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Home Sports Track and field team faces wide variety of competitors during busy weekend...

Sophomore thrower Matthew Boyer prepares to launch the javelin into the air. 

Photo credit: Josiah Seabaugh (photo from previous event)

By Maddy Peters, Sports Editor


The Concordia track and field team participated in two events this weekend: the Drake University Relays (April 25-27) and a dual invite between Concordia Nebraska and Doane University (April 27) despite poor weather throughout the Midwest.

What was supposed to be a full week for the team ahead of finals week and the conference meet was slashed due to severe storms that made competition unsafe. The team was originally scheduled to go to the Nebraska Wesleyan Prairie Wolf Invite in Lincoln and the Rock Chalk Classic in Lawrence, Kansas, but both were canceled.

Concordia sent four relay teams to Des Moines to compete against teams ranging from National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics to NCAA Division I to run in the 4×100, 4×200, 4×400 and 4×800 events. Sophomore Adriana Rodencal was the only solo runner at the Relays, with a 14.17 in the women’s 100-meter hurdles placing her in 20th.

The 4×800 relay team made up of junior Jenna Esch, senior Rylee Haecker, junior Rhaya Kaschinske and senior Kylahn Freiberg ran first and placed fourth with a time of 9:12.95. The time qualified them for nationals and approached their first seeded qualifying time of 9:08.93 for the indoor season.

The other three relay teams ran on Friday, starting with the 4×100 team of freshman Cambria Saunders, sophomore Kayla Kirchner, senior Kellie Rhodes and Rodencal. The team finished 14th with a time of 48.08.

The 4×400 team was up next and ran the second-fastest time in program history with a 3:48.16 that took fourth place. The team was made up of Esch, Kirchner, junior Trinity Tuls and junior Jordan Koepke. They were just under a second behind the record of 3:47.26 set in 2022. The team was set to run in the finals of the 4×400, but was unable due to weather.

The 4×200 team, meanwhile, took the school record by four seconds with a time of 1:40.76, placing seventh. That team was made up of Esch, Kirchner, Koepke, and with Rodencal as the anchor. The previous time was a 1:44.26, set at last year’s Drake Relays by Rachel Battershell, Kirchner, Emily Loeske and Rodencal.

The Doane Invite was quickly set up between Doane and Concordia since many of the athletes were expected to compete at the canceled Nebraska Wesleyan Invite. The teams braved the rain in Crete to put a few events through, but the event was eventually stopped due to lightning.

Some highlights included senior Zach Zohner taking first in the men’s pole vault with a jump of 16’ 10.75”, rivaling his first seeded qualifying jump of 17’ even. Freshman Addie Reimer took first in the women’s high jump with a 5’ 5” finish which netted her a “B” mark for the national meet.

There were 14 other first place finishes at the Doane meet alongside Zohner and Reimer. On the field side there was sophomore Matthew Boyer in men’s discus (146’ 2”), junior Gretchen Stottlemyre in the women’s javelin (126’ 5”), senior Kamryn Pokorney in the women’s hammer throw (156’ 2”) and the women’s shot put (42’ 8.25”), senior Brady Klute in the men’s hammer (169’ 7”), freshman Kiki Nyanok in the women’s long jump (17’ 10.25”) and senior Amira Cummings in the women’s pole vault (11’ 3.75”).

On the track Saunders won in the women’s 100-meter dash (12.58), sophomore Kayla Svoboda in the women’s 100-meter hurdles (14.96), sophomore Gage Fries in the men’s 110-meter hurdles (15.25), Nyanok in the women’s 200-meter dash (25.98), junior Isabelle Salters in the women’s 400-meter dash (1:00.04) and Addie’s sister senior Grace Reimer in the women’s 400-meter hurdles (1:10.40).

Track and Field travels next to Orange City, Iowa for the Great Plains Athletic Conference Championships on May 3-4 hosted by Northwestern College. The Bulldogs only have a few opportunities left to cement their roster for the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics Outdoor National Championships held once again in Marion, Indiana.

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