MOORHEAD, Minn. (5/20/18)---It’s official. Concordia will have a pair of student/athletes headed to Wisconsin this weekend.
Senior Bailey Hovland and sophomore Matt Bye have earned a spot at the NCAA Division III National Track and Field Meet.
Hovland and Bye both finished in the Top 20 in the nation in their event to receive a bid to the national meet. Both student/athletes will be making their first-ever appearance at an NCAA National Meet.
The NCAA National Meet will be held at Wis.-La Crosse in La Crosse, Wis. on May 24-26.
Hovland, who was named the Outstanding Field Athlete for the MIAC Championship Meet, qualified in the hammer throw where she is No.16 on the national list for the year.
Bye came through in the final decathlon competition of the season to earn his spot at nationals. He posted a career-best point total and is seeded 18th headed to the NCAA Meet.
Hovland stepped into the spotlight in her senior season. She broke the school record in the hammer throw on two occasions before the conference championship meet on May 11-12.
Hovland started the conference meet by breaking the MIAC record in the hammer on her very last attempt of the meet. She posted a distance of 173-07 which broke the old conference record of 171-05 set in 2011. She also broke her own school record with the final hammer throw.
Hovland becomes the 15th Cobber athlete to qualify for the NCAA National Meet in the past five years.
Hovland will have to wait until the final field event of the final day of the national meet to have her first NCAA experience. The women’s hammer throw is scheduled for Saturday, May 26 at 2 p.m.
Bye earned his spot at the national meet by virtue of his performance at the North Central Last Chance Meet on May 17 when he posted a total of 6,300 points for the 10-event decathlon. However, his journey to the national meet started with his second-place finish in the MIAC decathlon on May 3-4.
Bye, who is in his first year of competing in the decathlon, scored 6,173 points at the MIAC and vaulted himself just outside the Top 20 in the nation. His performance opened the door for the possibility of getting to nationals.
Bye lived up to his MIAC performance at the North Central Meet where he had three career best marks on Day 1 and then won three events on Day 2 to come away with 6,300 points which is the fifth best total in school history.
Bye becomes the second straight Cobber decathlete to qualify for nationals at the North Central meet. Jackson Schepp achieved the feat last season and went on to finish 16th at the NCAA Meet.
Bye will get his national meet multi-event competition started on Thursday, May 24 when he takes to the starting block in the 100-meter dash at 10 a.m.