SEWARD, Neb. – For the fourth and final time this indoor season, the Concordia University track and field program will play the role of meet host. The Bulldogs will welcome a large field of teams to the Walz Fieldhouse on Friday for competition set to begin at 2 p.m. CT. Head coach Matt Beisel’s squads have not had to leave Eastern Nebraska this entire indoor season. They have gotten all their work done in the locations of Seward, Crete and Lincoln.
Competing teams at Concordia Invite
Benedictine College (Kan.)
Bethel College (Kan.)
Briar Cliff University
Grand View University (Iowa)
Kansas Wesleyan University
McPherson College (Kan.)
MidAmerica Nazarene University (Kan.)
University of Nebraska-Kearney
Wayne State College
William Penn University (Iowa)
The Bulldog men’s and women’s teams have ranked in the top five of each of the three NAIA national ratings released in 2020 by the U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA). In this week’s rankings, Concordia landed at No. 2 on the women’s side and at No. 4 on the men’s side. In addition, Bulldog athletes have combined for nine GPAC Athlete of the Week awards and two NAIA National Athlete of the Week honors. The latest conference award winners are Rachel Battershell (four-time GPAC Athlete of the Week in 2020) and Allie Brooks (two-time GPAC Athlete of the Week in 2020).
Concordia boasts elite athletes in a large number of event areas. The following Bulldogs currently rank in the top five nationally in their respective events:
· Rachel Battershell – No. 1 in 400 meters
· Allie Brooks – No. 1 in pole vault
· Jacob Cornelio – No. 1 in weight throw
· Women’s 4x400 relay – No. 2
· Kennedy Mogul – No. 2 in pentathlon
· Addie Shaw – No. 2 in weight throw
· Cody Williams – No. 2 in heptathlon
· Women’s Distance Medley Relay – No. 3
· Gavin DeHaai – No. 3 in pole vault
· Josie Puelz – No. 3 in pole vault
· Addie Shaw – No. 3 in shot put
· Xavier Ross – No. 4 in 400 meters
· Men’s 4x400 relay – No. 5
In last week’s action, both 4x400 meter relays again clocked in under the national qualifying standard. The women’s 4x4 consisted of Jacee Pfeifer, Sarah Lewis, Kennedy Mogul and Rachel Battershell. Together they teamed up on a time of 3:53.55 (converted to 3:56.67 for the NAIA national list). Some other highlights from last week included: Brooks again breaking her own pole vault school record, Morgan De Jong with a PR in the weight throw (57’ 9”), McKenzie Gravo clearing the ‘A’ standard in the pole vault (11’ 6 ½”) and Liam Hennessy throwing 51’ 3” in the shot put (currently 11th in the NAIA).
Athletes from 16 different institutions are expected to be on hand. On the men’s side, the following Concordia Invite attendees are nationally-ranked: No. 3 Doane, No. 4 Concordia, No. 12 Grand View, No. 16 Midland, No. 19 MidAmerica Nazarene and No. 20 Hastings. The meet will also feature top 25 women’s teams in No. 2 Concordia, No. 8 Doane, No. 16 Hastings and No. 23 Grand View.
Following Friday’s meet, all focus will shift to the GPAC Indoor Track & Field Championships set to be hosted by Dakota Wesleyan on Feb. 21-22. A year ago, Concordia won the GPAC women’s indoor title (and the outdoor title) while the men placed second at the conference championships.