JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. – The Concordia track and field teams finished the NAIA Indoor Championships in the top five after a three day event. The men placed third with 58 points while the women finished fifth with 43 points. Eighteen Bulldogs were named NAIA All-Americans and one more won a national title.
In addition to Cody Boellstorff’s first place finish in the weight throw during the second day of the meet, the junior received the male outstanding performance of the meet for his monstrous throw. This is the first time in Concordia track and field history that a Bulldog has received the accolades.
Einspahr said, “We had a tremendous meet with two top-five finishes. It reflects the fact that the athletes put in a lot of hard work. The men placing third was really a feather in their cap. Our assistant coaches did a good job of getting the athletes ready to come out and compete.”
Zach Lurz repeated his national title from last season in the shot put. The junior’s throw of 57-07.75 was over two feet greater than any other competitor. Jose Rojas finished in second with a mark of 55-06.25. Also competing in the shot put was Trey Barnes who registered a throw of 52-11.50 to finish in eighth place.
Lurz said, “This whole week, practices have been about getting technique cleared up and getting our distances further. Yesterday that came to culmination. I set a huge PR, four out of six of my throws were PR’s on the weight. Shot didn’t go as well, I wasn’t mentally prepared for it but I came out and did what I needed to do.”
In the women’s shot put, freshman Sam Liermann was the runner-up with a toss of 47-10.50, just under three inches of the first place finisher. Senior Steph Coley marked a 47-08 throw for third place while Kalie Robb finished sixth, turning in a 45-08 mark.
Liermann said, “I was coming in sixth and I had a really good week of practice but I knew I could come here and do better. I was happy to get a new PR. I love the team and I’m glad I could help out with team points. I feel so welcome and everyone wants you to do well, so that helps.”
Lucas Wiechman competed in the pole vault and received fourth place. The junior vaulted 15-07 to gain his second All-American award of the 2016 meet.
Wiechman credited his success to his coaches and said, “Being eight events in and being the last event I just had to leave it to a good coach and take what kind of bars we could get and go from there.”
Kim Wood ran in two events and was named an All-American in each. In the one mile, Wood placed third with a time of 5:01.53. The senior placed fourth in the 1,000 meters, finishing in 2:56.69.
CJ Muller also came out of the meet with a pair of All-American plaques. Individually the junior placed sixth in the 600 meters with a mark of 1:21.23. The men’s 4x400 meter relay team made up of Muller, Jaap van Gaalen, Trevor Bresson and Nathan Matters finished in eighth place with a time of 3:19.99.
“Kim Wood had what she felt was a sub-par performance,” Einspahr said. “She’s been struggling with some sickness which affected her this weekend which is too bad because she’s been running really well up to this point. It was still a tremendous finish. We got some points from the men’s 4x400 and from CJ Muller that we weren’t projected to so that was a good bonus.”
Now that the indoor season has come to a close, the Bulldogs will take a month off to prepare for the outdoor season. In its next event, Concordia will compete at the Hastings Broncos Invite on Saturday, April 2.
Below is complete list of Concordia’s 2016 Indoor All-Americans
Trey Barnes (shot put)
Cody Boellstorff (weight throw – 1st)
Trevor Bresson (4x400m relay)
Philip Kreutzer (weight throw)
Zach Lurz (shot put – 1st, weight throw)
Nathan Matters (4x400m relay)
CJ Muller (600 meter run, 4x400m relay)
Jose Rojas (shot put)
Josh Slechta (weight throw)
Jaap van Gaalen (4x400m relay)
Lucas Wiechman (pole vault, heptathlon)
Kattie Cleveland (weight throw)
Steph Coley (shot put, weight throw)
McKenzie Gravo (pole vault)
Liz King (weight throw)
Sam Liermann (shot put)
Kali Robb (shot put, weight throw)
Kim Wood (1,000 meter run, one mile run)