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Home Sports Track and field season begins with Central College Dutch Invite

Photo credit: Courtney Wright (photo from previous event)

By Maddy Peters

The Concordia track and field team started their outdoor season with the Central College Dutch Invite in Pella, Iowa on Thursday.

The whole team returned to action with a bang after having the Grand View University Viking Relays canceled for weather and the Concordia throwers pivoting to the Bethel Invitational where five athletes qualified for nationals. In Pella, there were 14 golds, 14 silvers and 11 bronzes. Four more athletes qualified for nationals at the meet as well and two school records were broken.

Starting off with the sprinters, sophomore Adrianna Rodencal won first in the women’s 100-meter hurdles with a time of 14.70. Sophomore Kayla Svoboda won third in the same event with a 15.69. Rodencal was the anchor leg for the winning 4×100 relay team which also included freshman Cambria Saunders, sophomore Kayla Kirchner and senior Kellie Rhoades. The team won with a 48.08.

Junior Jenna Esch broke two personal records and won first with a 25.53 in the women’s 200-meter dash and a 56.66 in the women’s 400-meter dash. Esch’s 400-meter time qualified her for nationals. Kirchner took third in the same events as Esch with a 26.44 in the 200 and a 1:01.04 in the 400. Not to leave the men out, sophomore Liam Fagan won third in the men’s 400-meter dash with a PR time of 50.26.

In the women’s 400-meter hurdles junior Jordan Koepke won first with a nationally qualifying time of 1:01.93. In the men’s version, freshman Hayden Kluthe won second with a time of 56.79 and junior Teagan Meyer won third with a PR time of 57.36.

The Bulldogs swept the podium in the women’s 800-meter run with senior Kylahn Freiburg on top with a PR time of 2:18.90. Senior Rylee Haecker took second with a time of 2:19.50 and junior Rhaya Kaschinske won third with a PR time of 2:22.18. Haecker returned for the women’s 1,500-meter run with a time of 4:44.50

Freiburg also competed in the women’s 3,000-meter run breaking the school record with a 9:54.40. The previous record was a 10:50.01 set by Kelly Waterman in 2005. Junior Evan Schmidt won third in the men’s 3,000-meter run with a PR time of 9:23.29. In the men’s 3,000-meter Steeplechase, junior Nate Pennekamp won second (9:54.18) and sophomore Westley Determan won third (10:11.07). Sophomore Hannah Beintema won second in the women’s steeplechase with a 12:15.51.

In the men’s 10,000-meter run, juniors Jack Ellis and Thomas Gorline took gold and silver respectively. Ellis won with a PR time of 33:15.51 and Gorline with a 33:21.82.

Freshman Zoey Walker made waves for the field team as she tied the school record in the women’s high jump. Walker won first in the event with a nationally qualifying 5’6” jump matching the record set by Bonnie Jelinek in 1986. The Bulldogs had ties for second place in the women’s high jump with senior Amy Richert, freshman Addie Reimer and junior Faith Espinoza all making a 5’1” jump.

Freshman Kiki Nyanok won first in the women’s long jump with a PR jump of 17’ 9.75”. In the women’s triple jump, sophomore Josi Noble won first with a jump of 36’ 1.5”. Fellow sophomore Hayley Miles won third in the same event with a jump of 33’ 10.75”. In the men’s triple jump freshman Jonah Paulsen and sophomore Aaron Spivey made the podium. Paulsen won second with a 42’ 2” jump and Spivey was third with a 41’ 6” jump.

Senior Zach Zohner was the top dog in the men’s pole vault with a nationally qualifying jump of 16’ 0.75”. The indoor national champion sits at third with the result. Freshman Jax Jacobson finished second behind Zohner with a jump of 14’ 1.25”. Senior Sydney Reichert won the women’s pole vault with a jump of 11’ 1.75”. Fellow senior Josie Puelz won second in the women’s pole vault with a 10’ 8” jump. Puelz, a five-time national champion, has been recovering from illness.

Though the throwers had a head start in the season against the rest of the team, their results were not quite as bombastic as the previous invite. Sophomore Matthew Boyer found the first place win he was looking for in the men’s javelin. He won with a 196’ 5” throw. Junior Gretchen Stottlemyre won second in the women’s javelin with a 126’ 4” throw.

In the hammer throws, junior Abigail Gerber and senior Chris Wren each finished second despite their wins at Bethel. Gerber had a 158’ 6” throw and Wren had 189’ even. Senior Kamryn Pokorney finished third in the women’s hammer with a 157’ 4” throw. However, Gerber still finished first in the women’s shot put with a throw of 46’ 9.5”.

The team will host their next event, the Concordia Invitational scheduled from April 5-6. This is the one outdoor home event of the season.

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