Seventeen Concordia athletes traveled to Pittsburg, Kansas to compete in the 2018 NAIA Indoor Track and Field National Championships. The meet was held in the Robert W. Plaster Center March 1st through the 3rd.
Last year, both the men’s and women’s teams finished in fifth place. This year, eight men and nine women made it to the national tournament, all representing a wide range of events including runners, jumpers, and throwers.
This year’s lineup included five freshman, three sophomores, seven juniors, and two seniors. Junior Samantha Liermann had the most notable performance. She credits a large portion of her success to her coaches and teammates.
“Not only are the coaches at Concordia top-notch, but my teammates here help push each other to be the best we can be,” senior Samantha Liermann said. “Winning and awards are awesome, but it makes it so much more special to have teammates that are like family to celebrate all of our accomplishments with.”
She set a school record in shot put, which beat competitors by well over a foot, hitting the 49’ 5” mark. This was more than enough to make her a national champion and help her contribute 14 points to the Concordia team’s total of 22 points.
“It’s really special to me to be a back-to-back champion,” Liermann said. “The off season practice and lifting wasn’t always easy, but it shows how hard work really pays off.”
This year, the championship trophies for both men’s and women’s indoor nationals went to Wayland Baptist in Texas. The Concordia women’s team claimed a 9th place finish in the 2018 NAIA Indoor Track and Field National Championship, and the Concordia men’s team tied for 42nd place. During the tournament, there were 16 personal best performances. Now, the team begins their outdoor season on March 23, and will continue to prepare for that in the coming weeks.
“I think that the indoor season has helped prepare the team for an awesome outdoor season,” junior triple jumper Leah Larson said. “We have a lot of freshman this year, and everyone seems to be ready for (the) outdoor (season).”