GULF SHORES, Ala. – With two days in the books, the Concordia University Track & Field women lead the field at the 2021 NAIA Outdoor Track & Field National Championships. Thanks to four more official All-America placements, the Bulldog women picked up 15 team points on Thursday (May 27). With the inclusion of Emily Loy’s performance in the heptathlon, a new school standard was set for the fourth time this week.
Head Coach Matt Beisel’s squads have accumulated point totals of 47 on the women’s side and 10 on the men’s side. The Indiana Tech women are lurking close behind the national leading Bulldogs with 39 points. Meanwhile, Concordia’s men are currently tied for seventh. Ten of 24 events have been scored for women and nine of 24 events have been scored for men.
“It’s been a phenomenal two days,” Beisel said. “We’ve had outstanding performances from our men and women. It’s been a riot. God has blessed us in so many ways … I could go on and on about the All-Americans we’ve produced. I have to say that Jordyn Anderson stepped up today. Here’s a young lady who is getting better and better. Tomorrow anything can happen. Every point counts in the team race. Right now we are still ahead (on the women’s side). Indiana Tech is a pretty big threat.”
A day after running the leadoff leg for a the team’s record breaking 4x100 meter relay, Loy emerged from the meet with a new program standard of 4,733 points in the heptathlon. While doing so, the native of Wood River, Neb., placed fifth and earned her first career All-America plaque. Just behind her was freshman Amy Richert, who tallied 4,708 points and finished sixth (also her first All-America award). Both point totals eclipsed the previous school record of 4,707 by Jessica Deterding.
This was the last hurrah for Loy, who got progressively better over her career. She made the third national meet appearance of her career. Loy has been a key contributor in a whole lot of team success. Said Loy, “This team is something else. I think anyone will tell you that. Definitely God’s doing big things through this team. We’re all so close. Usually event groups stick together, but this team is one big family. Throwers were yelling for me and Amy, which was so cool … I am so thankful and blessed to be able to be part of that.”
Eight team points were produced by the women’s shot put, an event area that saw Jordyn Anderson (45’ 9 ¼” – personal best) place fourth and Addie Shaw (45’ 5 ¼”) place sixth. Anderson pulled in the first All-America award of her career while Shaw notched the 10th All-America plaque of her impressive collegiate run. Also an All-American in the hammer throw (fifth) on Wednesday, Shaw will take aim at a third career national title in the discus when she resumes action on Friday. Two other Bulldogs competed in the shot put: Abigail Gerber (12th) and Elle Luehr (17th).
The incredible Rachel Battershell has hopes of locking down a clean sweep of NAIA 400 meter national titles in 2021. Not so shockingly, the native of Wheatland, Wyo., won her heat of the 400 meter prelims on Thursday while clocking in at 55.65. She also ran the anchor for the women’s 4x400 meter relay that paced the track late on Thursday. Battershell worked alongside with Jacee Pfeifer, Sarah Lewis and Sydni Schernikau. Collectively, they concluded the race in 3:49.51, just off the school record of 3:49.27 (set in 2009). Concordia placed eighth in the prelims while sewing up a spot in the finals on Friday.
In the 100 meter hurdle prelims, Battershell turned in a time of 14.66. She placed 20th in the 100 hurdles, meaning her focus will be on the finals of the 400 meters and 4x4 on Friday.
The collegiate career of the accomplished Jacob Cornelio concluded on Thursday. Fresh off winning a hammer throw national title, the native of Elk Grove, Calif., competed in the discus and placed 13th (152’ 9”). He will leave Concordia as a six-time All-American and two-time national champion.
In the very final event of the night, the Bulldog men’s 4x4 clocked in at 3:15.83, slotting in at 14th. That time put them a little over two seconds shy of what was necessary to reach the finals. The 4x4 was made up of Cade Kleckner, Jacob Jennings, Henry Reimer and Colton Meyer. That quartet developed into a fine core that was boosted by Klecker and Jennings, who previously played other sports at Concordia.
An indoor high jump All-American, Wyatt Loga gave it his best in that same event at the outdoor meet. Loga was unable to clear the opening height while making his second appearance at a national championship.
Thirteen Bulldog athletes will compete on Friday, which will be the final day of the meet. In order to win a team national championship, the Concordia women will have to come through in the clutch. Battershell (400 meters) and Shaw (discus) are both national title contenders. Shaw will be joined by five teammates in the discus. The full schedule for Friday can be viewed at bottom.
2021 NAIA Outdoor All-Americans
· Jordyn Anderson – 4th in shot put
· Jacob Cornelio – 1st in hammer throw
· Emily Loy – 5th in heptathlon
· Erin Mapson – 7th in pole vault
· Josie Puelz – 1st in pole vault
· Sarah Ragland – 3rd in hammer throw
· Amy Richert – 6th in heptathlon
· Addie Shaw – 5th in hammer throw; 6th in shot put
· Elizabeth Stottlemyre – 1st in javelin
School records broken this week
· Women’s 4x100 meter relay – Emily Loy, Rachel Battershell, Hannah Mulligan, Cora Olson (47.66)
· Jacob Cornelio, hammer throw (219’)
· Emily Loy, heptathlon (4,733)
· Liz Stottlemyre, javelin (167’ 2”)
Friday (May 28) Schedule
· 1 p.m. – Men’s Shot | Jerod Peters
· 2 p.m. – Women’s Discus | Morgan De Jong, Sarah Huss, Alli Owings, Erin Painter, Addie Shaw, Bethany Shaw
· 2 p.m. – Women’s High Jump | Mackenzie Koepke, Amy Richert
· 4:10 p.m. – 400 Meter Hurdles (finals) | Sarah Lewis
· 4:30 p.m. – 400 Meters (finals) | Rachel Battershell
· 6:15 p.m. – Women’s 4x400 Meter Relay (finals) | Jacee Pfeifer, Sarah Lewis, Sydni Schernikau, Rachel Battershell