Meet Preview: 2023 NAIA Outdoor National Championships

By Jacob Knabel on May. 21, 2023 in Track & Field


NAIA T&F Pages: Men | Women

SEWARD, Neb. – Thirty-two members of the Concordia University Track & Field programs are making their final preparations for the 2023 NAIA Outdoor Track & Field National Championships. The outdoor national meet returns to Indiana Wesleyan University in Marion, Ind., for the first time since 2013. The three-day national championship meet will run Wednesday through Friday (May 24-26) of this coming week. A full list of Concordia’s national qualifiers can be found at the bottom. The 32 Bulldog qualifiers have combined for 53 past NAIA All-America awards.

2023 NAIA Outdoor National Championships – Meet Info

--Wednesday-Friday, May 24-26 | Indiana Wesleyan University (Wildcat Track & Field Complex)
--Live Results (Crossroads Timing)
--Live Webcast (NAIA Network)
--Meet Schedule
--Buy Tickets

Entering the meet, head coach Matt Beisel’s squads own national rankings of eighth on the women’s side and 24th on the men’s side, according to the U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association NAIA ratings index. The top-ranked teams are Southeastern University (Fla.) on the men’s side and the University of British Columbia on the women’s side.

The Bulldog women’s program placed sixth nationally this past indoor season and has finished in the top 10 of eight-consecutive NAIA national meets. During that stretch, the program has brought home five team trophies (fourth place or better). The 2023 outdoor nationals roster is 25 athletes strong on the women’s side. The group includes past All-Americans Rachel Battershell (11), Jenna Esch (two), Kylahn Freiberg (four), Rylee Haecker (seven), Jordan Koepke (five), Erin Mapson (six), Alli Owings (one), Erin Painter (one), Josie Puelz (six), Amy Richert (three) and Trinity Tuls (one). Puelz has won each of the past five pole vault national titles while Battershell is a two-time national champ in the 400 meters. On the current NAIA national lists, Concordia boasts five top 10 marks: Puelz (fourth in the pole vault), the 4x400 meter relay (fifth), Lauren Dawson (10th in the 5,000m race walk), Kamryn Pokorney (eighth in hammer) and Hannah Newton (10th in high jump).

On the men’s side, the Bulldogs qualified seven athletes for nationals. Returners with past All-America awards include Wyatt Loga (two), Chris Wren (three) and Zach Zohner (one). The trajectory for the Battle Creek, Neb., native Zohner has taken off. He will enter the national meet seeded third in the pole vault with his outdoor personal best of 16’ 5 ¼.” Zohner placed as the 2023 NAIA indoor pole vault national runner up and was the GPAC outdoor pole vault champion. As for Loga, both of his All-America awards have come in the high jump. Unfortunately, Wren will not be competing following his GPAC runner-up claim in the hammer throw. The men placed 47th at the 2022 national outdoor meet and placed in the top 10 of the NAIA as recently as the 2019 indoor meet.

According to the USTFCCCA, the Bulldogs boast many of the top event groupings in the NAIA. Based on the coaches association’s event squad rankings, Concordia owns the nation’s top men’s hammer throw and women’s heptathlon groups. In addition, the Bulldogs have the No. 2 rated event crews in the women’s discus, women’s hammer, women’s pole vault, men’s discus and men’s pole vault. Concordia qualified four athletes in the women’s pole vault and three in the women’s hammer.

Concordia Track & Field will always have fond memories of the national meets that took place in Gulf Shores, Ala., from 2014 through 2022. The red banners that hang in the Walz Fieldhouse were secured thanks to NAIA team national titles won by the Bulldogs in 2015 on the men’s side and in 2016 on the women’s side. Individual national champions for the program during the Gulf Shores era included women’s athletes in Liz King (2014 and 2016), Samantha Liermann (2017 and 2019), Addie Shaw (2018 and 2019), Liz Stottlemyre (2021) and Josie Puelz (2021 and 2022). During that same stretch, national titles were won by the following men’s athletes: Cody Boellstroff (2015 and 2017), Zach Lurz (2016), Lucas Wiechman (2017) and Jacob Cornelio (2021).

The NAIA held the outdoor national meet at Indiana Wesleyan from 2010 through 2013. At the 2013 NAIA outdoor championships, Concordia placed 20th on the women’s side and 42nd on the men’s side. The NAIA signed a contract with Indiana Wesleyan to host the NAIA outdoor meet from 2023 through 2025 (with an option for 2026) at the Wildcat Track & Field Complex.

A live stream of each of the events will be available for purchase. For more details, check out the NAIA Network home page here:

2023 Concordia outdoor national qualifiers
Rachel Battershell, senior (ninth trip to nationals; 11 All-America awards; two-time 400 meter national champ)
Keegan Beisel, freshman (first trip to nationals)
Erin Boggs, sophomore (second trip to nationals)
Lauren Dawson, junior (first trip to nationals)
Jenna Esch, sophomore (third trip to nationals; two All-America awards)
Kylahn Freiberg, junior (sixth trip to nationals; four All-America awards; 2023 indoor 1,000 meter national runner up)
Rylee Haecker, sophomore (fifth trip to nationals; seven All-America awards)
Rhaya Kaschinske, sophomore (third trip to nationals)
Kayla Kirchner, freshman (first trip to nationals)
Jordan Koepke, sophomore (fourth trip to nationals; five All-America awards)
Emma Lloyd, freshman (first trip to nationals)
Wyatt Loga, junior (sixth trip to nationals, two All-America awards)
Erin Mapson, senior (eighth trip to nationals; six All-America awards)
Hannah Newton, sophomore (third trip to nationals)
Josi Noble, freshman (second trip to nationals)
Alli Owings, junior (third trip to nationals; one All-America award)
Erin Painter, junior (third trip to nationals; one All-America award)
Kamryn Pokorney, sophomore (second trip to nationals)
Josie Puelz, junior (seventh trip to nationals; six All-America awards; five-time pole vault national champ)
Joel Rathe, sophomore (fourth trip to nationals)
Kellie Rhodes, junior (first trip to nationals)
Amy Richert, sophomore (sixth trip to nationals; three All-America awards)
Adrianna Rodencal, freshman (second trip to nationals)
Calvin Rohde, sophomore (fourth trip to nationals)
Austen Rozelle, sophomore (first trip to nationals)
Darien Semedo, sophomore (second trip to nationals)
Gretchen Stottlemyre, sophomore (first trip to nationals)
Kayla Svoboda, freshman (second trip to nationals)
Trinity Tuls, sophomore (third trip to nationals; one All-America award)
Abi Wohlgemuth, sophomore (second trip to nationals)
Chris Wren, junior (sixth trip to nationals; three All-America awards)
Zach Zohner, sophomore (fourth trip to nationals; one All-America award; 2023 indoor pole vault national runner up)

Concordia Event Schedule – 2023 NAIA Outdoor T&F National Championships
NOTE: Listed times are EDT

Heptathlon (Wednesday, 10:30 a.m.) – Josi Noble, Amy Richert
Men’s Hammer (Wednesday, 11:30 a.m.) – Darien Semedo
Women’s Pole Vault (Wednesday, 12:00 p.m.) – Erin Boggs, Erin Mapson, Josie Puelz, Kayla Svoboda
Women’s 4x100m Relay (Wednesday, 3:00 p.m.) – Rachel Battershell, Kayla Kirchner, Kellie Rhodes, Adrianna Rodencal; Alternate: Josi Noble
Women’s Hammer (Wednesday, 3:30 p.m.) – Alli Owings, Kamryn Pokorney, Abi Wohlgemuth
Women’s 1,500m (Wednesday, 3:50 p.m.) – Rylee Haecker
Women’s 4x800m Relay (Wednesday, 6:15 p.m.) – Rylee Haecker, Keegan Beisel, Rhaya Kaschinske, Kylahn Freiberg; Alternate: Jenna Esch
Women’s Javelin (Wednesday, 7:00 p.m.) – Gretchen Stottlemyre

Heptathlon (Thursday, 10:00 a.m.) – Josi Noble, Amy Richert
Women’s 100m Hurdles (Thursday, 2:00 p.m.) – Adrianna Rodencal
Women’s Shot Put (Thursday, 2:30 p.m.) – Kamryn Pokorney
Women’s 800m (Thursday, 2:30 p.m.) – Jenna Esch
Men’s Long Jump (Thursday, 2:30 p.m.) – Joel Rathe
Women’s 400m (Thursday, 4:00 p.m.) – Rachel Battershell
Men’s High Jump (Thursday, 4:30 p.m.) – Wyatt Loga
Women’s 5,000m Race Walk (Thursday, 4:45 p.m.) – Lauren Dawson
Men’s Discus (Thursday, 5:00 p.m.) – Austen Rozelle
Women’s 4x800m Relay-Final (Thursday, 6:10 p.m.)
Men’s 5,000m (Thursday, 7:35 p.m.) – Calvin Rohde
Women’s 4x400m Relay (Thursday, 8:15 p.m.) – Jenna Esch, Josi Noble, Trinity Tuls, Rachel Battershell; Alternate: Jordan Koepke

Women’s Discus Throw (Friday, 1:00 p.m.) – Emma Lloyd, Erin Painter
Men’s Pole Vault (Friday, 1:00 p.m.) – Zach Zohner
Women’s High Jump (Friday, 2:00 p.m.) – Hannah Newton
Men’s Shot Put (Friday, 3:00 p.m.) – Darien Semedo

Friday race final times:
1:40 p.m. – Women’s 4x100m Relay
2:00 p.m. – Women’s 1,500 Meters
2:20 p.m. – Women’s 100m Hurdles
3:30 p.m. – Women’s 400 Meters
3:50 p.m. – Women’s 800 Meters
4:55 p.m. – Men’s 5,000 Meters
5:15 p.m. – Women’s 4x400m Relay

Concordia indoor national finishes since 2000
2023: M – 31st | W – 6th
2022: M – 36th | W – 3rd
2021: M12th | W3rd
2020: M – 17th | W – 4th
2019: M – 9th | W – 9th
2018: M – 42nd | W – 9th
2017: M – 2nd | W – 7th
2016: M – 3rd | W – 5th
2015: M – 5th | W – 11th
2014:M – 17th|W –11th
2013:M – 27th |W –13th
2012:M –38th |W –29th
2011:M –7th|W –26th
2010:M –15th|W –12th
2009:M –12th|W –11th
2008:M –7th|W –14th
2007:M –19th|W –36th
2006:M –5th|W –29th
2005:M –26th|W –15th
2004:M –7th|W –27th
2003:M –5th|W –9th
2002:M –20th| W –8th
2001:M –12th|W – 21st
2000:M –2nd |W –12th

Concordia outdoor national finishes since 2005
2022: M – 47th | W – 4th
2021: M 28th | W 3rd
2019: M 31st | W 5th
2018: M 69th | W 12th
2017: M 5th | W 6th
2016: M 2nd | W 1st
2015: M 1st | W 5th
2014: M 11th | W 9th
2013: M 42nd | W 20th
2012: M 57th | W 15th
2011: M 11th | W 57th
2010: M 24th | W 14th
2009: M 7th | W 19th
2008: M 11th | W 29th
2007: M 15th | W 24th
2006: M 7th | W 28th
2005: M 13th | W 17th