New school record, 11 event titles highlight Dutcher Classic

By Jacob Knabel on Apr. 20, 2024 in Track & Field

RESULTS: Dutcher Classic | KU Relays

CRETE, Neb. – Matthew Boyer’s shattering of the javelin school record and a combined 11 event titles from Concordia University Track & Field athletes highlighted the three-day Jim Dutcher Memorial Classic. Boyer paced a throws group that featured four athletes who repeated NAIA automatic national qualifying standards in competition at two separate meets. Meanwhile, the likes of Jenna Esch and Jordan Koepke starred on the track and Amy Richert and Josi Noble racked up heptathlon point totals that will rank them amongst the best athletes in the NAIA.

This was the fifth full weekend of outdoor action for Head Coach Matt Beisel’s nationally ranked squads, which are gearing themselves to peak come championship season.

“Our heptathletes started us off with a really strong meet,” Beisel said. “We had a lot of personal bests and Amy put together her best heptathlon since her freshman year. Amy and Josie had marks that I hope and guess will keep them in the top 16 nationally. On Friday, Matthew Boyer obviously knocked it out of the park. That was really cool. With the 5k, we had almost all of our athletes run personal bests. Coming back today, our field events battled cold conditions. We did have improvements in the throws and we had some big running performances in the 400 meters on up.

A sophomore from Jefferson City, Mo., Boyer threw the javelin 219’ 1” on Friday and broke the former school record of 205’ 5” by Kevin Baker in 1986. If the current national rankings hold, Boyer would move to No. 4 on the NAIA list (No. 1 in the GPAC) in the javelin. A group of throwers also competed at the University of Kansas Relays this past week. In the men’s hammer throw, Chris Wren remained consistent in posting a mark of 196’ 3” (fifth place out of 24 athletes), just a couple of feet off his personal best. In the shot put, Concordia earned a sweep of Dutcher Classic titles as Abby Gerber (47’ 8”) and Darien Semedo (53’ 11 ¾”) both earned season bests. Gerber’s mark represented a personal best while Semedo’s toss was a hair off a PR.

In the heptathlon that ran Thursday-Friday, Richert placed second (4,600) and Noble (4,534) placed third as the ringleaders for a group of eight Concordia women’s multi-event athletes. Their totals will likely place them inside the top 10 of the NAIA national list. The school record in the event remains 4,733 by Emily Loy in 2021.

Six Bulldogs earned wins on the track on Saturday: Hannah Beintema in the 3,000-meter steeplechase (12:00.44), Jenna Esch in both the 400 meters (55.80) and 800 meters (2:18.21), Kylahn Freiberg in the 1,500 meters (4:36.15), Jordan Koepke in the 400-meter hurdles (1:02.15), Calvin Rohde in the 5,000 meters (14:58.96) and Isabelle Salters in the 100-meter hurdles (15.97). Esch set a new personal best in the 400 with a time that ranks No. 3 in program history while Koepke again hit the ‘A’ standard in the 400 hurdles. Meanwhile, Freiberg missed the auto time in the 1,500 meters by .15 seconds. Both Freiberg and Rohde ran alone without being pushed significantly at the top.

Another field event championship was notched by Kiki Nyanok in the long jump (17’ 9 ½”). Hayley Miles wasn’t far behind with her mark of 17’ 6 ¾” (third place). Miles also landed at 34’ 10 ¼” in the triple jump (fourth place) while Jonah Paulsen paced the men with his triple jump mark of 44’ 7” (third place).

The Concordia list of runners up at the Dutcher Classic included, in addition to Richert in the heptathlon, Connor Asche (hammer), Claire Beikmann (1,500 meters), Ellie Jander (5,000 meters), Trevor Kuncl (800 meters), Trey Robertson (5,000 meters), Austen Rozelle (discus) and Landrey Walter (100-meter hurdles). Asche has consistently been hitting 53-plus meters in the hammer while gunning for the ‘A’ mark (54.5 meters). In the pole vault, two Bulldogs placed third: Jax Jacobson on the men’s side and Kayla Svoboda on the women’s side.

Also noteworthy, Kayla Kirchner cracked a minute (58.72) in the 400 meters and placed third in both the 200 and 400 meters. In the 800 meters, four Bulldogs ran under 2:30, including Rhaya Kaschinske (2:21.20) and Julie McIntyre (2:23.47).

Said Beisel, “I think we made some progress in terms of getting marks that will get more of our athletes into the conference meet and be in a good position.”

Automatic National Qualifying Standards (April 18-20)

·        Matthew Boyer – Javelin (219’ 1”)

·        Jenna Esch – 400 Meters (55.80)

·        Abby Gerber – Shot Put (47’ 8”)

·        Jordan Koepke – 400m Hurdles (1:02.15)

·        Darien Semedo – Shot Put (53’ 11 ¾”)

·        Chris Wren – Hammer Throw (196’ 3” | achieved at KU Relays)

Dutcher Classic Champions

·        Hannah Beintema – 3,000m Steeplechase (12:00.44)

·        Matthew Boyer – Javelin (219’ 1”)

·        Jenna Esch – 400 Meters (55.80); 800 Meters (2:18.21)

·        Kylahn Freiberg – 1,500 Meters (4:36.15)

·        Abby Gerber – Shot Put (47’ 8”)

·        Jordan Koepke – 400m Hurdles (1:02.15)

·        Kiki Nyanok – Long Jump (17’ 9 ½”)

·        Calvin Rohde – 5,000 Meters (14:58.96)

·        Isabelle Salters – 100m Hurdles (15.97)

·        Darien Semedo – Shot Put (53’ 11 ¾”)

In the final week leading up to the 2024 GPAC Outdoor Championships, Concordia will be represented at three separate meets: the Nebraska Wesleyan Invite (April 25), the Drake Relays (April 25-27) and the Rock Chalk Classic (April 27). The schedule and entries for the Drake Relays can be found HERE.