SEWARD, Neb. – Based on their performances this outdoor season, both senior Zach Lurz and assistant coach Ed McLaughlin have been selected as NAIA regional honorees by the U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCA), as announced on Monday (May 22). Lurz garnered NAIA Midwest Men’s Outdoor Field Athlete of the Year award while McLaughlin swept NAIA Midwest Outdoor Men’s and Women’s Assistant Coach of the Year accolades.
A senior from Chadron, Neb., Lurz continues to shine as one of the nation’s elite throwers. During this outdoor season, Lurz won GPAC titles in the hammer and discus and collected the conference men’s field performance of the meet for his work in the hammer. Heading into this week’s outdoor national championships, Lurz ranks second nationally in both the shot put (58’ 9 ¼”) and discus (179’ 9”) and third in the hammer (206’ 6”). A 14-time All-American and four-time national champion, Lurz was named by the USTFCCCA as the NAIA indoor Midwest and National Field Athlete of the Year in 2016.
McLaughlin has now raked in a total of six NAIA Midwest regional coaching honors over the past two years. He was also tabbed a NAIA national assistant coach of the year three times throughout the 2016 indoor and outdoor seasons. In his 20th year as an assistant on the track and field staff, McLaughlin has helped 14 different throwers qualify for the upcoming national championships. Both Cody Boellstorff and Lurz are past national champions. Currently, Boellstorff is No. 1 in the men’s hammer and Samantha Liermann tops the women’s shot put. Concordia throwers won a total of five GPAC titles at the 2017 outdoor conference meet.
The 2017 NAIA Outdoor Track and Field National Championships will run Thursday through Friday in Gulf Shores, Ala. For a preview of the meet, click HERE.