Meet Preview/Info: 2021 GPAC Outdoor Championships

By Jacob Knabel on Apr. 27, 2021 in Track & Field

SEWARD, Neb. – For the first time since 2013, the GPAC Outdoor Track & Field Championships will be hosted by Concordia. The Bulldog Track and Field program is getting set to welcome conference members to Seward for the two-day meet set to play out Friday and Saturday. Due to COVID-19, the conference did not hold an outdoor championship meet in 2020. At the 2019 GPAC outdoor championships, Concordia won the title on the women’s side and placed third on the men’s side.


2021 GPAC Outdoor Track & Field Championships
Friday/Saturday, April 30 – May 1
Bulldog Stadium | Seward, Neb.
Event Schedule (PDF)
Live Coverage
--Video Stream: Concordia Sports Network (in-stadium/select events only; free of charge)
--Results: Black Squirrel (field event marks will be updated live)
--Fan attendance will not be limited, but spectators are asked to wear face coverings when proper distancing cannot be maintained.
--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 (admission taken at stadium entrances; no online tickets).

Head Coach Matt Beisel’s women’s squad currently owns the No. 1 ranking in the NAIA (according to the USTFCCCA). The program has been on quite a run having won four GPAC championship meets in a row while led by the likes of stars in Rachel Battershell and Addie Shaw. This past 2021 conference indoor meet, individual GPAC titles were won by Battershell (400 meters), Morgan De Jong (weight throw), Kylahn Heritage (1,000 meters) and Cody Williams (heptathlon). Current members of the Concordia men’s and women’s rosters have combined for 27 total GPAC individual championships.

Battershell leads all Bulldogs with six GPAC titles, including three in the 400 meters. Battershell is the current NAIA national leader in the 400 with her outdoor personal best of 55.05 achieved at the Drake Relays. The Bulldogs also boast top-ranked national marks from Shaw (shot put), Erin Painter (discus), Jacob Cornelio (hammer) and Liz Stottlemyre (javelin). Josie Puelz sits No. 2 in the NAIA in the pole vault. In addition to these marks, the following Concordia athletes rank No. 1 in the GPAC: Battershell (400 hurdles), Mackenzie Koepke (high jump), Hannah Mulligan (200 meters) and Shaw (hammer).

The team races on the women’s side have not been particularly close in recent years. Over the past four GPAC championship meets, the Bulldog women have defeated the second-place teams in comfortable margins: 217-137 (2021 indoor), 193-113.5 (2020 indoor), 200-149.5 (2019 outdoor) and 173.5-135.5 (2019 indoor). Concordia hosted the 2019 GPAC indoor championship meet. As for the men, they remain in the hunt for their first GPAC team championship since the 2015 outdoor meet. Beisel has led the women’s cross country/track programs to a combined five GPAC titles.

Other GPAC athletes who bring NAIA national best marks into the meet include the Dordt men’s 4x800 meter relay, the Dordt women’s 4x800 meter relay, Doane’s Jacob Heitkamp (high jump) and Levi Sudbeck (decathlon), Hastings’ Abigail Cottingham (pole vault), Midland’s Dylan Kucera (shot put) and Northwestern’s Dylan Hendricks (half marathon). Based on last week’s USTFCCCA NAIA rankings, there are six top 25 teams on the men’s side and four on the women’s side within the GPAC. The top 25 men’s teams are No. 1 Doane, No. 6 Dordt, No. 8 Concordia, No. 14 Midland, No. 17 Mount Marty and No. 25 Northwestern. The top 25 women’s teams include No. 1 Concordia, No. 4 Hastings, No. 7 Doane and No. 23 Dordt.

The Bulldogs had an impressive number of 34 women’s athletes earn all-conference honors this past indoor season. Cora Olson was the team’s leading point scorer with 24 points. On the men’s side, 17 Concordia athletes were recognized as All-GPAC. View the full list HERE.

Once the GPAC championships are in the books, focus will shift to the 2021 NAIA Outdoor Track & Field National Championships (May 26-28). Mickey Miller Blackwell Stadium in Gulf Shores, Ala., will be the venue for the national meet for the seventh time. For additional 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 | outdoor: 1998, 2010, 2012, 2019

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
– 6 (2021 indoor 400 meters; 2020 indoor 60 hurdles; 2020 indoor 400 meters; 2020 indoor 4x400m relay; 2019 indoor 4x400m relay; 2019 outdoor 400 meters)
Jacob Cornelio – 3 (2020 indoor weight throw; 2019 outdoor hammer; 2019 indoor weight throw)
Morgan De Jong – 1 (2021 weight throw)
Kylahn Heritage – 2 (2021 indoor 1,000 meters); 2020 indoor 3,000 meters)
Sarah Lewis – 2 (2020 indoor 4x400m relay; 2019 indoor 4x400m relay)
Erin Mapson – 1 (2019 outdoor pole vault)
Kennedy Mogul – 2 (2020 indoor pentathlon; 2020 indoor 4x400m relay)
Jacee Pfeifer – 2 (2020 indoor 4x400m relay; 2019 indoor 4x400m relay)
Josie Puelz – 1 (2020 indoor pole vault)
Addie Shaw – 2 (2020 indoor weight throw; 2019 outdoor discus)
Cody Williams – 5 (2021 indoor heptathlon; 2019 outdoor 110 hurdles; 2019 outdoor long jump; 2019 indoor heptathlon; 2018 outdoor decathlon)