A 24-5 season for the Lady Cobbers basketball team and the participation of three wrestlers in national cornpetition were the highlights of Concordia's winter sports season.
Despite losing (through graduation four outstanding players from last year's national championship team, the Lady Cobbers put together another stellar season that culminated in their seventh consecutive appearance in post-season tournament play with Division III of the National Collegiate Athletic Association.
Hosting the West Region Tournament in early March, the Lady Cobbers avenged season losses to St. Benedict and to St. Thomas before losing to top-ranked California State University-Stanislaus, Turlock, 80-74. It was only the second time in four years the Lady Cobbers bad lost on their home court.
All season they were rated second in both the Mmnesota Intercollegiate Athletic Conference and the NCAA. Early season nonconference wins over nearby Division II schools Moorhead State University and North Dakota State University raised Cobber fans' hopes for a national championship repeat.
Leading the Lady Cobbers in honors was all-Arnerican senior Jillayn Quaschnick, Sebeka, Minn., who was also named Most Valuable Player in MIAC women's basketball. Joining her on the allMIAC first team were senior Patty Kubow, Rush City, Minn., and sophomore Michelle Thykeson, Finley, N.D. Senior Donna Cummings, Fargo, N.D., received all-conference honorable mention.
Quaschnick, who averaged 18.6 points per game, ended her career with 1,264 points, fourth-highest in the Lady Cobbers' history. She is also fourth in career assists with 327. Kubow totaled 1 044 points (Concordia's seventhbest) and earned sixth place in rebounds with 656.
Both Quaschnick and Kubow were named to the five-player all-tournament team along with three members from Stanislaus.
Coach Ron Nellermoe's wrestling team completed a 9-6 season in dual matches and advanced three wrestlers to the NCAA Division III wrestling tournament in Cleveland. Mike Northcutt, a junior from Missoula, Mont., won two matches at the national meet, just one victory short of all-America honors, and was named to the academic all-America squad. Re ended the season with a 33-15 record.
Joining Northcutt in national competition were sophomore Chip Halvorson, Glasgow, Mont., and freshman Steve Larsen, Rochester, Minn., who both lost their first matches.
'I was pleased to see three wrestlers get to the national tournament this year," said Nellermoe. "They wrestled well."
Of the eight Cobber wrestlers who competed in the MIAC meet, sophomore Kirk Leinwand, Forsyth, Mont., placed second; all the others placed third or fourth.
Nellermoe is already planning for next year. "We're only losing one senior," he said. "If we can get some strength at the lower weights and keep what we have, it should be a good season."
An 11-14 season record kept a young Cobber basketball team out of conference playoffs this year but provided Cobber fans with some exciting games. After a disappointing loss to a previously winless Augsburg, they defeated conference leader St. Olaf two days later.
Senior Wade Hanson, Wilimar, Minn., led the MIAC in assists, and sophomore Bryan Flam, Jamestown, N.D., earned allMIAC honors as one of the nation's most prolific longrange shooters. Fifth in scoring in the MIAC with an 18.7-point average, he set a school record by completing 88 three-point shots.
Senior Mark Thimjon, Barnesville, Minn., scored 313 points to give him a total of 877 career points'. he is 12th in career points scored. The Running Cobbers started slow, going 1-5 before Christmas; however, with the steady improvement of the younger players, the Cobbers won more games than they lost after the holiday season. Some of their more impressive wins were home victories over Hamline, St. John's and conference champion St. Olaf. Road victories included wins at Moorhead State and Carleton.
John Eidsness, in his 11th year as head coach at Concordia, won his 200th career game this season.
"As a young team, we struggled to be consistent in our play," Eidsness said. "We lose three seniors (Hanson, Thimjon and Tim Housholder, Chicago) who provided a tremendous example for the other players both on and off the floor."
The hockey team went through a wild winter in which nearly every weekend series was marked by a big win and a frustrating loss. On one Friday night, for example, the Cobbers defeated St. John's 9-2 and then lost to them 1-9 the next day.
Even so, they kept play-off hopes alive almost to the end of the season, but two lateseason overtime losses to St. Olaf killed their chances and left the Cobbers with an 11-12 season record.
Coach Steve Baumgartner '82 is optimistic. "We have a lot of good people returnmg," he said. "With their experience from this year and a great group of sophomores coming back, I'm looking forward to next year."
Two of those sophomores are all-MIAC players Mike Hassman, Regina, Saskatchewan, Canada, and Steve Thompson, Bloomington, Minn. Hassman was the Cobbers' leading scorer and fourth in total scoring in the MIAC with 36 points. Thompson, who was among the top 25 in league scoring, was one of the best defensive players in the conference.
Named to the academic allconference list were Cummings; Hanson; Kubow; senior Ross Richards, Eveleth, Minn., and junior John Gillie, Williams, Minn., hockey; and senior Andy Raedeke, Worthington, Minn., wrestling.