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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.
All-American Linda McDuffy hadn't planned to go out for track at Concordia. 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."