SEWARD, Neb. – A group of 33 Bulldogs will represent Concordia University track and field at the 2017 NAIA Outdoor Track & Field National Championships. The NAIA unveiled its list of national qualifiers on Friday (May 19). The complete list of Bulldog competitors can be viewed below. Head coach Matt Beisel’s squads will enter the championship meet with national rankings of third on the women’s side and sixth on the men’s side. This year’s event will again take place at Mickey Miller Blackwell Stadium in Gulf Shores, Ala., with action unfolding May 25-27.
It will be one last hurrah for a remarkable senior class. The national finishes during the careers of the current seniors are staggering. The men’s indoor finishes: 17th in 2014, fifth in 2013, third in 2016 and second in 2017. The men’s outdoor finishes: 11th in 2014, national champs in 2015 and runner up in 2016. Now for the women. Indoor since 2014: 11th, 11th, fifth and seventh. And outdoor since 2014: ninth, fifth and national champs.
Gulf Shores has been good to the Bulldogs, who celebrated a men’s team national title in 2015 and then a women’s team championship in 2016. Individually, senior Zach Lurz will try to defend his 2016 shot put national title. Fellow senior Cody Boellstorff won the hammer throw championship in 2015. Both Kali Robb (shot put) and Tricia Svoboda (discus) finished as national runner ups at the 2016 outdoor national championships.
Breaking it down, 19 of the 33 qualifiers are women. On the men’s side, four of the participants are throwers and six are traveling exclusively as relay runners. The women’s group includes a large field of throwers with 10 qualifiers, including Samantha Liermann, the national leader in the shot put. The women also have a strong group of pole vaulters with Allie Brooks and McKenzie Gravo leading the pack. Once again, senior Lucas Wiechman will be an athlete to keep an eye on. The GPAC Male Athlete of the Year for both indoor and outdoor, Wiechman will compete in four different events next week.
The multi-events kick off the NAIA National Championships on May 25 with the men's decathlon at 10 a.m. CDT. In the women's heptathlon, event's get started at 10:30 a.m. Opening Ceremonies are scheduled for 2 p.m. on May 25 and precede trials of the relays.
Stretch Internet, the NAIA's official video-streaming company of NAIA national championship events, will be broadcasting the events on www.NAIANetwork.com. A subscription package to view the entire three-day event is $14.95. For more information, including how to register and sign-up for an account, click here.
For more information on the 2017 NAIA Men's & Women's Outdoor Track & Field National Championships, click here.
NOTE: Some athletes listed below are also relay alternates
*National ranking listed in parentheses