Pre-nationals schedule completed with three fresh qualifying marks at Loper Twilight

By Jacob Knabel on May. 13, 2023 in Track & Field

UNK Loper Twilight Meet Results

KEARNEY, Neb. – It was a weekend for throwers to flex their muscles as six new automatic national qualifying standards were posted in the throws over action on Friday and Saturday (May 12-13). In one final outing prior to the upcoming NAIA outdoor national meet, throwers Erin Painter and Gretchen Stottlemyre and long jumper Joel Rathe became the latest Concordia University Track & Field athletes to add their names to the national qualifying field. Painter, Stottlemyre and Rathe turned in ‘A’ standards at Saturday’s UNK Loper Twilight at Kearney High School. Thirty-four Bulldogs competed at the meet, which was heavy on both NAIA and NCAA Division II athletes.

Taking this weekend’s results into account, Head Coach Matt Beisel’s men’s and women’s teams have combined for 20 automatic national qualifying marks this 2023 outdoor season. Several other marks produced by Concordia athletes rank within the top 16 and are likely to become ‘A’ standards after the dust settles.

Four throwers achieved fresh qualifying marks at Friday’s Concordia Twilight. The momentum carried into Saturday as Painter threw 149’ 7” in the discus (fourth place) and Stottlemyre landed a javelin toss of 133’ 10” (second place) in Kearney. An Ainsworth, Neb., native, Painter will make the third nationals appearance of her career. She’s a returning All-American in the discus. Meanwhile, Stottlemyre will appear on the NAIA national stage for the first time. Her older sister Liz won the 2021 javelin national title as a Bulldog.

Three athletes represented Concordia in the jumps in Kearney. Also a 2023 NAIA indoor national qualifier, Rathe hit the ‘A’ standard right on the button with a long jump of 23’ 9 ½” (fourth place) on Saturday. Rathe found the extra boost he needed after landing at 23’ 4” at Friday’s Concordia Twilight. Elsewhere at the Loper Twilight, Hayley Miles recorded a long jump of 18’ 4 ½” and Taylor Moes came in at 36’ 4” in the triple jump.

Roughly half of Concordia’s competitors at UNK were entered into the throws. In the shot put, Darien Semedo missed the ‘A’ standard by mere centimeters with his mark of 51’ 10 ½” (third place). On the women’s side, Kamryn Pokorney again hit the ‘B’ standard as she landed the shot at 42’ 11.” Other top Bulldog throwers included Carson Fehlhahfer in the discus (169’ 9”; third), Brady Klute in the hammer (169’ 9”; third), Cortney Covington in the hammer (150’ 5”; sixth) and Matthew Boyer in the javelin (171’ 11”; second).

A highlight on the track in Kearney was the race turned in by sophomore Jenna Esch. She ran an 800-meter time of 2:14.81, a ‘B’ standard that ranks just outside the top five of the program’s all-time list. Teammates Keegan Beisel (2:22.70) and Hannah Beintema (2:25.03) also ran the 800. So too did Trevor Kuncl (1:57.69) on the men’s side. In the men’s 5,000 meters, Camden Sesna (14:53.88) and Calvin Rohde (15:16.76) placed first and second, respectively, at the Loper Twilight. Rohde was just off a ‘B’ standard (which he achieved in April at the Central College Invite). In the women’s 1,500 meters, Rylee Haecker clocked in at 4:44.57 as the lone runner in the event. She was less than five seconds off the ‘B’ standard.

Four women’s pole vaulters took aim at qualifying standards. Kayla Svoboda equaled a season best by clearing 11’ 7 ¾,” as she remains in a tie for 16th on the national list. She placed seventh in Saturday’s competition in Kearney and was followed by teammates Erin Boggs (11’ 1 ¾”), Amira Cummings (11’ 1 ¾”) and Sydney Reichert (11’ 1 ¾”). On the men’s side, Mayson Ostermeyer (14’ 11”) and Spencer Kearn (14’ 3 ¼”) went above 14 feet.

New ‘A’ standards achieved May 12-13

·        Emma Lloyd – Discus (145’ 6”)

·        Alli Owings – Hammer (169’)

·        Erin Painter – Discus (149’ 7”)

·        Joel Rathe – Long Jump (23’ 9 ½”)

·        Austen Rozelle – Discus (162’ 7”)

·        Gretchen Stottlemyre – Javelin (133’ 10”)

·        Abi Wohlgemuth – Hammer (165’ 11”)

The full national qualifying field for the 2023 NAIA outdoor meet will be announced by the NAIA on Friday, May 19. The 2023 NAIA Outdoor Track & Field National Championships are set to take place in Marion, Ind., May 24-26.