LINCOLN, Neb. – At Friday’s Frank Sevigne Husker Invitational, junior Cody Boellstorff conquered the Big 12. For the second time in a span of seven days, Boellstorff broke his own school record in the weight throw with a massive hurl of 68’ 4 ½” inside the Devaney Sports Center in Lincoln. Boellstorff was one of seven high-level athletes to represent fourth-ranked (women) / fifth-ranked (men) Concordia University track and field on day one of the event hosted by the University of Nebraska-Lincoln.
Boellstorff, named NAIA national field athlete of the week on Wednesday, has improved his weight throw mark by more than eight feet since opening the season at the Scott Nisely Memorial Classic on Jan. 16. The Waverly, Neb., native easily bested his former program standard of 65’ 11 ½” that he posted at last week’s Concordia Classic. He’s now won the weight throw competition at all four 2016 meets in which he’s competed in. On Friday Boellstorff outgunned top long tossers from the likes of Arizona State University, Kansas State University, the University of Texas and the University of Nebraska.
“The angle of where you sit at it’s kind of hard to tell how far they go,” said throws coach Ed McLaughlin. “You kind of hold off. Then when you see the mark go up it goes crazy. A bunch of our kids where there watching. They were all pretty happy for him. It was an exciting moment.”
The 2015 NAIA hammer throw national champ, Boellstorff held off runner-up Alan Zapalac, a 6-foot-9 giant, from the University of Texas by more than three feet. Said McLaughlin, “I was actually a little nervous about Cody. He works for buildings and grounds (at Concordia) and he spent several hours the other day scooping snow. He even told me before he threw that he was pretty tight in the back.”
Though overshadowed by Boellstorff, junior Zach Lurz turned in a personal best of his own with an automatic national qualifying throw of 61’ 9,” placing him sixth out of the 26-member field laden with NCAA Division I performers. Boellstorff and Lurz entered the night ranked first and third, respectively, on the NAIA leaderboard in the weight throw.
In the women’s weight throw, junior Kali Robb (sixth place; 59’ 7 ¾”) and senior Stephanie Coley (11th; 55’ 9”) both eclipsed NAIA national qualifying marks. Senior Kattie Cleveland finished 18th with a mark of 51’ 9 ¾.” All three currently rank among the top seven females in the NAIA in the weight throw.
On the track, sophomore Emily Sievert clocked in just off of her automatic national qualifying time achieved a week earlier in the 5,000 meter race. Up against mostly NCAA Division I runners, Sievert placed ninth out of 16 with another solid time of 18:13.37 in the 5,000. Meanwhile, junior CJ Muller again came in under the national qualifying time in the 400 meter dash with a time of 49.43. Muller and Sievert entered the day with top-five NAIA times in their respective events.
Both Bulldog squads will be back in action on Saturday at the Husker Invite and the Fred Beile Classic. Check out heat sheets for the Husker Invite HERE. View the event schedule for the Beile Classic HERE.
Seven individuals and one relay team will be back at it inside the Devaney Center on Saturday. McLaughlin believes the stiff competition at the Husker Invite will prepare the Bulldogs well for the national championships in March.
“I wanted these kids to have these experiences,” McLaughlin said. “This is the kind of competition I want them to be ready for.”