Posted by: Sports
Junior Jamie Crouse entered the 2013 NAIA Indoor Track and Field National Championships no stranger to the national stage. On Friday she picked up her third career All-America honor with her toss of 57' 9 ¼" in the weight throw. Crouse's performance stood out most among the 17 Concordia athletes who competed on day two of the indoor championships at the SPIRE Institute in Geneva, Ohio.
Crouse's third-place finish in this year's weight throw was an improvement from her seventh-place mark at the 2012 event when she recorded a throw of 55' 10". Crouse has now earned All-America honors in the weight throw in back-to-back years to go with her All-America mark in the hammer throw at last season's outdoor championships. The only disappointment for Crouse was simply that she did not win the event after having the lead going into the final.
"She's happy with getting third place and another All-America honor, but she wasn't content," throws coach Ed McLaughlin said. "She was sitting in first going into the final so of course she wanted to finish first. Still, last year shot got seventh and she moved up to third this year, which was a significant improvement."
The day concluded with both of Concordia men's and women's 4x800 meter relay teams hitting the track. The Bulldog quartet of Megan Letts, Jena Schwalenberg, Kim Wood and Jenean Williams clocked in at 9:20.04, placing in fourth to earn All-America status. The time was also the fourth-fastest in school history for a women's 4x800 meter relay. The All-America capped an outstanding two days for the group, which overcame a fall on the first leg of its race on Friday before rallying to win the heat.
Not to be outdone, the Bulldog men's 4x800 meter relay team of Ben Sievert, Adam Prahlow, Andrew Malan and Jared Hoffman also came in fourth place to take All-America honors. The men's foursome completed the race in 7:42.83.
"Our two relays had super races," head coach Kregg Einspahr said. "They got after it and were very competitive. They really did a nice job. I was very pleased that both relays were All-Americans."
Senior standout Colin Morrissey finished sixth in his heat and 10th overall in the 3,000 meter preliminaries to qualify for Saturday's finals in the event. Morrissey, who also competed on Thursday as part of the distance medley relays, completed the 3,000 meter run in 8:33.39.
No school qualified more women's pole vaulters for nationals than Concordia, who was represented by senior Ashlee Brown, freshman Cynthia Mick and sophomore Shelby Yelden on Friday. Mick put forth the best performance for Concordia by clearing 11" 5 ¾" on the way to a 10th-place finish in her first taste of national championships competition.
Other individual competitors for Concordia on day two included juniors John Cartier and Jonathon Becker and freshman Kim Wood. Cartier finished fifth in his heat of the 400 meter dash preliminaries with a time of 50.36. Becker ran the 60 meter hurdles in 8.44 to place seventh in his heat. Wood's time of 1:37.43 in the prelims of the 600 meter run positioned her about 1.5 seconds off a finals qualifying mark.
Crouse will be one of 12 Bulldog athletes competing on the final day of the championships on Saturday when she participates in the shot put. She'll be joined by teammates Stephanie Coley and Brittany Erdmann in the event.
On the men's side, Seward native Trey Farmer and Jose Rojas will make their first appearances at the 2013 event in the shot at 12 p.m. CST on Saturday.
"They were sitting around watching all day today so they are pretty pumped to get going tomorrow," McLaughlin said. "We're excited to see what they can do."
Elsewhere, Jena Schwalenberg will compete in the finals of the one mile run and the men's 4x400 meter relay will do the same. Carson Farr will also take aim at All-America honors in the pole vault.
The Bulldogs are looking for more superb individual performances on the event's final day.
"We'll see what we can get done. It's been a great competition to watch so far," Einspahr said. "Our conference has been outstanding and we've really represented the state of Nebraska extremely well. Today was a little bit of a mixed bag for us but we had some tremendous performances."
Here's the Saturday schedule for Concordia athletes (all times are CST):