Slechta breaks discus record; Wood blazes at Drake

By Jacob Knabel on Apr. 28, 2016 in Track & Field

LINCOLN, Neb. – Reigning GPAC field athlete of the week Josh Slechta set a new school standard in the discus and Kim Wood broke through with an automatic national qualifying time on the blue oval as part of Thursday’s action for Concordia University track and field. Most of head coach Kregg Einspahr’s athletes competed at the Nebraska Wesleyan Invitational in Lincoln on Thursday. Meanwhile, Wood took the track at the Drake Relays in the afternoon. The small-scale Wesleyan meet included just two teams other than Concordia.

Slechta broke the school record by more than a foot in the discus with his performance at the Nebraska Wesleyan meet. It’s been an impressive spring for the native of Kennard, Neb., who leads the NAIA in the hammer throw. He won the 2015 indoor national title in the weight throw.

On the track, Wood added her second national qualifying time of the outdoor season by finishing the 800 meter race in 2:10.56. Based on the national leaderboard entering the weekend, that time ranks inside the top five of the NAIA. The 10-time GPAC champion also owns an automatic time in the 1,500.

Freshman McKenzie Gravo earned yet another victory in the pole vault. She cleared 12 feet for the second-straight meet as she continues to take aim at the school record books. Teammate Allison Brooks came up just shy of the automatic mark and placed third. A skilled athlete, Gravo also placed fourth in the long jump with a mark of 18’ 1 ¾”.

In the women’s shot put, Samantha Liermann (46’ 6 ¾”) and Kali Robb (45’ ¼”) placed first and third, respectively, while both going past national qualifying marks. Robb (166’ 10”) also turned in an automatic mark in the hammer. She finished behind teammate Sydney Meyer (174’ 6”) in the event.

On the men’s side, Trey Barnes (53’ 1 ¾”; shot put and 160’ 2”; discus), Jose Rojas (179’; hammer) and Benjamin Schulteis (172’ 9”) put up additional marks that cleared automatic national marks. Lucas Wiechman again eclipsed the national threshold in the pole vault (15’ 7 ¼”) while placing third.

Elsewhere, Jasmine Eickhoff won the javelin (120’), Wiechman claimed the 400 hurdles (56.16) and Nathan Elbert won the men’s javelin (143’ 7”). In the women’s 1,500, Emily Sievert raced to a win in 4:52.06. Christine Beunde took the 200 meter dash in 26.33.

Thursday’s meet was the final outing before next weekend’s GPAC championships for the majority of Bulldog athletes. Select members of the team will compete over the next two days at the prestigious Drake Relays. For more on the annual event in Des Moines, Iowa, click HERE.