Previewing the 2020 NAIA indoor national meet

By Jacob Knabel on Mar. 3, 2020 in Track & Field

MEET INFO: NAIA T&F Page | Schedule

SEWARD, Neb. – A group of 32 Bulldogs are making final preparations for the 2020 NAIA Track & Field National Championships, set to run this Thursday through Saturday (March 5-7) at the Sanford Jackrabbit Athletic Complex in Brookings, S.D. This will mark the second year in a row that Brookings has served as the host site for the event after shifting from Pittsburg, Kan. A year ago, Concordia’s men and women placed ninth at the NAIA indoor meet.

Entering the meet, head coach Matt Beisel’s squads own national rankings of fourth (women) and sixth (men), according to the U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association. NAIA powerhouse Indiana Tech carries the No. 1 ranking on both sides.

Twenty-one of the 32 Bulldog national qualifiers have prior experience at a national championship meet. Concordia’s qualifying field has combined for 24 career All-America awards, spread out amongst nine All-American individuals. The leader of that group is senior Addie Shaw, a six-time All-American and a two-time NAIA national champion in the discus. Shaw placed fourth nationally in the weight throw in 2019. She is one of six returning Bulldogs who collected All-America honors last year. The others are Rachel Battershell (4x400 relay), Jacob Cornelio (weight throw), Sarah Lewis (4x400 relay), Jacee Pfeifer (4x400 relay, pole vault) and Christian Van Cleave (4x800 relay).

Cornelio (four-time All-American) is taking aim at his first career national title after placing second nationally in the weight throw in 2019. Cornelio enters the weekend with the NAIA’s No. 1 mark in the weight throw. On the women’s side, Battershell (400 meters) and Allie Brooks (pole vault) also top the nation in their respective events. Named the GPAC Athlete of the Year, Battershell will also compete in the 60 meter hurdles (school record holder) and as part of the 4x400 meter relay. Several others rank No. 2 in the NAIA: Kennedy Mogul (pentathlon), Josie Puelz (pole vault) and Shaw (shot put and weight throw).

The qualifying group for Concordia also features 10 seniors who will compete at indoor nationals for the final time in their careers. Broken down further by class, the Bulldogs will take 10 juniors, six sophomores and six freshman to Brookings. In terms of overall event strength, Concordia ranks No. 1 in the NAIA in the men’s weight throw and in the women’s pole vault. Pole vault coach Jason Berry will be kept busy with four pole vault qualifiers on the men’s side and three on the women’s side. A standout pole vaulter and multi-event athlete Cody Williams will be sidelined by injury.

The national meet will get started with the women’s pentathlon (Mogul and Emily Loy included) at 12 p.m. on Thursday. On day one at nationals, the Bulldogs will also be represented by their women’s and men’s 4x400 meter relays and by the women’s distance medley relay team. The action will then pick up significantly on Friday and Saturday. The awards ceremony is scheduled to take place at 5:30 p.m. CT on Saturday.

According to the NAIA, the meet will feature 520 women’s qualifiers and 490 men’s qualifiers. Concordia’s 19 women’s qualifiers is the second most among all NAIA programs. The Bulldog women have placed 12th or better at 12-straight national meets. The Concordia men put together an impressive run of six-consecutive top-five national finishes at the 2015 through 2017 NAIA meets.

2020 Concordia outdoor national qualifiers
Rachel Battershell, Sophomore (third trip to nationals; two All-America awards)
Taylor Beck, Senior (first trip to nationals)
Chase Berry, Freshman (first trip to nationals)
Mika Brees, Junior (first trip to nationals)
Jamey Broman, Sophomore (first trip to nationals)
Allie Brooks, Senior (sixth trip to nationals; one All-America award)
Jacob Cornelio, Senior (sixth trip to nationals; four All-America awards)
Morgan De Jong, Junior (second trip to nationals)
Gavin DeHaai, Senior (third trip to nationals; one All-America award)
Alyssa Fye, Junior (second trip to nationals)
McKenzie Gravo, Senior (seventh trip to nationals; three All-America awards)
Liam Hennessy, Senior (third trip to nationals)
Kylahn Heritage, Freshman (first trip to nationals)
Rebekah Hinrichs, Senior (second trip to nationals)
Sarah Lewis, Sophomore (third trip to nationals; two All-America awards)
Emily Loy, Junior (first trip to nationals)
Colton Meyer, Freshman (first trip to nationals)
Camden Miller, Freshman (first trip to nationals)
Kennedy Mogul, Junior (second trip to nationals)
Cora Olson, Sophomore (first trip to nationals)
Jerod Peters, Senior (second trip to nationals)
Jacee Pfeifer, Sophomore (third trip to nationals; three All-America awards)
Tucker Platt, Junior (second trip to nationals)
Josie Puelz, Freshman (first trip to nationals)
Sarah Ragland, Junior (second trip to nationals)
Miranda Rathjen, Senior (fourth trip to nationals)
Henry Reimer, Junior (third trip to nationals)
Xavier Ross, Sophomore (third trip to nationals)
Katie Severt, Freshman (first trip to nationals)
Addie Shaw, Senior (seventh trip to nationals; six All-America awards; 2018 and 2019 discus national champ)
Sam Sisco, Junior (second trip to nationals)
Christian Van Cleave, Junior (fourth trip to nationals; two All-America awards)

Concordia indoor national finishes since 2000
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
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