And MOORHEAD, Minn. (9/01/17)--- Sophomore Eric Wicklund served notice there would be no sophomore slump as he upset the field at the season-opening Cobber Invite.
The meet, which was run around the outdoor athletic complex at Concordia, featured a full team from Minn.-Morris and a Cobber alumni team that was led by former multiple-time school record holder – and Univ. of Minnesota Roy Griak champion - Tom Sederquist.
Wicklund shook off the pack in the final mile of the race and pulled away for his first collegiate victory. Wicklund was a consistent member of the Cobbers' Top 5 runners last year and was the team's top finisher at the MIAC Meet where he posted the fasted time by a CC harrier since Sederquist in 2014. His best finish last year as a freshman was fifth place at the Crown College Invite.
The early race belonged to the Concordia alumni tandem of Sederquist and Brad McConn. At times they led the field by as much as 30 meters. The 2-mile mark turned out to one of the turning points of the race. Wicklund closed the gap on the leaders at that point and then began to run stride-for-stride with the two CC old timers.
The closing kick for Wicklund started with three-quarters of a mile to go in the race. He subtly increased the pace to gap the field.
"I thought they were still right there," commented Wicklund. "I could hear them breathing down my neck but when I rounded the corner, I glanced over my shoulder and saw I had a gap on them."
Wicklund went on to win the race by 10 seconds over fellow Moorhead High School alum Sederquist.
While Sederquist and McConn claimed the No.2 and No3. spots at the finish line it was all current Cobbers after that in the Top 10. Concordia would have four more athletes come across the line in the Top 9 of the race. That gave CC five runners in the Top 10 of the race. In addition, the Cobbers placed nine in the Top 15 to come away with the win over Morris by a score of 27-48 in team score. The team finish was a turnabout from last year where Morris claimed the win with a 21-40 score.
Several Cobbers ran lifetime best 5k times. Senior Nick Solheim broke 17:00 for the first time with a 16:55 and finished in ninth place. Junior Erik Larson throttled a 17:05 and came home in the No.13 spot.
Another senior came away with a Top 8 finish. Brandon Quibell raced home in a time of 16:46 and placed seventh in the meet .
"I was so impressed with the fitness of our upperclassmen," said head coach Garrick Larson. "They have obviously put in the work over the summer."
A quartet of Cobber freshmen also found success in their very first collegiate meet. Munir Isahak, Noah Kneeskern, Hans Frank-Holzner and Connor Haugrud all finished in the Top 15 of the race and all four broke the 17:14 barrier.
WHAT'S NEXT: Concordia will head across town to compete in the annual MSU Moorhead Twilight Meet at the Moorhead Soccer Complex on Friday, Sept. 8 at 8:45p.m.