PITTSBURG, Kan. – Nothing is ever guaranteed in a sport with many variables, but Samantha Liermann and the women’s shot put group never let the Bulldogs down during the entire 2018 indoor season. Liermann broke a school record while winning the shot put national title and serving as a catalyst for a top 10 women’s team finish at the 2018 NAIA Indoor Track & Field National Championships. Liermann was one of five Concordia athletes to earn All-America honors on the weekend (March 1-3).
Head coach Matt Beisel’s squads departed from the Robert W. Plaster Center in Pittsburg, Kan., after having totaled 22 team points on the women’s side and four team points on the men’s side (42nd place).
“Almost all of our All-Americans were top eight with fantastic personal best performances,” Beisel said. “You had Samantha come back and set a school record in the shot put and win it. Then we had some under-the-radar stuff where they didn’t score for us but had gigantic performance improvements. I’m really pleased with how our kids handled it.
Also the GPAC indoor shot put champion and the 2017 NAIA outdoor shot put titlist, Liermann nearly hit 50 feet with her standard setting performance on Saturday. Her toss of 49’ 5” won the competition by more than a foot-and-a-half. Teammates Adrianna Shaw (47’ 1”) and Johanna Ragland (45’ 1 ¾”) placed third and seventh, respectively, to also earn All-America accolades in the event. Eighteen team points came from the women’s shot put alone, which also featured Jazzy Eickhoff (15th) and Jodi Fry (16th).
Five other Bulldogs were in action on Saturday. Leah Larson tied for 10th place in the triple jump (37’ 8 ¾”). Kara Stark placed 12th in the high jump (5’ 3”). Simon Brummond and Tyrell Reichert both cleared 14’ 9” in the pole vault and were credited with placements of 14th. Johnson jumped 47’ 10 ½” in the triple, sharing 11th place.
The marks for Johnson and Larson were personal bests. With her triple jump measurement, Larson moved all the way up to No. 2 on the program’s all-time list. Johnson also leapfrogged a program alum and is second in school history in the men’s triple jump.
Liermann was undoubtedly the team’s MVP of the meet. She also turned in a personal best of 57’ 5 ½” in the weight throw and placed fifth on Friday. Her 14 team points were a team high. Liermann became the first female thrower in program history to win an indoor national title. She, Kathy Gottberg (shot put) and Liz King (javelin, hammer throw) are the three female outdoor throwing national champions in school history.
Concordia will have three weeks before beginning the outdoor season March 23-24 at the Wildcat Outdoor Classic hosted by Wayne State College.
Said Beisel, “I think when we get to outdoor we’ve got other events we’re strong in and we’re going to put more points on the board. Next year as these freshmen grow up and turn into sophomores and we bring in another good class, I think we’re going to be right up where we’ve been the last few years.”
2018 Indoor All-Americans