SEWARD, Neb. – Following a team national title for the women and a team runner-up finish for the men, the honors continue to roll in for members of the Concordia University track and field program. On Thursday the U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA) awarded three Bulldogs with prestigious national honors.
- Kregg Einspahr: 2016 USTFCCCA NAIA National Women’s Outdoor Track & Field Coach of the Year.
- Ed McLaughlin: 2016 USTFCCCA NAIA National Men’s and Women’s Outdoor Track & Field Assistant Coach of the Year
- Liz King: 2016 USTFCCCA NAIA National Women’s Outdoor Field Athlete of the Year
Einspahr, also named the USTFCCCA’s 2016 NAIA Midwest Region Men’s Outdoor Coach of the Year, stockpiled accolades throughout his 24-year tenure as head coach at Concordia. The 19-time GPAC coach of the year has guided the track and field program to two outdoor national titles over the past two seasons. In 2016, both the Concordia men and women placed among the top five at the indoor and outdoor national championships. Einspahr has now received four different national coach of the year awards for either cross country or track. In addition, he won a combined 16 conference titles and led teams to seven national runner-up placements in addition to the two national championships.
McLaughlin, who just completed his 19th year assisting Einspahr, has built the top throws program in the nation. At last week’s outdoor national championships, King (hammer) and Zach Lurz (shot put) both won national titles while four runner-up placements were turned in by throwers: King (javelin), Kali Robb (shot put), Josh Slechta (hammer) and Tricia Svoboda (discus). Throwers combined for 110 total team points at the outdoor national championships. Earlier in May, a pair of GPAC titles were claimed by both King (hammer and javelin) and Slechta (discus and hammer). McLaughlin swept all NAIA Midwest Region assistant coaching honors and has received three national awards from the USTFCCCA in 2016.
King capped off her impressive career as a Bulldog by winning her second career national title. Her 18 points at last week’s national championships were the most among her national championship winning teammates. The native of Billings, Mont., won four GPAC titles in the javelin and two in the hammer during her four-year run. She also won a national title in the javelin in 2014. Also named NAIA Midwest Region Women’s Outdoor Field Athlete of the Year, King owns the school record in the javelin. She is also the GPAC outdoor meet record holder in the hammer and javelin.