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Spring 1978 Alumni News - Concordia Moorhead

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Cobber track women finish in second place

 Concordia College experienced one of the largest turnouts of women for track and field this year and probably one of its most successful seasons, according to women's head track coach Joyce Prokop.

Moorhead State University proved to be among Concordia's tougher opponents in 1978 Minn-Kota action with the Dragons standing in the way of a Cobber championship at both the indoor and the outdoor conference meets.

Cobber women romped to a strong 51 point, second-place finish at the Minn-Kota Indoor Conference Meet, passed only by champion Moorhead State with 74 points. Bemidj State College trailed Concordia by 20 points for a third-place finish.

Concordia rolled to an easy second place in the Minn-Kota Outdoor Conference Meet, bettering its fourth-place finish last year. Dragons again topped the Cobbers 159½-131. Concordia captured 25 medals, overwhelming third- place finisher Bemidji State, who accumulated 94-1/2 points.

Coach Prokop was "very pleased" with the team's performance all season. The Cobbers demonstrated their competitive potential early with a big win at the Indoor Track and Field Triangular. The maroon and gold accumulated 48 points to outscore North Dakota State University (37 points) and Moorhead State (31 points). The victory, an excellent early season performance by Cobber women, reflected their solid, pre-season training program.

In other competition, Cobber women won the championship title in the Valley City State College Invitational, placing in 17 out of the 18 scheduled events in the nine-school competition. Moorhead State barely squeaked past Concordia at the Minn-Kota Indoor Track Invitational to win 60-59 with Cobber women placing in every event except the 50-yard dash.

Concordia secured a second place from a field of 11 private college teams at the Macalester Invitational. They placed in 16 out of the 18 scheduled events in that St. Paul, Minn., meet, chalking up 122 points, just 24 points shy of the leader (St. Olaf College), and a strong 51 points ahead of the third best team (College of St. Catherine).

Although Minnesota is known as a strong state in track, Cobber women were able to place sixth from a field of 21 schools in the Minnesota Association of Intercollegiate Athletics for Women (MAIAW) meet. In Region 6 AIAW action, Concordia placed fifth with 31 points from a field of 40 schools, with Moorhead State leading the pack with 80 points.

"We took a lot of second places this year Coach Prokop said. "And a total team effort was the reason. Our athletes pulled together to place in most events which added up to some excellent final scores."

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Exciting 1979 season predicted for men's track

Concordia College men's varsity track team enjoyed "mild success," setting some new records and qualifying for the prestigious Drake Relays.

The 42-member squad slipped to fifth place in the Minnesota Intercollegiate Athletic Conference meet when top-seeded high hurdler Steve Fox ran his worst race of the season. Concordia finished with 61 points behind third-place finisher St. John's University (69 points) and fourth-place finisher College of St. Thomas (68 points). Hamline University captured the championship with 161 points followed by St. Olaf College with 114 points.

Fox, undoubtedly the best high and intermediate hurdler in the conference, set a school record in the 440-yard hurdles with a time of 52.8, beating the old record of 52.9 established by Dave Grinaker ('77). The All-American hurdler won first place in the event at the MIAC meet this year to defend his conference title. Fox is from Aitkin, Minn.

Ron Kangas, a returning sophomore from Billings, Mont., was a steady performer all year. He won the MIAC javelin title, rifling the stick 213 feet, 5 inches to eclipse the old MIAC mark by over six feet. It was the only standard set in the two-day conference meet at Macalester College track in St. Paul, Minn.

The Cobbers, fifth in the conference team race, also won the mile-relay event at Macalester with a time of 3:21. Anchored by Fox, the team consisted of Dave Brunsvold, returning junior from Kenseff, Iowa; Mark Kollar, a spring graduate from Blaine, Minn., and Mike Ranum, returning senior from Crookston, Minn.

Ranum placed second in the conference meet behind Fox in the intermediate hurdles with a time of 55.4. Ranum and Fox will co-captain next year's team.

Coach Ed Langsdorf said the team suffered from injuries throughout the season. "Our biggest disappointment was in distance-runner John Mutschelknaus, who suffered a leg injury early in the year leaving him out of action mostof the season." Although given the go-ahead for conference meet competition, Mutschelknaus was unable to finish his first event. Langsdorf said Mutschelknaus could easily have placed high in competition throughout the season and would have assured the Cobbers of another first in the conference.

Cobbers participated for the first time in the highly competitive Drake Relays at Drake University in Des Moines, Iowa. Langsdorf felt that the six who qualified had arrived at "that level of competition this year." Although Concordia did not place at Drake, the sprint medley team ran the second best time in Concordia's history (3:30.02), as did the mile relay team (3:20.28). Fox was the only Cobber entered in individual competition at Drake. Members of the  sprint medley team were Jon Burkhardt ('78) and Nate Hanson ('78), from Crookston, Minn.; Curt Baldwin ('78), from Naperville, Ill., and Fox. Mile relay teammates were Baldwin, Fox,  Ranum and Brunsvold.

Langsdorf expects an exciting season in 1979. "We have a solid group of men returning next year," he said. "We have good leaders in the captains and seniors."

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 Three major sports too much, Burgau to coach baseball

 Donald "Bucky" Burgau, Concordia's athletic department equipment manager, has been named Cobber head baseball coach for the 1978-79 season, replacing 10-year veteran Al Rice.

Athletic director Armin Pipho praised the job Al Rice has done with the baseball team the past several years, but added it is too much to ask a coach to work in three major sports. Rice will continue as assistant coach in football and head coach in hockey.

"We are very fortunate to have a young man of Don's experience and background to handle the baseball team. I am confident our program will continue to develop under his leadership," said Dr. Pipho.

The 28-year-old Burgau is a Perham High School and North Dakota State University graduate. He served as head baseball coach at NDSU four years prior to joining the Concordia staff.

Burgau has been baseball coach of the Moorhead American Legion Melvin E. Hean Post 21 team for the past five years. He is married to Penny Gulsvig Burgau ('75), daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Sonny Gulsvig. The Burgaus have a daughter, Jennifer, 7 months.

Baseball Spring 78

 Concordia's baseball team finished in sixth place to tie with Augsburg College at 8-10 in the final Minnesota Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (MIAC) standing. Overall, the Cobbers completed an 11-14 won-lost season.

Coach Al Rice attributed the success to "outstanding pitching." The Cobbers relied on the pitching arms of Steve Atchison, returning junior from Moorhead, and Greg Hruby ('78) from Porter, Minn.

The Cobbers failed to accumulate a good overall batting average, the one weakness in an otherwise well-played season. Relying heavily on its pitching strengths, Concordia held opponents to mostly one- and two-run victories. Some clutch hitting would have made the difference, according to Rice.

Power-hitter Randy Hansen ('78) from Brainerd, Minn., led the Cobber batsmen, smashing several runs for winners.

The Concordia nine swept a twin bill from league-power St. John's University as well as against Hamline University, to highlight the season. One of the fiercest battles on the ball field this season was a non-conference game against Moorhead State University. Concordia managed to slip by the Dragons 8-7 after fighting back from a six-run deficit.

Because of inclement weather, Cobbers missed early practice and canceled the first three scheduled games. Although they did play 25 games, coach Rice said,  "Because we had such little preparation and so many cold weather problems, I was pleased with the team's performances."

Gustavus Adolphus College was the 1978 MIAC champion.

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Cobber netmen work towards better season next year

The Concordia College men's varsity tennis team spent the season playing "tough competition" rather than picking up early victories against lesser-rated schools. Why, especially since Concordia lost a lot of its players to graduation last year, and coach Kent Stadum knew the team would be young and inexperienced?

"That's why," Stadum explained. "We needed to get some good college experience. Our goal wasn't to finish on top this year, we knew we couldn't. But all the players will be returning next year and our experience should  give us a good season in 1979."

The Cobbers finished with an 8-9 won-lost season record, placed seventh in the ten-school Minnesota Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (MIAC) meet, and fifth in the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA) District 13 competition.   The season's highlight came early. In opening competition against Moorhead State University, the Cobbers blanked the Dragons 9-0. Juniors Brent Reichert and Chuck Olson of Crookston, Minn., and Bob Lund of Moorhead won in straight sets, as did sophomore Rodger Hagen of Moorhead and freshman Pete Simonson of Madison, Wis.   The Concordia doubles team of Chuck Olson-Rodger Hagen also won against the Dragons in straight sets, and the Cobbers came back in the other two doubles matches to claim victory.

In conference play held recently at the College of St. Thomas (St. Paul, Minn.), Gustavus Adolphus College retained the tennis crown, its ninth MIAC tennis title in 10 years. Concordia lost in the early rounds of competition. Finishing behind the Golden Gusties were St. John's  University in second and St. Thomas in third. At number one singles, Reichert's loss to  Augsburg in the opening round was an upset of  the conference. Rated high all season, the top seeded Cobber ace finished regular season action with a 14-3 won-lost record.  Coach Stadum felt the Cobbers had gained some experience before the conference and did show improvement. "But the other schools were just too good for us this year," he said.

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Prevailing winter conditions dampen spring golf season

A soggy spring does not a good golf season make. Frustrating is what coach Finn Grinaker called it. And because of the bad weather conditions, the 1978 golf season was mainly re- stricted to invitationals and conference playoffs.  "In regular season action many of the league schools missed the opportunity to compete because of the weather," Grinaker said. In Fargo-Moorhead the courses were under flood waters until late in the season. Cobber golfers traveled even to practice.

The only nice day came at the conference meet held recently at the Honeywell Country Club in Minneapolis. Concordia finished in fourth place to tie with St. John's University with 648 strokes, 45 strokes behind Minnesota Intercollegiate Athletic Conference champion Gustavus Adolphus' 603, College of St. Thomas' 624 and St. Olaf College's 626.

Gustavus also held a two-stroke lead over defending District 13 titlist St. Thomas to win the Honeywell title and to claim the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA) District 13 championship. Concordia ended up 14th in the Honeywell and NAIA meets.

Three collegiate golf invitationals were played,  all on windy, cold, wet days. Concordia placed third of a field of six teams at the Cobber-Dragon Invitational, 11th out of 18 teams at the St. John's Invitational and third out of six at the Northern State College Golf Invitational.

Grinaker is looking ahead to a good season next year and thinks his returning team could win,  "a lot of meets."