Comeback Kid Continues Climb

Senior Matthew Lillehaugen continued his comeback season success by finishing fifth in the mile at the Ole Qualfier.
Senior Matthew Lillehaugen continued his comeback season success by finishing fifth in the mile at the Ole Qualfier.

NORTHFIELD, Minn. (2/26/16)—Senior Matthew Lillehaugen continues to save his best for last as he overcomes an injury that sidelined him for two years. Lillehaugen led a small contingent of Cobber athletes to the St. Olaf Ole Qualifer and posted another top 5 distance finish.

Competing in the final meet before the MIAC Indoor Championship Meet, Lillehaugen raced to a time of 4:28.41 in the mile and placed fifth against similar competition at the MIAC Meet next week. Lillehaugen's time at the Ole Qualifier would have been good for a seventh-place finish at last year's conference meet. His time is also a season best as he continues to put an injury that cut out his sophomore and junior seasons.

Head coach Garrick Larson detailed Lillehaugen's comeback, "We honestly thought he might not ever run again after more than 18 months of pain in his foot.  It just wouldn't respond to any treatment or amount of time off.  It was only after a full 3 months off of all training this summer that his injury started to resolve."

Lillehaugen's best mark of the year came at the St. John's Invite where he ran a time of 2:35.53 in the 1000 meters which is the eighth fastest in program history. That time is also the 13th fastest in the MIAC this season.

Senior Gabe Wright continues to compete in multiple events as he gets ready to back up his All-MIAC performance in the heptathlon in 2015.

Wright had a pair of top 3 finishes at the Ole Qualifier. He was second in the high jump with a mark of 6-01.25. That height is just under his season best mark of 6-03.25 which is the fourth best in the conference this year. Wright also had the top track finish for Concordia at the meet. He clocked a 9.15 in the finals and finished third.

Wright's teammate Jackson Schepp placed eighth in the event but his time in the prelims is what pushed him into the top 10 of the MIAC. He qualified with a time of 9.08.

The other two top 6 finishes in field events came from Nick Anderson and Josh Murrey. Anderson finished fifth in the triple jump with a distance of 42-04.75. That mark is under his season best distance of 43-02.25 which is the fifth best in the MIAC this year.

Murrey is one of the top pole vault athletes for the Cobbers and he proved that in Northfield.  He soared over 14-04 which earned him a sixth-place finish where four of the top 7 athletes at the meet were non-college participants. Murrey's height is a season best and puts him in the top 6 of the conference.

Luke Lillehaugen had the other top 7 finish in track events at the meet. He came home in a time of 1:27.07 in the 600 meters and placed seventh. His time is a season best.

WHAT'S NEXT
Concordia will mow look to turn in more season best performances when they compete at the MIAC Indoor Championship Meet on Mar. 5-6 at Carleton College. The Cobber heptathlon crew will compete  on Mar. 3 and then join the team for the rest of the meet on the weekend. Concordia was sixth at last year's meet which was ran exceptionally well by Concordia.