SEWARD, Neb. – With the GPAC Championships coming up next week, this will be the final chance for members of the Concordia University Track & Field program to improve their conference seed markings. The Bulldogs are gearing up to host a home meet for the fourth time this indoor season. The Concordia Indoor Invite is slated to get underway with field events at 12 p.m. CT on Saturday. The first running events will go off at 2 p.m. Head Coach Matt Beisel’s Bulldogs hosted the Concordia Classic last week.
Due to COVID-19 restrictions, the field of teams and competitors has been limited to smaller numbers than Concordia home meets of years past. The Bulldogs will be joined inside the Fieldhouse on Saturday by athletes from Doane, Hastings and Midland.
Live Stream Info
*All streaming links will be free to access.
--Running Events: https://www.youtube.com/c/BulldogTrackandField
--Sprints Starting Line: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCCnWh95Lz6dW3OUosomZyoA
--Women’s Long Jump / Triple Jump (north runway): https://www.youtube.com/channel/UChWMXJ0G97vIWXuBqGS3Iww
--Women’s & Men’s Throwing Events: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCqn-dBHnX9YmlOunOX9cweA
--Vertical Jumps & Men’s Long Jump / Triple Jump (infield jumping events): https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCIerIQe-tQv53fnpGwp_wTQ
In the third edition (Feb. 10) of the 2021 NAIA National Rating Index released by the U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association, Concordia landed at No. 2 on the women’s side and at No. 4 on the men’s side. After breaking the school record last week, sophomore Josie Puelz continues to top the NAIA women’s pole vault list (13’ 4 ½”). As things stand, Bulldog athletes own a combined 34 marks that rank inside the top 10 of the NAIA national performance lists. Reigning GPAC Athlete of the Year Rachel Battershell’s name appears inside the top 10 of three individual events: second in the 400 meters, fifth in the 600 meters and seventh in the 60 meter hurdles.
The USTFCCCA also ranks the top event groupings by school. Concordia currently boasts No. 1 event groupings in the men’s pole vault, women’s pole vault, women’s shot put and women’s weight throw. Morgan De Jong and Sarah Ragland rank fourth and fifth, respectively, on the national weight throw list. Elle Luehr checks in at No. 5 in the shot put.
At last week’s Concordia Classic, in addition to Puelz breaking the school pole vault, the Bulldogs claimed 10 event championships. Battershell teamed up with Keri Bauer, Sarah Lewis and Lainey Werts for a 4x400 meter relay time of 3:54.37 (converted time) that ranks No. 2 in the NAIA. In the throws, significant PR’s were turned in by the likes of Elle Luehr (shot put), Sarah Ragland (weight throw) and Chris Wren (weight throw). Each of their performances place them among the top 10 nationally in their events.
Though the field of teams is small for the Concordia Invite, the competition will be fierce. In addition to Puelz in the women’s pole vault, the meet will feature three others with No. 1 NAIA national marks: Doane’s Jacob Heitkamp (high jump), Midland’s Dylan Kucera (shot put and weight throw) and Hastings’ Paul Plowcha (60 hurdles). From a team perspective, the women’s side will include nationally-ranked teams in No. 2 Concordia, No. 3 Hastings and No. 13 Doane. All four men’s squads are rated in the top 20 of the NAIA: No. 3 Doane, No. 4 Concordia, No. 8 Hastings and No. 18 Midland.
The GPAC Indoor Track & Field Championships will take place Feb. 19-20 in Sioux Center, Iowa, home to Dordt. The GPAC meet schedule can be viewed HERE.