By Taylor Mueller
WAYNE, Neb. – The Concordia Bulldogs are off to a roaring start in the outdoor track and field season. In just their first meet of the outdoor season, the track and field programs are already preparing to send a combined 10 athletes to the national meet.
The field event athletes provided the bulk of the excitement as the throwers continued their dominance and monumental success in nearly every event.
Junior Stephanie Coley had a big day, taking third in both the shot and the discus, with tosses of 46’07 ½” and 149’09” respectively. Coley’s marks are sending her to Gulf Shores, Ala., for the national meet.
Sophomore Kali Robb had a solid day herself, hitting three national qualifying marks: (discus, hammer throw and the shot put). She became the first thrower in program history to put up automatic marks in all three throwing events at the same meet.
Junior Liz King will get a chance to defend her national javelin title as she punched her ticket to the national meet with first place finish and an opponent-crushing toss of 134’07.” The mark topped the second place finisher by over 15 feet. Senior Cassandra Starks will board the bus to Alabama as well in May. Starks cleared 12’01” to take first place in the event. Junior Cynthia Mick took third with a vault of 11’07 ¾.”
Other females with top performances were Katelyn Shoup in the triple jump with a mark of 36’08 ¼” that earned her second place. Freshman Emily Sievert placed third in the 10,000 meter run with a time of 39:32 while senior Erika Schroeder clocked in at 11:37 to take first in the steeple chase. Junior Megan Burma finished in third in the steeplechase with a time of 12:04.
Fresh off a late basketball season, sophomore Alayna Daberkow had little trouble jumping into the track season, placing second in the 400 meter hurdles in 1:06. Junior Shelby Stolze was not far behind, taking third in 1:07. The 4x100 meter relay squad of sophomores Marielle Plunk and Randi Janzen and freshmen Jill Schroeder and Anna Buene took second with a time of 50.18.
The men sent several athletes to the national meet as well, again, a majority of the tickets being punched by the deep and talented throwing squad.
Senior Trey Farmer took first in the shot put competition with a toss of 51’10 ½” while sophomore Zachary Lurz finished in third with a mark of 51’06 ½.” Both Farmer and Lurz qualified for nationals with their performances.
Junior Cody Boelstorff returned to the ring to compete in his strongest event, the hammer throw. Boelstorff dominated the competition, winning the event by over 24 feet and qualifying for the national meet by over 12 meters. His mark of 205’08” placed first and broke his own school record. Juniors Jose Rojas and Josh Slechta took fourth and sixth in the event, with marks of 177” and 171’05” respectively. Rojas' mark automatically qualified him for the national championships.
Senior Brandon Ramos qualified for the national meet in the pole vault with a clearance of 14’07 ¼,” which earned him a tie for second place.
On the track, several individuals had impressive performances as well.
Sophomore CJ Muller placed second in the 400 meters with a time of 48:87 while senior Taiheem Pleasant took second in the 400 meter hurdles in 56:16.
Junior Jordan Potrzeba started the season strong with a third place finish in the 10000 meter run with a time of 33:31 while fellow distance training partner Chris Shelton championed the steeplechase with a time of 10:15.
The Bulldogs will have a week to prepare for their next meet when they travel to Kearney, Nebraska to compete in the UNK Loper Invite on Saturday, April 4.