Day 1 Recap: Women's 4x4 opens NAIA meet by qualifying for finals

By Jacob Knabel on Mar. 2, 2023 in Track & Field


BROOKINGS, S.D. – Day one of the 2023 NAIA Indoor Track & Field National Championships saw 13 Bulldogs represented Concordia University Track & Field. In highlighting the team’s efforts on Thursday (March 2) in Brookings, S.D., the Bulldog women’s 4x400 meter relay ran a season best time and has qualified for the finals on Saturday. Meanwhile, two other Concordia relays came up just short of the finals and Amy Richert took aim at another All-America award in the pentathlon.

Head Coach Matt Beisel’s program traveled 32 athletes to the national meet. Many of them will wait until day two of the event to showcase their talents. The Bulldog women enter the action having placed in the top five of six-straight NAIA national meets.

The women’s 4x4 will have the opportunity to run in the finals on Saturday after it turned in a season best of 3:51.11 on Thursday. That time placed the Bulldogs second in their heat and sixth overall. Concordia’s 4x4 is made up of Jenna Esch, Jordan Koepke, Trinity Tuls and Rachel Battershell. Both Battershell and Koepke were also part of last year's 4x4 that placed fifth at the indoor national championships. A fifth-year athlete from Wheatland, Wyo., Battershell is looking to add to her collection of 10 career All-America awards.

A sixth-place finisher in last year’s NAIA pentathlon competition, Richert held down a spot in the top eight for a good portion of the afternoon. The GPAC champion Richert wound up in 11th place with her point total of 3,292 (eighth place scored 3,375). Among the field of 16 competitors, Richert placed highest in the 60 hurdles (sixth) and shot put (sixth) out of the five events. Richert will also compete in the open high jump this weekend.

The first day wrapped up with Concordia trotting out distance medley relays in the prelims for both men and women. The women went first and placed 15th out of 20 relays and were just off a season best, clocking in at 12:23.79. The group featured Rylee Haecker, Josi Noble, Rhaya Kaschinske and Kylahn Freiberg. Meanwhile, the men were not far from qualifying for the finals. They placed 10th out of 25 DMRs while finishing in a season best of 10:05.74. The quartet included Camden Sesna, Colton Meyer, Ethan Ideus and Calvin Rohde. They were one second off a school record in what was the second fastest men's DMR run in Concordia Track history.

Things will heat up on Friday from Brookings as Bulldog athletes will compete in 12 separate events. In the women’s pole vault, four-time national champion Josie Puelz will lead a group of five Concordia national qualifiers. In addition, GPAC Athlete of the Year Adrianna Rodencal will get her first experience at a national meet and the first throws events will be contested. The full Friday schedule for the Bulldogs can be found below.

Friday (March 3) Schedule:

NOTE: All running events are preliminary races.

·        Men’s Weight Throw (Friday, 12:00 pm) – Dagne Buck, Darien Semedo, Chris Wren

·        Men’s Mile Run (Friday, 12:20 pm) – Camden Sesna

·        Women’s 60m Hurdles (Friday, 12:35 pm) – Adrianna Rodencal

·        Women’s 400m Dash (Friday, 1:05 pm) – Rachel Battershell

·        Men’s 400m Dash (Friday, 1:25 pm) – Colton Meyer         

·        Women’s 600m Run (Friday, 1:45 pm) – Jenna Esch, Jordan Koepke

·        Men’s High Jump (Friday, 2:00 pm) – Wyatt Loga

·        Women’s Pole Vault (Friday, 3:00 pm) – Erin Boggs, Amira Cummings, Erin Mapson, Josie Puelz, Kayla Svoboda

·        Women’s Weight Throw (Friday, 3:00 pm) – Kamryn Pokorney, Maddie, Robinson, Abi Wohlgemuth

·        Women’s 1000m Run (Friday, 3:15 pm) – Kylahn Freiberg, Rylee Haecker

·        Men’s 1000m Run (Friday, 3:30 pm) – Calvin Rohde

·        Men’s Long Jump (Friday, 4:00 pm) – Joel Rathe

·        Women’s 200m Dash (Friday, 4:40 pm) – Adrianna Rodencal