BROOKINGS, S.D. – The first day of the 2020 NAIA Indoor Track & Field National Championships presented a bit of a mixed bag for the Bulldogs, who have traveled 32 athletes to the event in Brookings, S.D. On the positive side, the Concordia University women’s 4x400 meter relay team qualified for the finals of the event with a near school record time. In Thursday (March 5)’s action, the Bulldogs had competitors in three relays and in the women’s pentathlon.
Head coach Matt Beisel’s squads last competed at the GPAC championship meet when the women won the title and the men placed third. One year ago in Brookings, Concordia placed ninth nationally for both men and women.
The women’s 4x400 relay featured sophomore Jacee Pfeifer, sophomore Sarah Lewis, junior Mika Brees and sophomore Rachel Battershell, the GPAC Athlete of the Year. Together they combined on a time of 3:52.79, which placed them second in their heat and fifth overall in the preliminary race. Battershell, Lewis and Pfeifer were each part of the school standard 4x4 from the 2019 NAIA indoor national meet. The finals of the 4x4 will take place on Saturday.
Things did not work out as well as hoped in the pentathlon. GPAC champion Kennedy Mogul placed 10th with 3,141 points (40 shy of her total from the conference championships). Junior Emily Loy finished 14th with 2,910 points in the pentathlon.
In the men’s 4x400 meter relay prelims, the Bulldogs clocked a season best time of 3:18.93, putting them in 13th. Freshman Colton Meyer ran the fastest split for a group that included sophomore Xavier Ross, freshman Camden Miller and junior Henry Reimer. They fell outside the placement necessary to reach the finals.
Finally, the Concordia women’s distance medley relay finished the race in 12:35.39 and placed 15th overall in the prelims. The competitors included senior Rebekah Hinrichs, Pfeifer, junior Alyssa Fye and freshman Kylahn Heritage. Hinrichs, Fye and Heritage were all key runners for the GPAC championship cross country team.
The second day of the meet will heat up with running and field events beginning at 12 p.m. CT on Friday. Battershell will be back on the track for the prelims of the 60 meter hurdles and 400 meters. She entered the national championships as the NAIA leader in the 400. Elsewhere, Jacob Cornelio and Addie Shaw will take aim at national titles in the weight throw and the loaded Bulldog pole vault group will take center stage.