Johnson Takes Her National Spotlight Turn

Freshman Vanessa Johnson won the high jump at the Carleton Relays with a mark of 5-06 which is the second best in school history.
Freshman Vanessa Johnson won the high jump at the Carleton Relays with a mark of 5-06 which is the second best in school history.

NORTHFIELD, Minn. (4/18/15)—Another week, another Cobber athlete stepped into the national top 10 and another terrific showing by the Concordia field crew at the Carleton Relays.

Freshman Vanessa Johnson took her turn in the spotlight as she cleared 5-06.50 in the high jump and won the event by over two feet. Her mark is a college career best and the second best in school history. It is also the top height in the conference this season and pushes her into the top 12 in the country. She is currently tied for 11th in all of Division III and in a good spot to earn a trip to the national outdoor meet.

Johnson also came away with a top 3 finish in the track competition. She raced to a 15.59 in the 100-meter hurdles and earned a third-place finish. Her time is a season best and the second fastest mark in the MIAC this year.   

Johnson was one of four Concordia field athletes to win events at the highly-competitive meet. Cherae Reeves and Hillary Birchem continued their dominance in the shot put and discus. Reeves won another meets with a distance of 46-0.50. That won the event by over a foot but is shy of her season-best mark of 47-05.25. Reeves was also third in the javelin at the Carleton Relays.

Birchem won the discus with a final distance of 154-08 which was 17-11 farther than teammate Kristin Drechsel who finished in second place. Birchem still holds the No.3 toss in the country at 157-05. Birchem also recorded a fourth-place finish in the shot put with a season-best distance of 41-10.50.        

Mikayla Forness was the final member of Concordia to claim a win in a field event. She won the javelin with a mark of 127-04. That is a season-best distance and places her second in conference behind teammate Olivia Johnson.  Forness also holds the top mark in the MIAC in the heptathlon.

Johnson took time away from her javelin and shot put prowess to practice her skills in the hammer throw and earned a fourth-place finish with a mark of 143-08. Johnson also finished third in the shot put at 43-05.25. Her best throw of the season of 45-05.50 is second only to Reeves in the MIAC and gives the Cobbers four athletes in the top six of the event in the conference standings.   

Sophomore Emma Peterson finished in a tie for second in the high jump with a season-best height of 5-04.25. That is tied for No.3 on the conference list this season. Peterson carried her success on to the track where she placed third in the 400-meter hurdles with a season-best time of 66.74. That mark is third fastest in the conference this year.  

Greta Walsh and Marissa Andersen also posted top 5 finishes in field events. Walsh was fifth in the triple jump at 32-11.75 and Anderson placed fourth in the long jump with a season-best mark of 15-09.00.   

Concordia will now send a group of four field athletes to the Drake relays on Apr. 24. The rest of the team will compete at the Al Cassell Relays held at the University of Jamestown on Saturday, Apr. 25.   

Concordia was originally scheduled to host the Cobber Twilight Meet on Tuesday, Apr. 21 but that has been postponed until Tuesday, Apr. 28 because of bad weather. 

Cobber All-Time Performer List:
100 Hurdles – Vanessa Johnson – 15.59 – Cobber All-Time #11
High Jump – Vanessa Johnson – 5-6.5 (1.69m) – Cobber All-Time #2
High Jump – Emma Peterson – 5-4.25 (1.63m) – Cobber All-Time #8 tie
Shot Put – Hillary Birchem – 41-10.5 (12.76m) –Cobber All-Time #10

Personal Records:
1500- Ingrid Floersheim, Sara Stanton, Celia Holten
100 Hurdles- Vanessa Johnson, Mikayla Forness
Long Jump- Mikayla Forness, Greta Walsh
High Jump- Vanessa Johnson, Emma Peterson
Shot Put- Hillary Birchem, Ashley Thompson
Discus- Kristin Drechsel, Emily Albers
Hammer- Ashley Thompson, Kristin Drechsel, Bailey Hovland
Javelin- Mandy Mercil, Anna Skow-Anderson