| March 13, 1998 Concordian
| Cobber Sports |
| Track | Wrestling | Tennis | All-Conference Honors |
"We were honored to represent the MIAC at nationals," said Nicholas. "We weren't disappointed. We deserved to be there, and we tried our best."
"They worked really hard and wrestled really well," said head coach Doug Perry. "I wish they could have had a win, but somebody has to win and somebody has to get beat."
In Waterloo, Nicholas and Reiff
had the opportunity to wrestle against the top athletes in the nation.
According to Perry, Reiff wrestled the number-one ranked wrestler in the
nation in the first round, then lost the second match - in overtime - to
the number three seed. Reiff ended his season with a 16-8
Nicholas lost his first match, then didn't compete in the consolation round. He ended his senior season with a 19-14 record.
"As a senior, making it to nationals was a pretty big step for me," said Nicholas. "I didn't do as well as I planned, but hey, I got invited."
Throughout the season, Nicholas and others on the wrestling team faced the challenges of competing on a small team.
"It was exciting at the beginning of the season because there were so many kids out," said Nicholas.
But as the season progressed, wrestlers withdrew from the team due to injuries and low grades.
"Soon the team dwindled down to six," said Nicholas. "It was tough to get through the season as a team."
But Perry, Nicholas, Reiff and other returning wrestlers are already
looking forward to next season, and anticipating higher numbers and talented
Cobber Athletes Earn Conference Honors
Swimming and Diving -
The following Cobber athletes have earned places on MIAC All-Conference teams or MIAC All-Freshman teams:
"Our goal this year is to finish in the top five teams in our region for the men's team and in the top six for the women's. If we can do that it will be a good accomplishment," said David Lester, assistant coach. According to Lester, the team is looking to stay healthy and to improve as the season continues. The team has been working on various skills to help them prepare for their matches.
"The racket work has picked up," Lester said. "Their tennis knowledge has picked up also. Their skill level is up at least 25 percent from last year."
The men's tennis team won the first match of the season against Hamline, 6-3. In their next match against St. Olaf, the team lost 9-0.
"Some of the players were gone for the first two matches because of the choir trip," said Lester. "It hurts when your number one player is gone." The men's strengths are their volleys and their aggressive style of play. According to Lester the team needs to stay focused so they don't lose concentration.
The women's team got an early jump on the action as their first game was Feb. 8 against UND. The Cobbers lost a close match, 5-4. The team played Moorhead State on Feb. 18, winning 6-3. The team took on St. Thomas and lost the match 7-2. The women's team had a misfortune as their number two player senior Stacy Bauck was involved in a car accident.
"The loss hurts us because we have to move the whole line up," said
Lester. "However, they are out there working hard, putting a lot of extra
time in, and their work ethic is up a lot from last year."
Before last Saturday, Concordia had not defeated St. Thomas, the nine-year reigning MIAC track and field champion, since 1988.
But Concordia ended the Tommies' reign Saturday when the Cobbers brought home the MIAC Indoor Track and Field Championship for the second time in Concordia's history.
"As a coach, I thought it was possible [to place first], but I downplayed what place we'd get," said coach Garrick Larson. "I knew it was a possibility, but no one in the conference would have believed it until it happened."
According to Larson, three teams were all within reach of the title as the meet winded down - Concordia, Gustavus and St. Thomas. The championship came down to the last two events - the 4x800 and the 4x400. After a strong showing in those events, Concordia settled into first place.
Severson, Kearns and Utke left Wednesday for the Division III national championship meet in Waltham, Mass. Severson will compete in the long jump, and Kearns and Utke will compete in the 20# weight throw.
Severson and Kearns have competed at nationals before and know what to expect. "They are able to cope with the championship meet expectations and competitors with even talent," said Larson.
"At nationals, there are minuscule amounts of distance or time separating everyone," Larson continued. There are 14 people in each event, and "even to get to nationals is quite an accomplishment," he said. The athletes compete today and Saturday.
At the MIAC meet, Cobbers earned two individual first places. Senior Mollee Ludtke placed first in the 600-meter dash, and Severson placed first in the triple jump. Severson also placed third in the pentathlon.
Both the men's and women's track and field teams will compete in an
alumni meet March 21. The outdoor track and field season starts early next