CRETE, Neb. – Allie Brooks has done it again. She put together two record-breaking performances in a continuation of her sterling sophomore indoor campaign to headline the efforts of the nationally-ranked Concordia University track and field squads at Saturday’s Fred Beile Classic hosted by Doane. In sum, the Bulldogs produced a combined five event championships, eight runner-up finishes and 61 personal bests on the weekend.
First-year head coach Matt Beisel has been delighted by what he’s seen from Brooks.
“She blew away her school record that she set last week and she made a really good attempt at over 13 feet,” Beisel said. “She almost cleared it. That’s really exciting.”
A Seward native, Brooks broke her own school record in the indoor pole vault by four inches with her first-place clearance of 12’ 10 ¾.” That mark also boosts her to the status of NAIA national leader based on the list of accumulated marks entering the weekend. Not only that, Brooks leapfrogged the program standard in the high jump, which had stood for more than 30 years. She jumped 5’ 7,” a figure that also ranks in the top five nationally. (The high jump record had been 5’ 6,” which was accomplished by Bonnie Jelinek in 1986).
Brooks is far from the only top-of-the-line athlete in the program. Senior Lucas Wiechman continues to try to chase down the school record of 5,374 points in the heptathlon. That lofty number was totaled by Don Kitzman in 1989. On Saturday, Wiechman won the heptathlon by accumulating 5,073 points for another NAIA national leading mark. The native of Pilger, Neb., finished as the national runner up at the 2016 heptathlon competition.
Nationally known for its throwing program, Concordia dominated the women’s weight throw, holding down the top five finishes in the event. Sydney Meyer won the competition with her toss of 54’ 5 ¼.” Though not a season best, that mark cleared the national qualifying standard. Kali Robb, Samantha Liermann, Katricia Svoboda and Adrianna Shaw finished two through five in the weight throw.
The men’s one mile race resulted in one of the better stories of the day. Though sophomore Thomas Taylor lost one of his shoes on the first lap, he continued on, came near a personal best and won the race in a time of 4:36.89. Taylor did so despite bleeding significantly from his unprotected foot.
“He kept coming by and I was cheering for him. I never noticed his foot,” Beisel said. “He won the thing and it was about three seconds off his PR. He did it with one foot all bloody.”
Over at the Devaney Center in Lincoln, seniors Cody Boellstorff and CJ Muller held their own against NCAA Division I competition. Competing on Friday, Boellstorff placed second among 30 competitors in the weight throw with a mark of 65’ 10 ¼.” On the track, Muller set a new personal best in the 600 meter run with a time of 1:19.62.
Concordia also claimed an event title in the women’s one mile courtesy of Rebekah Hinrich’s finish in 5:38.01. Said Beisel, “It was a really good day for Rebekah. She’s continuing to gain confidence. She’s a freshman who still isn’t quite where she was speed-wise when she was in high school last year, but she has had four meets in a row where she has chipped away at personal bests.”
Other runner-up finishes at the Beile Classic were turned in by the women’s 4x400 meter relay, Michael Leapley (800 meters), Shelbi Hackbart (3,000 meters), Shaw (shot put), Emily Sievert (5,000 meters) and Patrick Wortmann (1,000 meters).
Elsewhere in the multi events, Thomas Matik (4,102), Jessica Deterding (2,900), Anna Beune (2,879) have put themselves within range of totals needed to reach the national championships. The top 16 point scorers in both the heptathlon and the pentathlon earn bids to nationals.
The Bulldogs will host a meet for the second time this indoor season when the annual Concordia Indoor Invitational takes place inside the Fieldhouse on Friday. The action is set to get started at 2 p.m. CT. It will be the final meet prior to the GPAC championships (Feb. 17-18), which will be staged in Sioux Center, Iowa.
“The kids have had great attitudes and great spirit,” Beisel said. “It’s fun coaching them. Now we get ready to compete at home again.”
Fred Beile event winners