Meet Preview: 2022 GPAC Outdoor Championships

By Jacob Knabel on May. 3, 2022 in Track & Field

SEWARD, Neb. – It’s conference championship week for Concordia University Track & Field. The 2022 outdoor season to date has seen Bulldog athletes compete at eight different meets over a six-week span. Heading into the GPAC meet, Head Coach Matt Beisel’s squads have combined for 15 automatic national qualifying standards. Concordia hopes to add to that total at the 2022 GPAC Outdoor Track & Field Championships hosted by Doane this Friday and Saturday. The Bulldog women have won six-straight GPAC titles.


2022 GPAC Outdoor Track & Field Championships
Friday/Saturday, May 6-7
Al Papik Field/Lauritsen Track | Crete, Neb.
Event Schedule (PDF)
Live Coverage
--Video Stream:
--Results: Black Squirrel
--Admission: $10 for adults/senior citizens, $3 for K-12; only those with NAIA passes and GPAC student ID’s will be admitted free of charge.

To recap, Concordia turned in 2022 GPAC indoor placements of first on the women’s side and fourth on the men’s side. The Bulldog women accumulated 194.5 points in the process of extending the program’s streak of GPAC championships. Individual conference titles were claimed by Zach Bennetts in the pole vault, Morgan De Jong in the weight throw, Rylee Haecker in the mile and 1,000 meters, Jordan Koepke in the 600 meters and Josie Puelz in the pole vault. As a result, Beisel was named the GPAC Women’s Coach of the Year and Puelz was honored with the GPAC Women’s Field Performance of the Meet. Puelz broke the GPAC indoor meet record in the pole vault.

Concordia’s returning GPAC champions from the 2021 conference outdoor meet include the men’s 4x100 meter relay (Cade Kleckner, Joel Rathe, Jacob Jennings and Colton Meyer), the women’s 4x400 meter relay (Keri Bauer, Sarah Lewis and Rachel Battershell), Battershell in the 400 hurdles and Puelz in the pole vault. Among returning Bulldogs, Battershell owns the most career GPAC event titles with eight, including three in the 400 meters. Others with multiple career GPAC championships include De Jong (two), Haecker (two), Kylahn Heritage (two), Lewis (three) and Puelz (three).

Below is a listing of Concordia athletes who enter this week’s meet with top-rated marks within the GPAC. The Bulldogs are favored to win titles in the pole vault on both sides and are projected to score bushels of points in events like the women’s discus and women’s hammer. Chase Berry rose all the way to No. 3 on the NAIA men’s pole vault list last week when he cleared a PR of 16’ 1 ¾.” The 1,500 meters could also be a fruitful event for both the men and women as Concordia holds down the Nos. 1 and 2 spots via Haecker and Heritage on the women’s side and Camden Sesna and Calvin Rohde on the men’s side.

Bulldogs with top-rated GPAC marks

·        Women’s 4x400m relay – 3:49.86

·        Women’s 4x800m relay – 9:09.24

·        Chase Berry – pole vault (16’ 1 ¾”)

·        Rylee Haecker – 1,500 meters (4:42.36)

·        Alli Owings – discus (156’ 8”)

·        Josie Puelz – pole vault (13’ 5 ¼”)

·        Camden Sesna – 1,500 meters (3:55.51)

According to the USTFCCCA, Concordia boasts the NAIA’s top-rated event squads in the women’s pole vault, women’s shot put, women’s discus, women’s hammer throw and men’s hammer throw. Between men and women, the Bulldogs rank inside the top five nationally in 12 event groups. The USTFCCCA also listed the Concordia women as the nation’s fourth-rated team in its most recent NAIA National Ratings Index.

During the GPAC era (2000-present), Concordia Track & Field has combined for 12 GPAC team titles (nine for the women and three for the men). The men’s program last hoisted the GPAC trophy at the 2015 conference outdoor meet. In addition, the Bulldog men’s and women’s programs have combined for 26 conference runner-up finishes during the GPAC era.

The season will continue beyond the GPAC Championships with the Concordia Twilight (May 13) and the UNK Loper Twilight (May 14) meets coming up next week. Those will be the final opportunities for Bulldogs to put national marks on the board heading into the 2022 NAIA Outdoor Track & Field National Championships held in Gulf Shores, Ala., May 25-27. For additional national meet info, check out the NAIA track and field page HERE.

Concordia all-time conference titles

MENindoor: 2014 | outdoor: 2014, 2015

WOMENindoor: 2010, 2019, 2020, 2021, 2022 | outdoor: 1998, 2010, 2012, 2019, 2021

Concordia all-time conference runner-up finishes

MENindoor: 2003, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2015, 2017, 2019 | outdoor: 2002, 2009, 2011, 2013, 2016, 2017

WOMENindoor: 2003, 2005, 2009, 2014, 2015, 2016 | outdoor: 2005, 2009, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016

Current Bulldogs with GPAC titles
Rachel Battershell
– 8 (2021 outdoor 400 hurdles; 2021 outdoor 4x400m relay; 2021 indoor 400 meters; 2020 indoor 60 hurdles; 2020 indoor 400 meters; 2020 indoor 4x400m relay; 2019 indoor 4x400m relay; 2019 outdoor 400 meters)
Keri Bauer – 1 (2021 outdoor 4x400m relay)
Zach Bennetts – 1 (2022 indoor pole vault)
Morgan De Jong – 2 (2022 indoor weight throw; 2021 indoor weight throw)
Rylee Haecker – 2 (2022 indoor mile; 2022 indoor 1,000 meters)
Kylahn Heritage – 2 (2021 indoor 1,000 meters); 2020 indoor 3,000 meters)
Jacob Jennings – 1 (2021 outdoor 4x100m relay)
Cade Kleckner – 1 (2021 outdoor 4x100m relay)
Jordan Koepke – 1 (2022 indoor 600 meters)
Sarah Lewis – 3 (2021 outdoor 4x400m relay; 2020 indoor 4x400m relay; 2019 indoor 4x400m relay)
Erin Mapson – 1 (2019 outdoor pole vault)
Colton Meyer – 1 (2021 outdoor 4x100m relay)
Jacee Pfeifer – 2 (2020 indoor 4x400m relay; 2019 indoor 4x400m relay)
Josie Puelz – 3 (2022 indoor pole vault; 2021 outdoor pole vault; 2020 indoor pole vault)
Joel Rathe – 1 (2021 outdoor 4x100m relay)