SEWARD, Neb. – The final home meet of the 2022 track and field season is coming up Friday as the Bulldogs prepare to put on the annual Concordia Twilight. As of Tuesday (May 10), the field of teams and competitors is still being finalized. The Concordia University Track & Field staff reached out to several dozens of schools in the process of mapping out the Concordia Twilight. The meet will get started at 2 p.m. CT on Friday with throwing events. Running events will go off starting at 4:30 p.m.
Head Coach Matt Beisel and company will also take athletes to the Loper Twilight put on by the University of Nebraska-Kearney on Saturday. More details on that meet can be found below.
The Bulldogs are fresh off the 2022 GPAC Outdoor Track & Field Championships. Concordia emerged from the meet with team place finishes of first on the women’s side and third on the men’s side. The women’s program won each of the past seven GPAC championship meets, a streak that began with the 2019 GPAC indoor championships. At last week’s conference meet hosted by Doane, seven Bulldogs claimed individual GPAC titles: Keri Bauer (800 meters), Zach Bennetts (pole vault), Rylee Haecker (1,500 meters), Jordan Koepke (400 hurdles), Josie Puelz (pole vault), Sarah Ragland (hammer throw) and Camden Sesna (5,000 meters). Koepke broke both school and GPAC meet records with her time of 59.50 in the 400 hurdles. Other school records were also broken by the women’s 4x400 meter relay (3:48.93) and Cade Kleckner in the 200 meters (21.16).
The two twilight meets this week will serve as the last opportunities to achieve automatic national qualifying standards – or to improve upon existing ‘A’ marks. At the close of the conference meet, Concordia athletes have combined for 19 automatic national qualifying performances, as show below. In addition, marks that end up within the final top 16 of the NAIA national leaderboard will become ‘A’ standards. For example, Bennetts (15th in the pole vault), Amira Cummings (15th in the pole vault), Mackenzie Ferrel (15th in hammer), Wyatt Loga (12th in the high jump) and Alli Owings (16th in hammer) are currently ranked in the top 16 nationally with ‘B’ standards in their respective events.
Concordia ‘A’ standards, 2022 outdoor season
· Men’s 4x400 meter relay (3:15.45)
· Women’s 4x400 meter relay (3:48.93)
· Women’s 4x800 meter relay (9:09.24)
· Keri Bauer – 800 meters (2:14.01)
· Chase Berry – pole vault (16’ 1 ¾”)
· Morgan De Jong – hammer throw (176’ 4”)
· Sara Huss – discus (152’ 7”)
· Cade Kleckner – 200 meters (21.16)
· Jordan Koepke – 100 hurdles (14.54); 400 hurdles (59.90)
· Sarah Lewis – 100 hurdles (14.52); 400 hurdles (1:01.91)
· Erin Mapson – pole vault (11’ 11 ¾”)
· Alli Owings – discus (156’ 8”)
· Erin Painter – discus (150’ 3”)
· Josie Puelz – pole vault (13’ 5 ¼”)
· Sarah Ragland – hammer throw (175’ 5”)
· Xavier Ross – 400 meters (48.04)
· Chris Wren – hammer throw (194’ 5”)
Koepke deserves additional mention for an incredible freshman campaign. The native of Gulf Breeze, Fla., has taken it up a notch this outdoor season after she won the GPAC indoor 600 meter title and placed third at nationals in the 600. Koepke’s time last week in the 400 hurdles moved her up to No. 2 in the nation. Impressively, she’s also been part of the 4x400 meter relay that broke the outdoor school record and filled in at the Drake Relays for the 4x800 meter relay that currently ranks No. 2 in the NAIA with a time of 9:09.24. Koepke and teammate Sarah Lewis are both qualified for nationals in the 100 and 400 hurdles.
The new ‘A’ standards came last week from the men’s 4x400 meter relay, Keri Bauer (800 meters), Koepke (100 hurdles) and Xavier Ross (400 meters). Interestingly, the men’s 4x4 did not have an official time this season until clocking in at 3:15.45 at the GPAC Championships. That group was made up of Jacob Jennings, Cade Kleckner, Colton Meyer and Ross. A former basketball student-athlete, Bauer was a bit of a surprise GPAC champion in the 800 meters. Her time of 2:14.01 was a personal best that ranks No. 3 in school history.
Following this weekend’s action, the focus will shift to the 2022 NAIA Outdoor Track & Field National Championships to be held in Gulf Shores, Ala., May 25-27. For more information on the national meet, check out the track and field sport pages on the NAIA’s official website: Men | Women.