By Paige Uzzell
Concordia’s track and field program had eight new national qualifiers at the Concordia Track and Field Invite on Saturday, April 6.
The new qualifiers included freshman Claire Cornell in long jump, freshman Mackenzie Koepke in high jump, junior McKenzie Gravo in pole vault, freshman Erin Mapson in pole vault, junior Tristen Mosier in pole vault, senior Samantha Liermann in hammer throw, junior Adrianna Shaw in discus, and senior Ryan Sanchez in hammer throw.
The Concordia team competed against seven other teams, two of them being NCAA programs. Concordia started Friday with the men and women’s hammer throw followed by men and women’s javelin. Running events on Friday were the men and women’s 10k.
The team was in the Bulldog Stadium Saturday at noon to start off the second portion of the meet with the rest of the men and women’s field events along with the start of women’s 100-meter high hurdles preliminaries. The night ended with the men’s 4×4 relay team just barely missing B standard.
“I don’t have words,” Cornell said. “I’m just so excited, it being my first year, and only being able to compete for outdoor with the little time I have. It shows that a lot has improved in the past few weeks.”
Cornell is a freshman from Elm Creek High School in Nebraska. She missed indoor track to compete on the women’s basketball team. Cornell is not the only new national qualifier from the Concordia basketball team. Koepke competed in the women’s high jump where she hit A standard and came close to the program high jump record of five feet, 5.75 inches.
Shaw and Liermann dominated the women’s throwing events. Liermann competed in the hammer and shot put, improving on her previous national qualifying mark in shot put from the Hastings Invitational meet. Shaw won the hammer throw and hit the A standard in discus.
Sanchez was the only member of the men’s team to hit an A standard on Saturday. He qualified in the hammer throw, while junior Jacob Cornelio claimed fifth place in the event.
Sophomore Cody Williams took first in the 110-meter high hurdles, while senior Jazzy Eickhoff claimed the title in javelin. McKenzie Gravo took the lead with a vault of 12 feet, 1.5 inches in pole vault.
Concordia’s track and field program will compete again on April 13 at the Grand View University Quad in Des Moines, Iowa.