Senior Ben Hinckfoot closed his career in style and Concordia University track and field drew the curtains on the 2014 outdoor national championships with 12 All-America performances by 11 different individuals (complete list at bottom). Hinckfoot officially collected two All-America plaques on Saturday to highlight the day. He proved to be one of Concordia’s top performers, along with national titlist Liz King, throughout the three-day meet.
From a team perspective, the Bulldog women placed ninth nationally with 28.5 points. The men finished 11th with 23 points. Those totals put Concordia right about in line with its goals of bringing home two top-10 finishes.
“You have to go into a national championship meet thinking that a lot of things can happen,” said 22nd-year head coach Kregg Einspahr. “With championship track meets you realize that you can’t hold your breath. As soon as something disappointing happens, something great comes up.
“I thought we had a real good meet. I’m very proud of our teams. We really had some super efforts this weekend.”
Hinckfoot began his afternoon with an eighth-place slotting in the finals of the 100 meter hurdles with a season best time of 14.63. Then, for the second time in three days, the Colorado Springs native broke his own school record in the 400 meter hurdles. He clocked in at 52.14 in the finals for a third-place stake. It was the second-straight year Hinckfoot recorded All-American laurels in both hurdles events.
“He didn’t necessarily hit the hurdles in stride but I thought he ran a great race (in the 400 hurdles),” Einspahr said of Hinckfoot. “It was a good day for Ben.”
A fourth-place finisher at the indoor national championships, Farr took it up a notch, literally, on Saturday by clearing a personal best 16’ 8 ¾” for a third-place claim. It was the second career All-America honor for the GPAC pole vault titlist.
“It was really a fun competition to watch,” Einspahr said. “It was a tremendous day to be able to jump about 16’ 8” – four inches better than his previous best. It was a great effort.”
Like Hinckfoot and Farr, Cartier completed his fine career on the track with a season best time of 47.93 in the finals of the 400 meter dash. The native of Las Vegas finishes his four-year run with six career All-America awards – four in 4x400 meter relays and two in the open 400 meters.
All three Bulldog men’s shot put national qualifiers finished outside of All-America honors. Freshman Philip Kreutzer topped the group with a throw of 49 9 ¼” for an 11th-place standing. Freshman Zach Lurz (13th, 49’ ¼”) and junior Trey Farmer (17th, 47’ 7 ¼”) fell next in line.
Concordia also had three competitors in the women’s discus: freshman Katricia Svoboda (15th, 137’ 3”), junior Brittany Erdmann (23rd, 134’ 5”) and sophomore Kattie Cleveland (27th, 117’ 1”). It was the first national championship experience for both Cleveland and Svoboda.
The 11th-place team finish was the best for the men since placing in the exact spot at the 2011 outdoor championships. The women’s ninth-place claim was the best since at least 2005. The men topped all GPAC schools while the women were beat out only by Hastings among GPAC foes.
“Overall it seemed to go pretty well,” Einspahr said. “The folks here went out of their way to put on a quality meet. It was a learning experience for all of us. Most of us had never seen this part of the country, including me. It’s been a fun weekend.”
Concordia All-America tracker: