Lewis, Puelz break school records, Bulldogs notch 15 auto marks at Bronco Invite

By Jacob Knabel on Apr. 2, 2021 in Track & Field

HASTINGS, Neb. – In the early going of the 2021 outdoor season, Concordia University Track & Field is cleaning up in the field events. In action on a breezy Friday (April 2) at the Hastings Bronco Invite, Bulldog athletes combined for 15 performances that met the automatic national qualifying standard (14 in field events). In addition, both Sarah Lewis and Josie Puelz broke outdoor school records in an impressive all-around day.

Head Coach Matt Beisel’s squads entered the weekend carrying NAIA national rankings of No. 1 on the women’s side and sixth on the men’s side. Based on Friday’s results, the women stand a good chance of retaining that lofty ranking next week.

“We went in expecting some big stuff and got a lot of good stuff,” Beisel said. “Some really good things happened in the throws. Josie and Sarah broke outdoor school records. I was really pleased with how it all went. We thank God for these successes. We have a lot of people in a great mood today. I thought our distance and mid-distance runners went out and competed really well. It was great to see families enjoying being out there.”

Starting with the record breakers, Lewis set a new standard in the 100 meter hurdles while the national champion Puelz now owns school records in both the indoor and outdoor pole vault. Lewis clocked in at 14.63 in the 100 hurdles (‘B’ standard), which eclipsed the previous record of 14.70 by Shelby Stolze. It’s no surprise to see Puelz ascending to great heights. She cleared 12’ 11 ½” on Friday, took first place and outjumped the prior program standard of 12’ 9 ½” by Allie Brooks.

The pole vault should be a strength once again (Concordia qualified a total of eight men’s/women’s athletes for indoor nationals). Piggybacking off Puelz, Erin Mapson achieved a personal best of 12’ 7 ½.” Mapson was an indoor All-American. On the men’s side, Zach Zohner won the competition by vaulting 14’ 7 ¼.”

The women’s discus was otherworldly. Five Bulldogs churned out auto marks: Erin Painter (159’ 11”), Addie Shaw (151’), Sara Huss (146’ 10”), Morgan De Jong (145’ 5”) and Alli Owings (145’ 3”). Not only that, Bethany Shaw and Olivia Buschow also posted ‘B’ marks in the event. Reigning GPAC Field Athlete of the Week, Addie Shaw has the ability to be the top all-around female thrower in the nation. She won Bronco Invite event titles in the hammer (177’ 2”) and shot put (46’ 10”) and currently ranks either first or second in the NAIA in three separate events.

Concordia University, Portland transfer Liz Stottlemyre has moved to the top of the national leaderboard in the javelin by way of her Bronco Invite winning toss of 148’ 1.” That mark exceeds the personal best she had as an NCAA Division II competitor. Other auto marks turned in by female throwers were courtesy of Elle Luehr (44’ 5 ½” in shot put) and Sarah Ragland (174’ 3” in hammer).

On the men’s side of the throws, Jacob Cornelio came through with a PR in the hammer with his first-place toss of 203’ 6” (leads the NAIA by nearly 10 feet). In the same event, teammate Chris Wren qualified for nationals with a mark of 178’ 8.” Meanwhile, Jerod Peters put up a ‘B’ standard in the shot put (51’ 3”) and Jackson Armitage won the javelin competition.

A major breakthrough occurred for former Bulldog baseball player Cade Kleckner, who blazed to an automatic national qualifying time of 21.35 in the 200 meters (second place at the meet). That put him an eyelash shy of the school record of 21.34 held by Frank Wilson since 1997. Kleckner was an indoor All-American as part of the 4x400 meter relay.

In addition to host Hastings, Concordia went up against competitors from Bellevue University, Midland and York College in a relatively small meet. The Bulldogs concluded the day with a final tally of 15 event titles (each one listed at bottom). Two-time indoor 400 meter national champion Rachel Battershell ran her first outdoor 400 of the spring and finished in a solid time of 57.46. Some winners on the track included Lewis (400 hurdles), Colton Meyer (400 meters), Grace Reiman (5,000 meters) and Camden Sesna (800 meters).

As for the jumps, Taylor Moes beat out a small field in the women’s triple jump and Cody Williams took first place in the men’s long jump. A 2019 national qualifier, Mackenzie Koepke rejoined the track team for outdoor and was second in the high jump with a mark that equaled teammate Amy Richert. Three Concordia women’s long jumpers went over 17 feet: Cora Olson, Katie Severt and Jamey Broman.

Next up is the first home meet of the 2021 outdoor season. The Bulldogs will put on the Concordia Invite next Friday and Saturday (April 9-10) with events taking placing inside and around Bulldog Stadium. The tentative meet schedule can be viewed HERE.

Automatic National Qualifying Marks

·        Jacob Cornelio (hammer)

·        Morgan De Jong (discus)

·        Sarah Huss (discus)

·        Cade Kleckner (200m)

·        Elle Luehr (shot put)

·        Erin Mapson (pole vault)

·        Alli Owings (discus)

·        Erin Painter (discus)

·        Josie Puelz (pole vault)

·        Sarah Ragland (hammer)

·        Addie Shaw (discus; shot put; hammer)

·        Liz Stottlemyre (javelin)

·        Chris Wren (hammer)

‘B’ standards: Olivia Buschow (discus); Sarah Lewis (100 hurdles); Jerod Peters (shot put); Bethany Shaw (discus; hammer)

Bronco Invite Titles

·        Jackson Armitage (javelin)

·        Rachel Battershell (400m)

·        Jacob Cornelio (hammer)

·        Sarah Lewis (400 hurdles)

·        Colton Meyer (400m)

·        Taylor Moes (triple jump)

·        Erin Painter (discus)

·        Josie Puelz (pole vault)

·        Grace Reiman (5,000m)

·        Camden Sesna (800m)

·        Addie Shaw (hammer; shot put)

·        Liz Stottlemyre (javelin)

·        Cody Williams (long jump)

·        Zach Zohner (pole vault)