The spring 1997 Concordia sports seasons featured a top-4 finish in the nation by Women's Golf, a late-season comback by the traditionally strong Baseball team and resurgent Women's and Men's track and field programs. The Cobbers also saw solid performances from a young Softball team and both Tennis teams.
The Cobber women's golf team, under coach Duane Siverson, followed up on last fall's MIAC Championship with a 4th place finish at the NCAA Division II-III National Championship at Mission Inn Golf and Tennis Resort in Howey-in-the-Hills, Florida, May 14-17, 1997.
Senior Sarah Penfield (Staples) finished 20th in the individual competition to lead the Cobbers and earn 2nd team All-America honors.
The 4th place finish marked the 6th consecutive national tournament appearance for the Cobbers and their second year in the top six under the two-year-old NCAA format in which Division II and Division III teams compete for the same National Championship.
other members of the Cobbers' National Tournament team included
Christie Strecker ('00 Albert Lea), 27th at Nationals, Kristen Hanson ('99, Fosston), 39th, Jill Carlin ('98, Fosston) 42nd, and Nicole Koskey ('99, Princeton) 48th.
The Cobbers ended the 1996-97 season with 11 wins in their 13 tournament appearances.
Six Cobber seniors capped one of the most successful periods in Cobber baseball history this spring with 5 consecutive wins to finish tied for 3rd in the MIAC. These seniors compiled a 55-25 MIAC record, recorded 1st, 2nd and 3rd place finishes in the MIAC, posted 4 consecutive winning MIAC seasons, and helped the Cobbers earn two trips to the NCAA Regional.
Noah Johnson ('98, Buffalo) was named All-MIAC , All-Region and Academic All-MIAC in 1997. He led the team in hitting at .417 and ranked in the top 20 in the nation in steals with 24. Scott DeBrito ('97, Fergus Falls) was named All-MIAC and All-Region. He was second in the MIAC in hitting, averaging .500 in 20 MIAC games.
Randy Razidlo ( '97 Waconia) was All-MIAC and All-West Region in 1996. He was a 4 year starter with a .330 career average. Jeremy Holm ('97, Fargo) was All-MIAC in both Î95 and Î96. Coach Bucky Burgau regards Holm as best second baseman he has ever coached.
Joe Cuchna, All-MIAC in 1996, was another 4 year starter. His three consecutive shutouts late in 1996 helped lock up another NCAA Tournament bid. Jason Myhre, a four year player and two year starter, played a key role as a Cobber closer this year.
The Women's Track team took 3rd at the MIAC Outdoor Championship Meet, led by a 4th consecutive MIAC javelin title by Renee Erickson ('97, New Rockford, N.D.). Erickson went on to earn second place in the javelin at the NCAA Division III National Meet at the University of Wisconsin, La Crosse, May 21-24, 1997.
Erickson's 2nd place finish ended her streak of Division III national javelin titles at three. But it marked her 4th consecutive All-America season. Her athletic excellence and her 3.65 GPA in accounting also earned her a third consecutive Acadmic All-MIAC award and a second consecutive GTE Academic All-America award.
Several other Cobbers turned in outstanding MIAC performances and qualified for nationals. Sarah Severson ('98, Ellsworth, Wisc.) followed up her MIAC indoor pentathon championship by winning the outdoor MIAC heptathlon and placing 3rd in the MIAC long jump, 6th in the triple jump and 7th in the 400 hurdles.
Mollee Ludtke ('98, Albert Lea) took second in the MIAC 800 and ran on two relay teams that also placed at the MIAC. Ludtke, a biology major, also earned Academic All-MIAC honors for a second time.
Becky Kearns ('98 Hopkins) placed third in both the discus and hammer throw at the MIAC Championship Meet.
Coach Garrick Larson's 1997 men's track and field team posted their best outdoor finish in the MIAC in 20 years, placing 5th in the 11-team competition.
The 1997 Cobbers were led in the outdoor season by MIAC champions Peter Benson and Ryan Williams.
Benson ('97, Morhead) won the MIAC 400 Hurdles , and was 7th in the high jump. Benson, an Education and Spanish major, also earned Acadmic All-MIAC honors. In addition to his track accomplishments, Benson starred on the 1996 Cobber Soccer team that won a second consecutive MIAC title.
Ryan Williams ('97, St. Cloud) followed up his MIAC Indoor Pentathlon Championship by winning the MIAC Decathlon in Northfield May 1-2, 1997.
Other top MIAC performances by the Cobbers included a 2nd in the 800 by Bill Keating ('97, Fargo), a 3rd Decathlon and 7th in the 110 hurdles by Dan Buchholz ('99, Moorhead), and a third in the 400 by Jeremy Blake, ('99, Moorhead).
The 1997 Softball team placed 9th in the MIAC, finishing 13-17 overall, 8-14 in the MIAC. Concordia's Mindy Schirm ('97, Correl) and Cindy Frey ('00, St. Paul) were named to the 1997 coaches' All-MIAC Softball Team. Senior Lana Thompson ('97, Barnesville) earned honorable mention honors.
Schirm, an infielder, hit .360 for the Cobbers and set Cobber records for steals in a season (21) and a career (52). She hit 346 in her 4-year career. Frey, an outfielder, hit .288 and had 16 RBI and 14 runs scored. Thompson hit .375 for the Cobbers before having her season cut short with a knee injury. Thompson graduated with honors in May.
The Men's Tennis team finished 7th
in the MIAC and the Women's Tennis team
finished 8th. The men were led by their
No. 1 singles player Truitt
Buckhouse ('97, Wahpeton, N.D.). The women were led by their
No. 1 singles player Stacy
Bauck ('98, New York Mills).
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