An Elite 8 Outdoor Opener

Freshman Vanessa Johnson clears the bar in the high jump on her way to winning the event at the CSB Quadrangular.
Freshman Vanessa Johnson clears the bar in the high jump on her way to winning the event at the CSB Quadrangular.

COLLEGEVILLE, Minn. (3/28/15)—Concordia got into March Madness fever by recording an Elite 8 event wins at the season-opening St. Benedict Quadrangular held at St. John's.

The meet was the first of the outdoor season for the Cobbers. Concordia used those eight event wins to finish second and post a total team score of 174.0 team points. The Blazers won their home meet with a total of 210.0 points.

Rochelle Hickerson continued her solid senior season by winning both the 100 and 200 meter races. Hickerson clocked a 13.16 in the 100 meters and won the race by .22 of a second. She then went on to cross the finishing line in a time of 26.51 in the 200 meters and won by over .50 of a second. Hickerson's time was only .16 of a second behind her top time in all of last year at the MIAC Championship Meet.

Hickerson wasn't done with her day after the two spring wins. She also placed second in the long jump with a distance of 16-03.00.

The Cobbers had a pair of other event wins in the track portion of the meet. Katie Rosenfeldt came away with the surprise win of the day as she raced to a 2:31.96 in the 800 meters and won the event by almost a second. It was Rosenfeldt's first event win of her college career. Fellow basketball teammate Emma Peterson claimed the other track win of the afternoon. She came home in 66.83 and won the 400-meter hurdles. That time is just .50 of a second off her time from last year's conference outdoor meet when she finished in fifth place.

Heading outdoors meant the return of the javelin and discus competitions for Concordia and the Cobbers picked up where they always do in those two outdoor-exclusive events. Both events produced CC winners and both had multiple Concordia athletes in the top 5.

Mikayla Forness complete a trio of Cobber basketball/track and field multi-sport winners. She opened her outdoor season with a mark of 125-02 in the javelin. That distance was only five inches farther than teammate Olivia Johnson who finished second at 124-07. Forness' mark in the season opener was farther than she posted all of last year. She had a distance of 124-11 at the MIAC Meet and finished in third place. Forness' winning distance is also the 10th farthest in school history.

Forness and Johnson were a part of a five-athlete crew for CC that all placed in the top 7 of the event.

Hillary Birchem welcomed the chilly weather as a chance to get outside and unleash the discus.  The senior from Lisbon, N.D. won the season opener with a mark of 144-0.00. That was almost 17 feet farther than the runner-up in the event and better than six feet past her runner-up distance at last year's MIAC Meet.

Birchem was one of six Concordia athletes to finish in the top 7 of the event. Freshman Kristin Dreschel was third and Anna Skow-Anderson claimed fourth place.  

The least surprising event win of the day came in the shot put where 2015 NCAA Indoor National Champion Cherae Reeves won the shot put with a distance of 46-04.00. Like the javelin, Johnson was second in the event.

The final event win of the day came from freshman Vanessa Johnson in the high jump. Johnson, who finished second in the high jump at the MIAC Indoor Meet, cleared 5-02.25. She beat out Peterson who also cleared 5-02.25 but had more misses at lower heights.

Concordia will once again compete against St. Benedict at St. John's when they participate in the St. Ben's Invite on Saturday, Apr. 11.