Track and Women's Track |
Mar. 19, 1999 | Concordian | Cobber Sports |
| Women's Track | Men's Track | Swimming | Baseball | Softball | Men's Tennis | Women's Tennis | Wrestling |
Cobbers send three to national indoor track championship
The participation of three Cobber women in this past weekend's NCAA Indoor Championships, drew to a close another successful indoor season in Track and Field.
Senior Laura Utke highlighted the championships for Concordia with her third place finish in the weight throw. She was joined in the event by another Cobber, Junior Maria DeBoer. Sophomore Heidi Brenden also competed for Concordia in the 800 meters.
DeBoer’s longest throw was 46’9”, which did not earn her a place in the finals. Brenden’s time of 2:21.33 in the 800 also was not enough to advance to the fainals.
Utke's performance marked her second straight year of national placement. A weight throw of 54’2’ earned her All-America honors. "I was happy that it went as well as it did. As a senior, though, it was just as much fun to see the team's performance, and the excitement of another Conference championship."
The 1999 Cobber women's indoor season was indeed chalk full of both team and individual successes. At the January 23 Cobber Invitational, Laura Utke tossed what at the time was a Cobber, meet, and Olson Forum record weight throw of 54 ft.-4in. It was estimated to be the longest throw among Division III women up to that time. On March 9, Heidi Brenden was named 1999 MIAC Indoor Track's Most Outstanding Athlete, after her blistering performance at the MIAC Championships. At the meet she dominated competition, capturing first place in the 600, 800, and 1500 meter races.
As a team, the Cobbers captured several first place finishes, including the January 16 Concordia Invitational and the January 23 Cobber Invitational. Most notable, however, was the team's second straight indoor conference title, a goal which the team had held from the beginning of the season.
Just around the corner for Concordia Track and Field is its outdoor season. It is a season which brings change in scenery, but also continuation of competitive spirit.
"Outdoor always brings some new dynamics...new events and changing rosters,” Utke said. “But it's usually the same couple of teams at the top. It's going to be exciting."
With the success of the indoor season, there is no reason to
think that the outdoor season will be anything but likewise.
Swimmers take sixth at MIAC meet
Concordia’s Women Swimming and Diving team swam their way to sixth place at the MIAC Championship at St. Catherine’s Feb. 18-20. The team finished with 294 points out of 10 teams.
Although their goal for the season was to place fifth, the team was happy with the results of the meet.
“We swam out of our minds,” sophomore swimmer Shana Letnes said. “We swam so fast. It was a great way to go out.”
Coach Connie Kirchoffner said although the team also placed sixth at conference last year, this year’s finish was with more points and two swimmers earning All-Conference honors.
“This year we had three events where we didn’t get anyone in,” Kirchoffner said. “This is only the third year of the swimming program. Our first year we only had people qualify in three events. We’re getting better and better.”
Letnes and sophomore Carrie Bunger earned All-Conference at the meet. Ten school records were also broken by the team. Letnes, Bunger, senior Jill Eddy, sophomores Anna Berg, Lacy Wallace, Meghan Davis and freshman Angie Storts combined to break records in both individual and relay events.
Eddy competed in her final meet of her swimming career at Concordia. “It was the best meet of my life,” Eddy said. “It was a good way to end my career. I set two school records.”
Letnes also qualified to compete in three events at the Women’s NCAA Division III Championships at Miami, Ohio March 11-13. She competed in the 200 IM where she set a new school record. She also competed in the 100 and 200 breaststroke. In the 200 she finished 22nd and in the 100 she finished 15th. Her 15th place finish earned her All-American Honorable Mention status.
“It was really a learning experience,” Letnes said. “It was hard because
I didn’t have other members of the team there to cheer me on. I really
had to bond with the other swimmers from St. Olaf and St. Benedict’s.”
Kirchoffner is also pleased with Letnes’ showing at nationals. “She had
a great swim in the 100 breaststroke,” Kirchoffner said. “It was great
she could place at that level. Concordia can be very proud to have an athlete
who placed at the national level and earned All-American honors.”
Men's tennis gains momentum
It seems that a little time outdoors did the the Cobber men’s tennis
some good. After returning from playing five matches in the Arizona
Spring Challenge over spring break, the team defeated Hamline 7-2
The Cobbers won four of their five matches in Arizona, and now have won six of their past seven to bring their record to 6-4.
“We’ve done pretty well this year,” said senior Nate Svingen. “We’ve got all but two guys back from last year, and a couple of good freshmen coming in. We got off to a slow start, and played some good teams, but we’ve been playing well, and we’re looking good right now, as we get into the conference season.”
Svingen attributes the team’s recent success to the efforts put forth in practices.
“We’ve put a lot of emphasis on having good practices. This year, we’ve been trying to pack the most into an hour and a half, and getting the most out of it. We’ve had some good practices, and that has helped us play better.”
Concordia has had much of their success so far without a full roster participating in each match. This weekend, the Cobbers should sport a full roster for the first time.
“We need to get our whole team out there play together and keep supporting each other,” said freshman Jonah Beckerman. “It should be coming together soon.”
The team has set their sights high this year. Freshman Jonah Beckerman said the team’s goal is finishing in the top three teams in the MIAC. The team will get their first real indication of weather that goal is achievable tomorrow morning as they host St. Olaf.
“This is by far the best team we’ve had since I got here. We have a
chance to beat teams and really do well,” Svingen said. “Saturday is our
best chance to that.”
Women's tennis defeats Hamline, St. Catherine's
The Concordia women's tennis team defeated both Hamline and St. Catherine's last weekend to up their record to 3-6 on the season. Friday night the Cobbers beat St. Kate's by a score of 5-4 in a grueling, five-hour match that lasted until after midnight.
Early the next morning the Cobbs had to be prepared to meet Hamline. They finished the day with a 7-2 victory. In both matches the Concordia mixed up their lineup in order to get different people playing in different spots.
"Both aren't as strong of a team as we are, so we felt we could switch up the lineup," sophomore Katie Carmine said.
This year's roster is made up of many young players, including two juniors, three sophomores, and six freshmen. Danita Olson, a freshman, leads off as the number one singles player, but Carmine says that nobody stands out too much because teamwork is such an important issue in this year's team.
"We all pretty much contribute our own strengths to the team," Carmine said.
One of the main goals of this year's team is to show how much of an improvement they have made since last year. In order to show how different this year's team is, the Cobbers created a new warm-up routine and are constantly showing each other support.
"All returning players have improved, and there is a strong freshmen class," Carmine said. "This is a different team than last year. We have stepped our skill level up. We want to do better at the conference meet than last year and show that we can be a part of the conference."
The Cobbers have a couple of MIAC match-ups this weekend. They will
be home against St. Olaf tonight at 7:00 p.m. and home against St. Thomas
on Sunday at 11:00 a.m.
Reiff represents wrestlers at nationals
Senior Nathan Reiff capped off his Cobber wrestling career with a strong showing at the NCAA Division III National Wrestling Championships in New Jersey on March 6.
After losing his first match, Reiff came back to win three matches before falling in the 174 consolation semi-finals. He then came back to win 7-5 in the 7th place match and earn All-America Honors. “It was great, Reiff said. “I had been looking to be an All- American since I got here.”
Reiff was also recognized for his performance in the classroom as he was named to the Scholastic All-America team.
Reiff has participated in the championships in each of his four years at Concordia. However, both he and coach Doug Perry believe that this was his strongest showing yet.
“It was definitely the best I’ve wrestled,” Reiff said. “I held back too much the past three years.”
Perry attributes his success to an adjustment Reiff made after the first match.
“He got away from just attacking the upper body, and started attacking the legs, Perry said. “And, boy, was he taking kids down. He was tough. It was the best I’d seen him look in a long time.”
Although Reiff is done wrestling for Concordia, his contributions to the team are far from over. He will be on the team next year as an assistant coach.
“It feels great to have him as a coach,” Perry said. “He’s a great technician, and a great guy. He’s a rare kind. He’s something else.” Reiff is looking forward to playing a key role in molding a young team into a contender.
“We had some real talented kids this year,” Reiff said,” and we’ll definitely
be vastly improved in a lot of ways.”
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