Spring Senior Sendoff: Track & Field

By Jacob Knabel on May. 6, 2020 in Track & Field

As an unfortunate consequence of the coronavirus pandemic, the Concordia University track and field programs missed out on the entire outdoor season. That meant the collegiate careers of the 19 seniors listed below were cut short. Four seniors from the 2020 roster are not listed here because they have chosen to return for the 2020-21 academic year. The senior class has been part of many thrills for head coach Matt Beisel’s squads. The women’s track and field program has won three-straight GPAC titles (2019 indoor/outdoor and 2020 indoor) and the 2019 women’s cross country team also captured a conference title. This past indoor season, the Bulldogs put forth NAIA national finishes of fourth on the women’s side and 17th on the men’s side. Several seniors shared the special nature of their time at Concordia in the text below. Those memories extend well beyond what happened on the track or in the field.

2019-20 Track & Field Seniors

Liliana Barrientos
Hometown: El Paso, Texas
Parent: Margarita Barrientos
Major: Graphic Design

Taylor Beck
Hometown: Central City, Nebraska
Parents: Dan and Jenny Beck
Major: Business Administration

Allie Brooks
Hometown: Seward, Nebraska
Parents: Gene and Janice Brooks
Major: Graphic Design

Gavin DeHaai
Hometown: Sioux Falls, South Dakota
Parents: Brian and Glenda DeHaai
Major: Business Administration
Post Graduate Plans: Return to Sioux Falls, South Dakota, to work in a business insurance brokerage
Most cherished memories of time at CUNE: Hitting 16 feet for the first time pole vaulting and then clearing five meters and being with my teammates in that moment. 

Savannah Dietz
Hometown: Denver, Colorado
Parents: Michael Dietz (father), Jennifer Dietz (Step-mom)
Major: Art Therapy
Post-Graduate Plans: Take a year or two off before going into graduate school hopefully to get a Master's in Art Therapy with Clinical Mental Health Counseling at Antioch University Seattle in Washington State.
Most cherished memories of time at CUNE: Most of my memories that I've cherished here at Concordia were the amount of support and love I've received from my teammates and coach at every race and meet. It didn't matter if I made my goal time or not because they would help me reach that goal for next time and cheer me on in practices.

McKenzie Gravo
Hometown: Henderson, Nevada
Parents: Jim and Patricio Gravo
Major: Studio Art

Liam Hennessy
Hometown: Omaha, Nebraska
Parents: Michael and Geri Hennessy
Major: Computer Science and Mathematics

Rebekah Hinrichs
Hometown: Gladstone, Missouri
Parents: Kurt and Alice Hinrichs
Major: Applied Communication, Marketing and Graphic Design

Sophia Hoelz
Hometown: Jackson, Wisconsin
Parents: Jack and Cheryl Hoelz
Major: Psychology and Behavioral Science

Mariah Huneke
Hometown: Sabetha, Kansas
Parents: Steve and Kathy Huneke
Major: Biology (minor in Chemistry)

Michael Leapley
Hometown: Milwaukee, Wisconsin
Parents: Kurt and Margaret Leapley
Major: DCE & Secondary Education- Theology
Post-Graduate Plans: Church Work
Most cherished memories of time at CUNE: I have been incredibly blessed with the awesome teammates I've had on the track team. I am grateful for all the memories and for everything I was able to accomplish with the mid-distance group.

Erin Lindeman
Hometown: Sidney, Nebraska
Parents: Bobbi and Timm Lindeman
Major: Art Education
Post-Graduate Plans: Teaching at Stapleton Public Schools.
Most cherished memories of time at CUNE: The time spent with other art majors who helped me remain inspired. I also admire working with classmates, athletes, and friends who encouraged me to do well with anything I completed, whether it was academic or athletic work.

Tristen Metzger
Hometown: Shickley, Nebraska
Parents: Matt and Kathy Mosier
Major: Exercise Science
Post-Graduate Plans: Attend UNMC for doctorate of physical therapy degree, become physical therapist
Most cherished memories of time at CUNE: Creating long-lasting friendships and memories with my fellow pole vaulters and track athletes. Feeling the support of classmates, teammates, coaches and professors, and having a home away from home.

Renato Oyarzun
Hometown: San Jose, California
Parents: Renato and Rosemary Oyarzun
Major: Criminal Justice

Ben Pratt
Hometown: Greeley, Colorado
Parents: Dale and Renee Pratt
Major: Physics
Post-Graduate Plans: I will be getting married in October and working!
Most cherished memories of time at CUNE: My decision to change sports from basketball to track changed my life at Concordia, and I will never forget the day that Coach Beisel invited me onto the team. Three years later, my high jump PR increased by over six inches. So thankful for all my coaches and teammates. Best years of my life!

Miranda Rathjen
Hometown: Osceola, Nebraska
Parents: Doug and Penny Rathjen
Major: Elementary Education with a Middle-Level Math Endorsement
Post-Graduate Plans: I am getting married this summer to my fiance, Luke, who is also graduating from CUNE this spring. We will both be moving back to our hometown of Osceola, Nebraska, just a short drive west of Seward. I accepted a teaching position at East Butler Public Schools located in Brainard and Dwight, Nebraska. I will be teaching Kindergarten at their Dwight location next fall, and I will also be the high school assistant cross country coach for East Butler.
Most cherished memories of time at CUNE: I met some of my closest, and best friends through the cross country and track and field teams here at Concordia. My fondest memories include everything from laughing uncontrollably on our long hot runs during the preseason and praying before races, to running national qualifying times with some absolutely phenomenal girls so our relays could represent our school on one of the biggest stages. The relationships that I developed with my coaches, teammates, and trainers are relationships that I will never forget and hold close to my heart.

Hannah Rebmann
: Springfield, Missouri
Parents: Rob and Donna Rebmann
Major: Elementary Education

Rachel Smithley
Hometown: Waldorf, Maryland
Parents: Jon and Amie Smithley
Major: Elementary Education with ESL endorsement and Spanish minor
Post Graduate plans: Travel (lol with what money I'm not sure yet) and/or Teach English in South America
Most cherished memories of time at CUNE: Watching the sunset over Branched Oak with the people I love the most at CUNE. Thanks for introducing me to my lifelong friends.

Anna Watters
Hometown: Panama, Nebraska
Parents: Tim and Genie Watters
Major: Psychology, Spanish and Behavioral Science