By Taylor Mueller, Sports Information Assistant
LINCOLN, Neb. – The Concordia Bulldogs wrapped up their final regular season meet of the 2014 track year, traveling to Nebraska Wesleyan to compete in the Nebraska Wesleyan Dual Meet.
The Bulldogs finished the season strong and walked away with several impressive performances from numerous athletes, making for a solid all-around performance and a very pleased head coach.
“We got a lot accomplished,” head coach Kregg Einspahr said. “It was a very good meet; an outstanding meet I would even say. Perfect conditions. We had a little bit of a breeze to help the horizontal jumps early on and we had a calm, beautiful mid-spring evening.”
With the conference championships just around the corner, numerous Bulldog athletes took full advantage of the excellent weather conditions and marked impressive times and finishes.
Making his outdoor season debut after missing a couple months with a stress fracture in his leg, sophomore Jaap Van Gaalen looked as though he hadn’t missed a beat, taking fourth in the 800 meter run.
“Jaap Van Gaalen came out in (his) first meet of the year for outdoor. He’s run very few open 800s in his entire college career and ran a 1:56.07 which was outstanding,” Einspahr said.
Sophomore Kim Wood had an impressive 800 meter run of her own, racing to a new personal record in a time of 2:13.88 that earned her first place.
“Kim Wood took advantage of (the weather) and was nearly a new school record holder, being less than a tenth of a second off of the school record,” Einspahr said.
Einspahr also noted sophomore Katelyn Shoup, junior Sara Simmons and freshman Alayna Daberkow as having very good meets and continuing their strong outdoor seasons. Shoup took first in the triple jump with a mark of 37’1/4” while Daberkow placed second in the 400 meter hurdles with a time of 1:05.84. Simmons doubled up, placing first in the 100 meter hurdles in 15.09 and first in the 200 meter dash in 26.23. Simmons’ 100 meter hurdle time qualified her for the national meet.
Freshman Kali Robb was excellent in the hammer throw, winning the competition with a toss of 173’ 8” which qualified her for the national meet.
With the final regular season meet out of the way and a few individuals competing at the Drake Relays in Des Moines, Iowa, this weekend, the focus is beginning to shift towards the conference meet and the anticipation of another GPAC conference championship. As the team prepares for one last go, Einspahr noted that his track and field squads will need to remain intent on their goals.
“We just have to stay focused and nobody has to go out and set a world record,” Einspahr said. “We just have to go out and have a consistently solid day on the men’s side and I think we have a chance to compete for the conference championship. We’re in the hunt. We can do well, we just need to keep our composure and have a solid meet. With the women, it’s the same sort of thing. We have some women who are looking to have a good conference meet and we’re looking forward to that.”
The GPAC championships will take place at Doane on Friday, May 2 and Saturday, May 3.