CRETE, Neb. – Liz King’s remarkable sophomore season continued on Friday as day one of two of the 2014 GPAC Outdoor Track and Field Championships played out at Doane College in Crete, Neb. Concordia’s stable of young decathletes also shined and currently rank 2, 3 and 4 to lead a men’s squad aiming for a second GPAC championship of the year.
The multi events resume at 9 a.m. on Saturday. Field events begin at 12 p.m. and running events commence at 12:30 p.m. View the complete schedule HERE.
At the conclusion of day one, the Concordia men top the conference with 56 points. The women rank first with 46 points. Five events have been scored on both sides.
On the day, the Bulldogs totaled four conference championship efforts – three on the women’s side and one on the men’s side.
“It was a great day,” head coach Kregg Einspahr said. “We had a spectacular performance from Carson Farr in the pole vault (first place). It was really a gutty effort. We had a few other wins too and a new conference and school record from Liz King.
“We’re close to where we projected on the men’s side and a little ahead on the women’s. We’re in really good shape.”
King, who entered the weekend ranked No. 2 in the NAIA in the javelin, topped her own school record and eclipsed the GPAC record with her toss of 157’ 8” to claim the javelin title, something she’s done five times this season. King was joined by three other Bulldogs among the top eight in the women’s javelin.
A three-time GPAC weight throw champion, senior Jamie Crouse captured her first conference hammer throw title on Friday with her mark of 181’ 2” – a season best by almost 10 feet. Crouse was backed by two other all-conference Bulldogs in the women’s hammer.
Assistant coach Jason Berry’s vaulters took titles on both sides thanks to the efforts of Farr and Shelby Yelden. Farr cleared 16’ 5 ¼” while Yelden notched a mark of 12’ 2.” Both will be headed to the national championships later this month.
In the decathlon, Brandon Cook (3,388 points), Lucas Wiechman (3,232 points) and Brandon Ramos (3,227 points) sit second, third and fourth, respectively, with five events left to be completed on Saturday. In the women’s heptathlon, Bulldogs Sara Simmons (2,736 points), Lydia Pomerenke (2,709 points), Montana Hayes (2,570 points) and Paige Getz (2,558 points) currently sit in spots three through six.
Concordia scored big in the men’s hammer throw, placing five in the top eight for a total of 22 team points. Sophomore Cody Boellstorff placed second, coming up exactly a foot short of the first-place toss of 195’ 9” by Hastings’ Tyler Rathke. Freshman Zach Lurz (183’ 9”) finished third and junior Trey Farmer (175’ 1”) came in fourth in the process of again eclipsing the automatic national qualifying mark.
On the track, the Bulldog men advanced three 100 meter runners into the finals – Noah Smith, Tai Pleasant and Garrett Golke. Usual suspects Jonathon Becker and Ben Hinckfoot will take part in the finals of the 110 meter hurdles on Saturday.
In the 4x800 meter relays, the Bulldog women (Jenean Williams, Jena Schwalenberg, Erika Schroeder and Marti Vlasin) placed third with a time of 9:27.37. The men (Hinckfoot, Matthew Chapa, Andrew Malan and Jaap Van Gaalen) clocked in at 7:46.72 to place fourth. That time was less than two seconds of the automatic national qualifying mark.