Photo Courtesy of Sower Staff
By Olivia Dunklau
For the fourth year in a row, the Concordia women’s track and field team has won the Great Plains Athletic Championship for the indoor season. The men’s team placed third with a total of 76 team points.
The 2021 indoor GPAC championship was held in Sioux Center, Iowa at Dordt University. The women accumulated a total of 217 team points, easily taking the lead ahead of Hastings College in second and Dordt University in third.
The women’s program has won four straight GPAC championships, including 2019 indoor and outdoor, 2020 indoor, and now 2021 indoor. With such a strong women’s track and field program, Concordia left second-place Hastings College in the dust with a lead of 80 points.
The team combined had four championship titles and eight runner-up titles. Those who claimed the championship titles were junior Rachel Battershell in the 400-meter race, senior Morgan De Jong in the weight throw, sophomore Kylahn Heritage in the 1,000-meter race, and junior Cody Williams in the heptathlon. Junior Cora Olson earned 24 points alone for the team, placing in the top five in four events. Battershell took second place in the 55-meter hurdles and Heritage also came in second in the one-mile race to rack up more points for the team.
For the men, some of the most pivotal points came from pole vault. Freshman Zach Zohner placed second, junior Zach Bennetts placed third, and sophomore Chase Berry placed fourth. Sophomore Chris Wren came in third for the weight throw along with sophomore Wyatt Loga, who also placed third, in the high jump. These points were what kept Concordia ahead of Red Raiders from Northwestern College in Iowa by two points.
The women’s 4×400 meter relay race and men’s 4×800 relay race both placed second, earning runner-up titles. With a time of three minutes and 58.68 seconds, the women’s 4×400 team was made up of juniors Sarah Lewis, Keri Bauer, Rachel Battershell and senior Kennedy Mogul. As for the men’s 4×800, sophomores Camden Sesna, Cameron Gray, and freshmen, Calvin Rohde and Nick Price clocked in a time of eight minutes and 11.23 seconds which earned the team eight points.
Next on the schedule is the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics Indoor Track and Field National Championships. The NAIA will announce official qualifiers at a later date but the meet will take place in Yankton, South Dakota on Mar. 3-6.