PELLA, Iowa – Another school hurdles record for Adrianna Rodencal stood out as the highlight of Good Friday (April 7) at the Central College Dutch Invitational in Pella, Iowa. Rodencal was one of five Concordia University Track & Field athletes to emerge as event champions at the meet, which included athletes from NCAA Division I Drake University and Iowa State University (and competitors from the NAIA, NCAA Division II and III and JUCO levels). Other first-place Bulldog finishers were Matthew Boyer in the javelin, Josie Puelz in the pole vault, Calvin Rohde in the 5,000 meters and Zach Zohner in the pole vault.
In addition to the five Central Invite titles, three runner-up finishes were claimed by Bulldogs: Rylee Haecker (1,500 meters), Colton Meyer (400 meters) and Alivia Weathers (triple jump). The outing marked the third meet of the 2023 outdoor season for Head Coach Matt Beisel’s squads, which entered the weekend with NAIA national ratings of ninth on the women’s side and 14th on the men’s side (according to the USTFCCCA).
“Our athletes really competed and the weather was almost perfect,” Beisel said. “Starting with our distance kids, almost without exception, they had an amazing day. I feel like the training seems to be working – and we’re working hard right now. We have six girls right now five-flat or faster in the 1,500, which is incredible. We also had Calvin Rohde run one of the best races he’s ever run. We got a lot of good out of today. I did a lot of praying before the meet and asked God if it’s His will, for us to have success. We had the kids walk away with performances that they could feel good about. For those who didn’t have as good of days, we learn from it.”
A Lincoln Lutheran High School product, Rodencal has picked up where she left off during the indoor season when she earned GPAC Athlete of the Year accolades. Rodencal already owned the school indoor record in the 60 hurdles (8.72) and can now lay claim to the outdoor record in the 100 hurdles. She clocked a time of 14.15, eclipsing the previous standard of 14.25 by teammate Rachel Battershell. Rodencal also ran a 200-meter time of 25.50 on Friday and placed third.
The Reed City, Mich., native Rohde made a push for a school record of his own and nearly hit a qualifying time. Officially, Rohde’s time went down as 14:42.28 in the 5,000 meters, putting him just shy of Luka Thor (14:42.07) and just in front of Kregg Einspahr (14:42.80) on the school’s all-time list. Rohde’s mark was a ‘B’ standard and roughly two seconds off the auto qualifier. On the women’s side of the distance crew, Haecker continues to stand out. She ran the 1,500 meters in 4:41.98 (just shy of a ‘B’). Hannah Beintema (4:58.80) and Julie McIntyre (5:00.15) were both in the ballpark of five minutes. Camden Sesna finished in 4:02.36 in the men’s 1,500 (eighth place).
For the second meet in a row, Boyer won the javelin competition. His mark this time landed at 182’ 4,” making for a fresh ‘B’ standard. Other noteworthy efforts from the throws included ‘B’ marks from Kamryn Pokorney (164’ 6” in hammer) and Erin Painter (139’ 7” in discus). A week after qualifying in the hammer, Darien Semedo led the men’s side with a toss of 177’ 5” in the event.
Puelz (11’ 11 ¾”) and Zohner (16’ ¾”) were again pole vault event titlists with marks that eclipsed the ‘A’ standard. Four other Concordia women’s vaulters (Amir Cummings, Kayla Svoboda, Erin Boggs and Erin Mapson) went at least 10’ 6” and Mayson Ostermeyer (14’ 5 ¼”) and Spencer Kearn (14’ 5 ¼”) tied for third on the men’s side.
In the long jump competitions, the Bulldogs got top-five placements from Kellie Rhodes (16’ 11 ½”) and Joel Rathe (22’ 9 ¾”). Myles Sadd and Wyatt Loga shared fourth place in the high jump (6’ 4 ¾”).
Meyer’s 48.64 in the 400 meters represented an outdoor personal best. Some of the team’s other top sprinters on Friday were Colby Sugden (22.91 in the 200 meters), Brianna Quinn (1:00.86 in the 400 meters), Cummings (12.79 in the 100 meters) and Rathe (11.12 in the 100 meters).
Central Invite Event Champions
· Matthew Boyer – Javelin (182’ 4”)
· Josie Puelz – Pole Vault (11’ 11 ¾”)
· Adrianna Rodencal – 100 Hurdles (14.15)
· Calvin Rohde – 5,000 Meters (14:42.28)
· Zach Zohner – Pole Vault (16’ ¾”)
The Bulldogs will host their first outdoor meet of the season next weekend (April 14-15) when the Concordia Invitational takes place on campus. Day one of the meet will feature hammer and javelin competitions before things heat up with the full spectrum of events on day two. The tentative meet schedule can be found HERE.