance. I can’t remember when a time like that wasn’t enough to make it to finals. It was a tough year for the 800.”
In another close call, the men’s 4x400 meter relay of CJ Muller, Alex Heiden, Becker and Cartier placed 10th in the prelims, crossing the finish line in a time of 3:14.30. That mark was .21 off a season best attained at the Drake Relays.
“They weren’t far off a season best. You can’t always work miracles at the national championships,” Einspahr said. “It was a tough one.”
In the decathlon, freshman Lucas Wiechman also narrowly fell short of the finals. He placed ninth despite an impressive second-place pole vault clearance of 15’ 5.” Wiechman finished with 6,136 points. Teammate Brandon Ramos placed 15th with 5,574 points.
In the women’s triple jump, sophomore Katelyn Shoup finished 14th with a mark of 36’ 11.”
Saturday’s schedule for Bulldog athletes is listed below. The team has three competitors each in the men’s shot put, men’s pole vault and women’s discus.
“Ben (Hinckfoot) looked tremendous in the 400 hurdles (on Thursday),” Einspahr said. “John (Cartier) and Ben want to go out with a big showing. They are very motivated to do well tomorrow.”
1 p.m. – Men’s shot put
Trey Farmer, Philip Kreutzer, Zach Lurz
1 p.m. – Men’s pole vault
Carson Farr, Brandon Ramos, Lucas Wiechman
3 p.m. – Women’s discus
Kattie Cleveland, Brittany Erdmann, Katricia Svoboda
4:20 p.m. – Men’s 400 meter hurdle finals
4:40 p.m. – Men’s 400 meter dash finals
Concordia All-America tracker: