Two Stellar Days In St. Paul

Brandon Zylstra talks with head coach Garrick Larson during the long jump at the MIAC Meet. He went on to win the event.
Brandon Zylstra talks with head coach Garrick Larson during the long jump at the MIAC Meet. He went on to win the event.

ST. PAUL, Minn. (5/09/15)—Concordia carried over the momentum from the success they showed on the first day of the MIAC Outdoor Championship Meet and exploded to a fifth-place finish in the final team standings.

The Cobbers ended the meet 23 points above their seeded score to post their highest team finish at a conference outdoor meet since the 2008 season. The 83 total team points at this year's meet is the most since 2001. The 83 total team points is also 31 more than last year's eighth-place finish at the meet.   

"This was the biggest up-side finish we have ever had in the 44 MIAC Indoor and Outdoor Championships I have been coaching," exclaimed head coach Garrick Larson. "The 83 team points, when we were only seeded for 60 points is amazing."

While junior jumper Brandon Zylstra stole the spotlight by winning the long jump and finishing second in the high jump, it was a total team effort that produced the Cobbers' first top 5 finish at an MIAC Outdoor Meet since 2008.

Concordia produced 13 top 5 finishes in different events at the championship meet. The Cobbers also had several other athletes finish in the top 8 of an event which produces team points for the final standings.    

Zylstra had another monster MIAC Meet. He pulled off the same "first in the long jump, second in the high jump" feat at the MIAC Indoor Meet at the beginning of March.

Both of his amazing season-best athletic performances came on Friday. He started the meet by posting a winning distance of 22-05.25. That mark was seven inches farther than his previous season best. He then stepped over to the high jump pit where he set a new school record height of 6-10.75. That mark was a career best and tied for the best height at the meet but he finished second in the event due to misses at lesser heights.

Zylstra's height of 6-10.75 bettered the old school record of 6-09.00 set by Joe Schmidgall in 2000 and is currently tied for the fourth best in all of NCAA Division III. That mark should send him to the NCAA Division III National Outdoor Meet in St. Lawrence, N.Y.

Senior Ben Vickstrom finished off his MIAC career by posting a pair of top 5 finishes in the sprints. He raced to a 22.53 in the 200 meters and finished in fourth place while he claimed fifth place in the 100-meter dash with a time of 11.04. He saved his best times in the meet for the finals races in both events.   

The other top 5 finish in the track events for CC was turned in by sophomore Gabe Wright who claimed fourth place in the 110-meter hurdles. Like Vickstrom, Wright saved his best time for the finals. After running a 16.22 in the prelims, he clocked a career-best 15.97 in the finals to get into the top 5.

Concordia made their hay at the meet in the field events where they claimed multiple top 5 finishes in the high jump and decathlon.

Gabe Wright, who had finished third in last week's MIAC decathlon, added to his top 5 bounty by claiming third place in the high jump.

One of the "feel good" stories of the meet for the Cobbers came in the pole vault where sophomore Josh Murrey shook off a season-long slump and cleared the bar at 14-02.50 to finish in fourth place. His top 5 mark is a career best in outdoor competition and is No.11 on the school's all-time performance list.

Murrey was also ninth in the javelin with a distance of 161-04. He missed out on the top 8 scoring spots by only eight inches.

Nick Anderson also came through in the clutch for Concordia. He had a pair of top 5 finishes in field events. He was a part of the Cobber high jump crew that put four athletes in the top 6 of the event. He cleared 6-04.75 and was fifth in the high jump. His best finish at the meet came in the triple jump where he recorded a career-best distance of 43-10.75 and was fourth. His mark is also in the top 15 in program history.

Cole Young was one of five Concordia athletes to qualify in throw events at the meet and he made the most of his opportunity. Young came away with the only top 5 finish for those events. He was fourth in the javelin with a mark of 170-09. Like Murrey and Anderson, Young's finishing mark was also a career best and lands him in the top 15 in program history.  

COBBER NOTABLES
MIAC Championship Team Finish
:
5th, 83 points (+23 points, pre-meet seed 7th with 60 points)
1) St. Thomas 164.5 (+19.5)
2) Hamline 138.5 (+4.5)
3) St. Olaf 118 (-18)
4) Carleton 88 (-19)
5) Concordia-Moorhead 83 (+23)
6) St. John's 75 (+15)
7) Gustavus Adolphus 56 (-9)
7) Bethel 56 (+9)
9) Macalester 31 (-8)
10) Augsburg 25 (-9)
11) Saint Mary's 23 (-8)

MIAC Champion
1st Brandon Zylstra, LJ, 6.84, 22-5.25

MIAC All-Conference
2nd Brandon Zylstra, HJ, 2.10, 6-10.75
2nd Joe Hendrickson, Dec, 5881 pts
3rd Gabe Wright, HJ, 1.95, 6-4.75
3rd Gabe Wright, Dec, 5770 pts

MIAC All-Conference Honorable Mention
4th Ben Vickstrom, 200, 22.53 (22.77p)
4th Cole Young, JV, 52.04, 170-9
4th Gabe Wright, HH, 15.97 (16.22p)
4th Josh Murrey, PV, 4.33, 14-2.5
4th Nick Anderson, TJ, 13.38, 43-10.75
5th Ben Vickstrom, 100, 11.04 (11.31p)
5th Jackson Schepp, Dec, 5629 pts
5th Nick Anderson, HJ, 1.95, 6-4.75
6th Dan McGuire, Ben Vickstrom, Dominic Neameyer, Jason Montonye, 4x1, 43.16 (43.59p)
6th Jackson Schepp, HJ, 1.95, 6-4.75

MIAC 7th & 8th Place Scorers
7th Jason Montonye, 200, 22.94 (22.80p)
8th Theo Betting, HJ, 1.85, 6-0.75

Personal Bests-MIAC
400 - Jason Montonye, 50.70
LJ - Brandon Zylstra, 6.84, 22-5.25
TJ - Gabe Wright, 13.10, 42-11.75
TJ - Nick Anderson, 13.38, 43-10.75
HJ - Nick Anderson, 1.95, 6-4.75
HJ - Brandon Zylstra, 2.10, 6-10.75
JV - Joe Hendrickson, 46.16, 151-5
JV - Cole Young, 52.04, 170-9
Dec - Joe Hendrickson, 5881 points
Dec - Gabe Wright, 5770 points
Dec - Jackson Schepp, 5630 points
Dec - Alex Van Bemmelen, 4504 points
Dec - Hans-Kristof Nelson, 4442 points