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| 1998-99 Cobber Men's Basketball
Feb. 12, 1999 | Concordian | Cobber Sports
 | Men's Basketball | Women's Basketball | Men's Hockey | Swimming | Wrestling | Women's Hockey | Men's Track | Women's Track

Men's basketball drops third straight against St. Thomas
Ryan McCallum
Sports Editor

It wasn’t supposed to be like this.

The Cobber men’s basketball team entered their 1998-99 season expecting to make fans forget their 3-21 record last year and compete for a playoff spot.

The Cobbers dropped to 5-15 Wednesday with a 71-61 loss to St. Thomas, refreshing the memories of their fans. It was their fourth defeat in their last five games. Sophomore Mike Wrobel led the Cobbers with 15 points and a game-high 15 rebounds. Senior captain Brian Kesselring added a game-high 23 points. The team outshot, out rebounded and out hustled St. Thomas, but their 21 turnovers cost them the game.

The team’s predictions for the season were plausible. Like they did against St. Thomas, they have had the potential to win nearly every game. However, they overlooked one factor.

“Our league is the best it’s been in 20 years,” said head coach Duane Siverson. “There are 12 All-Conference players back this year. Our team is a lot better, but so is every other team.

“Most people think the league is the same every year. Well, it’s not. It’s better than it’s ever been.”

The Cobbers have been close in every one of their games this year. Their average margin of defeat is only five points for the season. “We’ve worked really hard and scared the living daylights out of everyone,” Siverson said, “but we can’t win the close games.” Although the Cobbers have struggled to win, they haven’t struggled to play well. Unfortunately, Siverson said, fans often look to the standings for a progress report.

“That’s the frustrating part of it,” Siverson said. “Everyone measures your improvement in wins and losses.”

On Saturday, Concordia fell to Bethel 87-70.

Bethel out shot the Cobbers 50 percent to 41 percent, and forced the team into 21 turnovers.

Wrobel blames the loss on a problem that has plagued the team often this year. 

“We got going too fast again,” Wrobel said. “We just need to slow down. The game was back and forth, and we were trying to push the ball up the court and we would try and make quick shots or a quick pass, and all of those quick shots and passes add up to turnovers. If we were under control and took better shots, that would have sealed it.”

Kesselring will be the only senior leaving the team at the end of the season, and most of the team will be back next year. According to Siverson, because this factor alone, the Cobbers will be one of the top teams in the conference.

“Because they’re younger, our players haven’t put the thought and the love and the passion into the league that’s senior-dominated,” Siverson said. “Seniors thinking this is going to be their last chance ever know how to play with passion and love, and our guys are thinking they have a year or two left.” 

Freshman Jeff Ubben said that the team is putting all their efforts into finishing the season strong, despite the fact that they are out of the playoff picture.

“We want to use these last games to build some momentum for next season and salvage something good for next year,” Ubben said.

Siverson said that if the team can upset teams in their final three games they can have a dramatic impact on the MIAC standings, and show themselves what it takes to succeed.

 “When you’re losing the close ones, you get to the point where you wonder if you can win,” Siverson said. “And when you’re winning those, you feel like you can win them all.”

Wrobel said the team is set on finishing the season on a positive note. “I think were going to finish the season strong,” Wrobel said. “When you look at the scores all year, we’ve been right in every game.”

| 1998-99 Cobber Women's Basketball
Feb. 12, 1999 | Concordian | Cobber Sports
 | Men's Basketball | Women's Basketball | Men's Hockey | Swimming | Wrestling | Women's Hockey | Men's Track | Women's Track

Women's basketball falls to conference champs
Kim Thronson
The Concordian

Concordia’s Women’s basketball team fell to MIAC leader St. Thomas on Wednesday, 54-46.

The Cobbers were led by sophomore Sara Spears, who had 7 points and 10 rebounds.

With the loss, Concordia drops to 12-5 in the MIAC.

The Cobbers were as close as one point with three minutes remaining, but an 8-0 run put them behind for good.

On Saturday, the Cobbers scored four points in the final 30 seconds to slip past Bethel in a one-point thriller, 67-66.

Sophomore Brandi Myers scored with under 30 seconds to go in the game to break a 63-63 tie and give the Cobbers a two point advantage and their first lead in the final five minutes of the contest. Following a missed shot by Bethel, junior Nikki Vetter nailed two free throws with 7 seconds remaining to advance the Cobber lead to four, 67-63. Bethel made a long three-pointer with one second left to come within one, but time ran out on the Royals as they became victims of a one-point defeat.  Sophomore Sara Spears led the Cobbers with 18 points and eight rebounds while Myers added 15 points and two steals. Myers is leading the Cobbers in scoring so far this season with a 15 point average, but she says that scoring isn't what she thinks about before a game. 

"I think about defense," she said. "If you play good defense, your offense will come."

The win was an important one for the Cobbers as they seek a spot in the playoffs. They improved to 12-4 in the MIAC and remained tied with St. Olaf for fourth place and trailed third place Gustavus by one game. The Cobbers have only five games remaining so their MIAC match-up at St. Olaf tomorrow will be a battle for sole possession of fourth place. "We're taking it one game at a time," Myers said. "We haven't been playing that great, but we find a way to win."

Head coach Kathy Wall said that they have a great shot of making playoffs but will need to make some adjustments in order to play their best.

"Instead of dribbling the ball we need to pass, and we need to push the ball," Wall said. "Our strength is to run."

The Cobbers will have their freshman post Jaime Olson, who returned against St. Thomas. Olson had been out with a back injury and has not been able to play. 

With Olson back, the Cobbers will have a stronger inside game. She averages 12.1 points and 7.9 rebounds per game.

|1998-99 Cobber Men's Hockey
Feb. 12, 1999 | Concordian | Cobber Sports
 | Men's Basketball | Women's Basketball | Men's Hockey | Swimming | Wrestling | Women's Hockey | Men's Track | Women's Track

Men's hockey eyes MIAC title
Ryan McCallum
Sports Editor

The Cobber men’s hockey team took a big step toward becoming the MIAC champions with two shutouts of St. Olaf over the weekend.

Concordia cruised to a 7-0 victory on Friday, sparked by five goals in the second period, including a natural hat-trick by senior Brock Blickre. Blikre scored his three goals on only three shots.

The Cobber’s defensive line held the Oles to only seven shots for the game. Sophomore goalie Bryan Howard stopped all of them en route to setting a new school record for most shut outs in  a season.

On Saturday, Howard had a bigger challenge. The Cobbers only managed two goals, but that was more than enough for him. He turned away all 20 St. Olaf shots to give him consecutive shutouts, and break his own school record for minutes without allowing a goal with 158.

“We came out a little flat on Saturday,” said junior B.J. Knutson. “I think we thought that if we just showed up things would happen like they did on Friday. But they were ready to play. If we don’t come to play, anyone can beat us.”

Howard can add to his streak this weekend as the Cobbers take on defending MIAC champion Augsburg in a two game series. Currently he is the top goalie in the MIAC with a goals-against average of just over two.

With four games remaining in the regular season, Concordia is on a four game unbeaten streak and only one point behind St. Thomas for the division lead. Because St. Thomas has only two games remaining, if the Cobbers win three of their remaining games, they should clinch the title regardless of other MIAC action.

“I think we have a really good shot at taking first,” Blickre said. “We have to win three of four, and we have two games at home. We’ve been playing really well at home, so we have a good shot at sweeping Gustavus. If we can at least get a split at Augsburg, that would set us up for first.”

Strangely, although the Cobbers are close to capturing the title, they are also only two points away from failing to qualify for the playoffs entirely. At 12-8-1 overall, Concordia is easily the best team in the MIAC, but with an 8-3-1 conference record, they are currently tied with St. Mary’s for second place, one game ahead of Augsburg. This makes their weekend series even more important.

“We know they’ll be tough,” said Knutson. “They swept us last year. They’re still going to be tough, and we’d like nothing more than taking two from them.”

Blickre said that the team isn’t concerned about losing intensity after sweeping the Oles.

“The intensity will definitely be there, just because so much is on the line,’ Blickre said. “In practice everybody seems geared up for it, we’ve been working hard and everyone is getting excited.”

The team is ranked fifth in the West Region in the NCAA poll. They are the top ranked MIAC team.

“It’s a good feeling. It’s showing that the hard work has been paying off, and that, if we keep working hard, we should be the best team in the MIAC,” said Blickre “And yet, it’s just a ranking, and you can’t let it go to your head.”

The top four teams in the MIAC on Feb. 22 advance to the playoffs.

|1998-99 Cobber Women's Swimming
Feb. 12, 1999 | Concordian | Cobber Sports
 | Men's Basketball | Women's Basketball | Men's Hockey | Swimming | Wrestling | Women's Hockey | Men's Track | Women's Track

Swimming team places first at River Falls
Erika Mikkelson

The Concordia Women’s Swimming and Diving team made more than a splash at last weekend’s Women’s Swimming Triangular at St. Thomas in St. Paul. The swimmers surfaced with a first place finish defeating St. Thomas and University of Wisconsin-River Falls. The win brought them to a 6-2 record at dual meets this season.

Concordia finished with a score of 101 followed by St. Thomas with 93 and University of Wisconsin-River Falls with 70. Four first place finishes gave Concordia the win.  The 200 Medley Relay team of senior Jill Backman-Eddy, sophomore Shana Letnes, freshman Meghan Davis and sophomore Anna Berg took first with a time of 2:01.37.

Letnes also captured first in the 100 Breaststroke with a 1:08.38 time. This time set a new St. Thomas pool record.

Junior Janey Hill won the 500 freestyle with a  time of 5:37.71.

Freshman diver Angie Storts won the 3-meter diving with 190.5. The score set a new team and freshman record.

The team will compete in the MIAC Conference meet Feb. 18-20 at St.

|1998-99 Cobber Wrestling
Feb. 12, 1999 | Concordian | Cobber Sports
 | Men's Basketball | Women's Basketball | Men's Hockey | Swimming | Wrestling | Women's Hockey | Men's Track | Women's Track

No Wrestling story this week

|1998-99 Cobber Women's Hockey
Feb. 12, 1999 | Concordian | Cobber Sports
 | Men's Basketball | Women's Basketball | Men's Hockey | Swimming | Wrestling | Women's Hockey | Men's Track | Women's Track

No women's hockey story this week

| 1999 Men's Track and Women's Track
Feb. 12, 1999 | Concordian | Cobber Sports
 | Men's Basketball | Women's Basketball | Men's Hockey | Swimming | Wrestling | Women's Hockey | Men's Track | Women's Track

Track teams continue strong performance
Nathan De Cock
The Concordian

Improvement continues for the Concordia Track and Field teams as they come off of one of their most challenging meets to date. 

Saturday’s Concordia Quadrangular featured both rival power Jamestown and national power University of Mary. Both men and women performed well, winning two out of three in the dual scoring format. 

The Cobber women beat the always tough Jamestown team  107 - 85. Their success continued with 117 - 64 drubbing of Minot State. Their lone loss came at the hands of national NAIA power University of Mary, which defeated the lady Cobbers 124 - 78.

“It was a great meet. Their was a lot of good competition,” said women’s coach Marv Roeske. “What I was most happy with is how well we competed.  No matter where we were in the race, we didn’t give up. That’s what we want.”

The meet for the Cobber women was highlighted with several outstanding individual efforts.  In the weight throw, junior Maria Deboer placed third with her national provisional qualifying throw of 47 feet-4 1/4 inches. This places her with two other Cobbers, senior Laura Utke and junior Karin Senst, in qualification for the national meet. 

Sophomore Heidi Brendan impressed in the 1500M, running the number three time in Concordia history, and narrowly missing the national provisional qualifier with a third place time of 4:48.85. She was joined in the 1500M by senior Barb Briedenbach, who also narrowly missed the provisional qualifying time, placing third at 4:50.81. 

Having an all-around good meet was sophomore Sarah Grineski, who ran her fastest 55M hurdles of the year, placing fourth at 8.86, ran a good lead off leg for the third place 4x400M relay team, and also ran her fastest indoor 200M ever, at 28.08. 

The Cobber men faced their biggest foe so far, in their second meeting this season with Jamestown. Though the men quite handily defeated both Minot State and the University of Mary, by scores of 115 - 76 and 108 - 87, they could not quite match the powerful Jamestown squad. The Cobber men valiantly fought, but fell short, 112 - 91.  It was the closest they’ve come to defeating Jamestown in many years.

Highlighting the men’s day were also several outstanding individual accomplishments.  Freshman Joe Dauner continued to close in on the 200M school record of 23.43, with his second place sprint of 23.57. 

Both the sprint medley and distance medley broke Concordia records, placing second with times of 3:44.58 and 10:48.69, respectively.  For the third straight week, the 4x200 relay narrowly missed the school record, this time with a first place finish of 92.82. Freshman Gabe Arntson set a meet record with a first place 1000M time of 2:34.06.  Concordia placed the top three in both the shot put and the weight throw, with freshman Brad Ragan, freshman Aaron Tomhave, and sophomore Joel Nelson topping the shot, and sophomore Scott Jorgensen, senior Mark Aslakson and Nelson capping the weight. 

Back from injury, freshman Dave Dahlseng came back with a near MIAC automatic qualifier of 4:10.56 in the 1500M.  Freshman Joel Schmidgall impressed with excellent performances in both the high jump and the long jump, while freshmen Brian Klug and Brian Stotts achieved near conference qualifying times in the 3000M, placing fourth and sixth.   And returning to the vault, senior Josh Rhode inspired with a near personal record of 13 feet.

According to coach Garrick Larson, it was the emergence of the freshmen which made this one of Concordia’s best meets of the season.   “The freshman really started to come through and show their stuff,” he said. “They’re getting settled into the training, and really helping us out.”