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Spring 1984 Alumni News - Concordia Moorhead

   Spring 84

All-Americans highlight season

Six Concordia athletes earned all-American status in baseball, tennis, and track and field this spring, the highest number of Cobbers to be so honored in a single season.

Howard Berglund '84 from Carrington, N.D., garnered two of the prized certificates in baseball and track. Mark Nelson '85, Alexandria, Minn., gave the baseball team its second all-American; and freshman Julie Gilbertson, Fargo, N.D., won the honor in tennis. In track, three other athletes were named allArnerican - Linda McDuffy '85, Moorhead; Sharyl Geisert '84, Esko, Minn.; and David Swanberg '85, East Grand Forks, Minn.

Howard Berglund, who both pitched and played shortstop for the Cobbers, had a .432 batting average. In the 62 2/3 innings he pitched this year, he had 64 strikeouts and an earned-run average of 2.87.

Since baseball was his first love, Berglund hadn't planned to go out for track in college, although he had been an all-state javelin champion in high school. However, when Concordia's baseball season ended early during his junior year, he turned his attention to track, set an MIAC javelin record of 218'4" and qualified for the NCAA national meet where he placed seventh. This year, even though he didn't compete at the conference meet, he again qualified for nationals, placing sixth and earning his all-American status. A summa cum laude graduate in biology, Berglund plans to attend the University of North Dakota Medical School in Grand Forks this fall.

Mark Nelson, the Cobber's first baseman led the team in defense and offense with a .967 fielding percentage and .461 batting average. His 36 runs, 47 hits 12 doubles, three triples five home runs and 31 RBI all team highs. Nelson is a psychology major.

Julie Gilbertson was not only Concordia's first women's tennis player to compete in the NCAA Division III national tournament, she went on to place fourth, losing only after taking the eventual tournament winner to three full sets. Undefeated during the regular season and title winner at the MIAC conference tournament, Gilbertson, who will be a sophomore this fall, has set her sights on winning the national tournament next year, which would automatically qualify her for the Division I tournament.

A competitor since seventh grade, she was afraid tennis would interfere with her schoolwork at Concordia so she made it a point to budget her time very carefully. When lab schedules meant missing practices, she used her study breaks to play tennis. Although earning all-American status was a thrill, Gilbertson doesn't feel it proves superiority in a sport. "What the honor says is that the person had a really good year," she says. "To win the honor four years could say that 'here's an athlete with some good talent.'

Like Berglund, Linda McDuffy hadn't planned to go out for track at Concordia either. A transfer from Illinois State University at Normal, she had grown tired of pressure from coaches and other athletes and wanted to concentrate on academics. At Illinois State on an athletic scholarship, she had qualified for nationals during her freshman year and narrowly missed qualifying during her sophomore year. "During my junior year, my priorities changed," she explains. "Until then everything had been for the coach. Even though the school was going to pay for my four years there, I knew that I had to make some decisions that would affect me for the rest of my life. Track was the coach's priority, not mine. I wanted to do the best that I could do and be willing to accept it if someone could do better."

When, during Christmas vacation, track coach Doug Perry found out about McDuffy's background, he encouraged her to give track and field at Concordia a try. As she listened, she realized that "something was nagging at me about not reaching my full potential. I was looking for player-coach respect, and I could see that Coach Perry had the integrity for that relationship to be possible."

In MIAC conference competition, McDuffy merely placed first and set conference records in three events - discus, shot put and javelin - and was named outstanding female athlete of the meet. At the NCAA meet she placed 11th fifth and fourth, respectively

Competing in the same events as McDuffy, Sharyl Geisert placed second discus and third in shot put and javelin at the conference meet. A national competitor in 1983, she was determined to return this year, which she did, placing sixth in both discus and javelin. Her goal is to compete in the 1988 Olympics in Seoul, South Korea.* She acknowledges the importance of hard work and talent, but adds, "Natural ability is important but a good mental attitude can take someone much further in their development. I get excited when I see others who have good form and believe in what they do. Once it's my turn, I want to do my best and not worry about how anyone else has done." David Swanberg, a member of the hockey team, went out for track to help condition him for hockey. Still learning his potential as a runner, according to Coach Perry, he nonetheless placed first in the 400-meter dash and fourth in the 200-meter dash at the conference meet and took fifth place in the 400 at nationals. A serious athlete, he set winning all-American status as a goal.

In praising the accomplishments of Cobber athletes, athletic director Armin Pipho also points out the importance of coaches and facilities.

"Our spring sports programs have progressed greatly during the past couple of years," he said. "The combination of dedicated coaches and serious student athletes willing to put in the effort needed has paid off, as we've seen this spring. In addition, we've made facility improvements in both track and baseball and hope to see a new tennis facility in the near future. Visiting coaches view our new track as the best in the Upper Midwest."

*Another Concordia track star, Julie Bale '82, San Diego, is also training for the 1988 Olympics.

Team effort marks spring sports

Concordia's six all-American athletes didn't assure a good spring sports season for the Cobbers all by themselves. In addition to being highlighted by outstanding individual performances, the season saw strong team effort, with members demonstrating both leadership and support for one another.

With an overall record of 27-8 and a conference finish at 12-5, Concordia's baseball team, coached by Don "Bucky" Burgau, had its best season ever. Beside being all-American, Co-captains Berglund and Nelson were named to the all-Minnesota Intercollegiate Athletic Conference tea along with Kent Kuball 85 second baseman from Mapleton, Minn.

In his first season as head track coach, Doug Perry sent eight women and three men to nationals. The wom placed third in the MIAC meet, the men, fifth.

Qualifying for national competition in addition to McDuffy and Geisert in women's track were Pamela Olsgaard '86, Barnesville Minn., who placed first in the 400-meter dash in the MIAC tournament; Cindy Bogatzki '86, from Bertha Minn., who was third discus; Lynette Dyrdahi '84 Kalispell, Mont., and Elizabeth Vitalis '87, Fargo, N.D., both of whom placed in the 3,000-meter run; and Marion Strand '85, from Boyd, Minn., who qualified in the 3,000, 5,000 and 10,000-meter runs.

In men's track, besides Swanberg and Berglund,  Henrik Pederson '85, from Oslo, Norway, qualified for nationals by placing third in the steeplechase at the conference level.

A welcome addition to this year's track season was the recently completed all weather track . Besides having an Olympic-quality surface on which to practice, the Cobbers are now in a position to host major high school and college meets

Concordia's women's tennis team, coached by Bernice Pavek, compiled an MIAC 6-0 record, an overall tally of 15-4 and a fourth place finish at the conference tournament Individually, Tammy Thielman '84, number-two singles from Jamestown, N.D., placed sixth in conference play She received recognition as a 1984 ITCA (Intercollegiate Tennis Coaches Association) Scholar-Athlete of the Year based on her varsity tennis accomplishments and outstanding scholastic achievement. A four-year varsity regular and captain of the team her third and fourth years, she graduated summa cum laude with a major in biology. Kelly Oevermann '85, from Cass Lake, Minn.; Jill Waalen 84 Hudson, Wis.; and Karen Brunsdale '85, Mahnomen, Minn., Concordia's number three-through-five singles respectively, were all eliminated in the semi-final round of conference play. Kathlyn Kinnear '84, number-six singles player from Greenwood, Ind., won the consolation round after being upset as a seeded player.

In other spring sports, the men's golf team, coached by John Eidsness, finished fourth at the NAIA District 13 tournament in May. Charles Nervick '84, from Duluth, Minn., placed fourth in the tournament to receive all-district honors.

Coached by Robert Nick the men's tennis team placed sixth at the MIAC ten-team  tournament. David Eidsmoe '84, White Bear Lake, Minn. won his playback champion ship at number-six singles Eidsmoe then paired up with  Tom Ness '87, Fergus Falls, Minn., to win the number three doubles playback championship.