By Taylor Mueller, Athletic Communications Assistant
SEWARD, Neb. – In their final track and field meet of the indoor season before the conference meet, the Concordia Bulldogs did not waste any opportunities to seize the day and boasted numerous quality performances. The highlights were plentiful as they included yet another school record and several more national qualifiers for head coach Kregg Einspahr’s nationally-ranked squads (men – fourth, women – sixth).
Sophomore Kali Robb continued her extraordinary season with a monster day, winning the weight throw with a toss of 60’5” and setting a new indoor program record in the shot put with a throw of 47’05,” which also garnered her first place honors. Robb’s mark topped Tierra Hubbard’s toss of 47’ ¼ in 2010, which had originally been the school record.
Having experienced substantial success this season, the Sidney, Nebraska native explained the approach that has helped her to perform at a consistently high level this season.
“I think the key this year has been a lot of technique,” Robb said. “Definitely I’m getting stronger too but mostly technique.”
With expectations continuing to mount, Robb is not worried about her rank amongst the GPAC competition, and is remaining humble and poised as the big meet approaches.
“Rankings, honestly, they don’t mean a thing,” Robb said. “You show up, throw your best… but it’s just how you throw that day. Rankings don’t mean a thing to me so I just go in as if I haven’t thrown it before.”
Robb certainly wasn’t the only one who had an impressive day.
After flirting with the national qualifying time all season long, the women’s 4x400 meter relay finally punched their ticket to the national meet, racing to a time of 4:00 and a third-place finish. Junior Kim Wood and sophomores Marti Vlasin, Marielle Plunk and Randi Janzen combined to form the four-member squad.
In addition to the 4x400 meter relay, Wood qualified for the national meet in her fifth different event, racing to a second place finish in 1:35 in the 600 meter run. Wood also notched a first place victory in the mile, clocking in at 5:04.
Freshman Emily Sievert punched her ticket to the national meet as well, blowing away the competition by 43 seconds and racing to a first place finish in the 5,000 meter run in 18:15.
Junior Stephanie Coley took second in the shot put competition behind Robb, throwing for 46’08.” Janzen placed third in the 600 meter run, narrowly missing the national qualifying time for the event in 1:38. Janzen missed the “A” standard by just .35 seconds.
Vlasin took home second place in the 800 meter run with her time of 2:21 while Plunk claimed first in the open 400 meter run in 1:00.
The field events were bustling with activity as junior Katelyn Shoup took third in the triple jump with a mark of 37’03 ¼” while senior pole vaulter Cassandra Starks took first with a clearance of 12’5 ½ - putting her a half-inch off the school record. Junior Cynthia Mick took third in the pole vault competition with a height of 11’9 ¾.”
On the men’s side, several individuals had notable performances as well.
Though they narrowly missed the “A” standard to qualify for the national meet, the men’s 4x400 meter relay placed second in the event with their time of 3:21.24. Though their time sits just .14 seconds off the automatic qualifying time, their current national placing of sixth place could very well advance them to the national meet. Senior Matt Chapa, juniors Jaap Van Gaalen and Trevor Bresson and sophomore CJ Muller made up the squad.
Junior Jordan Potrzeba broke out a big personal best in the 3,000 meter run, racing to a third place finish and a time of 8:54. In the 200 meter dash, senior Taiheem Pleasant took second in 22.68 while Muller was on his heels for third in 22.80.
The day wouldn’t be complete without impressive performers from the throwers, of course, and junior Josh Slechta was on queue in the weight throw with a toss of 57’11 ¾” which earned him second place. Senior Trey Farmer took third in the shot put with his throw of 52’05 ½.”
The Bulldogs will take the next week to finalize their preparations for the biggest meet of the season when they prepare to host the GPAC meet on Feb. 20-21. View the tentative meet schedule HERE.