Forness & Johnson Reign As Champions

Mikayla Forness unleashes a throw in the javelin at the MIAC Meet. She won the event with a school record mark of 152-09. (Photo courtesy of Nathan Lodermeier)
Mikayla Forness unleashes a throw in the javelin at the MIAC Meet. She won the event with a school record mark of 152-09. (Photo courtesy of Nathan Lodermeier)

COLLEGEVILLE, Minn. (5/14/16)—Mikayla Forness and Olivia Johnson left their mark as individual event champions and helped Concordia continue its string of Top 6 finishes at the MIAC Outdoor Championship Meet.   

Forness broke the school record in the javelin to earn her championship while Johnson captured her first individual event crown by claiming the title in the shot put. The two wins gave Concordia 20 team points which pushed the Cobbers to a third-place finish with 88.8 total points.

The third-place finish marks the 27th consecutive year that Concordia has placed in the Top 5 of the conference outdoor meet. It is also the fifth straight year that the Cobbers have either finished second or third at the MIAC Outdoor Meet.

Forness wasted little time in staking her claim as the school's "Queen of the Javelin". She unleashed a mammoth throw of 152-09 on her very first attempt of the competition which was the very first event of the day. Forness' mark broke the old school record set by Leah Kay back in 2010 by almost six feet. Kay's old record was 146-10.

Forness' monster mark, which also set a new Clemens Stadium record, won the javelin event by over 13 feet. Her distance of 152-09 is the second farthest in Division III this year.

Johnson saved her best for last. In the final field event of her conference career, and on the final attempt of her conference career, Johnson came up with a heave of 46-06.75 to win her first-ever individual event championship.

Her winning distance also betters her previous season best mark of 45-04.50 and moves her into the No.4 spot in all of Division III this year. Her mark on Saturday is a personal best and the third farthest in school history.

It also gives Concordia the ability to lay claim to Shot Put U as the Cobbers have won the shot put at the last three outdoor conference meets.

Johnson also scored team points in the javelin as she posted a distance of 120-03. Her mark on her final attempt was good for seventh place.    

The shot put continued Concordia's success rate in the throwing events. Mandy Mercil and Ashley Thompson put up fifth and sixth-place finishes to give Concordia 17 team points in the event. Kristin Drechsel was just outside the top 8 and finished ninth in the event after making the finals with a distance of 37-04.50.

Mercil was just under her season best mark and recorded a distance of 40-6 while Thompson had a career-best distance of 39-07.

The track events started on a high note for the Cobbers. Freshman Maria West recorded a sixth-place finish in the very first event on Saturday. West clocked an 11:54.79 to record a sixth-place finish and earn all-conference honorable mention honors. It marked the first time in her college career that she had broken the 12-minute barrier and the finishing time is the 10th fastest in school history.

The 4x100-meter relay team of Chelsey Petrich, Emily Payne, Paige McCullough, Gift Ben-Bernard then carried on the momentum started by West and ran a 50.27 to place fifth. Their time bettered their prelim time of 50.35 and was a season best mark.

Forness turned in the only other Top 8 finish in a track event on Saturday. She moved from the javelin site to the track and crossed the finish line in a time of 67.53 in the 400-meter hurdles. Her time was good for fifth place.

Concordia completed their conference meet with a seventh-place finish in the 4x400-meter relay. The quartet of Shelby Gelinske, Anna Skow-Anderson, Payne and Forness ran a time of 4:06.75 and missed the Top 5 by only .20 of a second. 

Final Team Standings
1. St. Thomas - 191.3
2. Carleton - 100.0
3. Concordia-Moorhead - 88.8
4. Gustavus - 85.0
5. Bethel - 76.5
6. St. Benedict - 71.0
7. St. Olaf - 56.3
8. Hamline - 56.0
9. Macalester - 49.0
10. St. Catherine - 42.0
11. Augsburg - 28.0
12. Saint Mary's - 12.0


Shot Put – Olivia Johnson - 46-6.75 (14.19m)
Javelin Throw – Mikayla Forness – 152-9 (46.56m)

MIAC ALL-CONFERENCE (places 1-3 + 1st place relays only):
1st – Shot Put – Olivia Johnson - 46-6.75 (14.19m)
1st – Javelin Throw – Mikayla Forness – 152-9 (46.56m)
2nd – Discus Throw – Ashley Thompson – 128-6 (39.17m)
2nd – Heptathlon – Mikayla Forness – 4580 points
3rd – Discus Throw – Tresa Reuter – 125-9 (38.33m)

MIAC ALL-CONFERENCE HONORABLE MENTION (places 4-6 & relay places 2-6):
4th – Discus Throw – Kristin Drechsel – 125-1 (38.12m)
4th – High Jump – Emma Peterson – 5-3 (1.60m)
5th – 400 Hurdles – Mikayla Forness – 67.53
5th – 4x100 Relay – Chelsey Petrich, Emily Payne, Paige McCullough, Gift Ben-Bernard – 50.27
5th tie – High Jump – Vanessa Johnson – 5-1 (1.55m)
5th – Shot Put – Mandy Mercil - 40-6 (12.34m)
5th – Discus Throw – Bailey Hovland – 122-2 (37.24m)
5th – Hammer Throw – Oliva Johnson – 136-4 (41.56m)
6th – Shot Put – Ashley Thompson – 39-7 (12.06m)
6th – 3000 Steeplechase – Maria West – 11:54.79

OTHER SCORERS (places 7-8)
7th – 4x400 Relay – Shelby Gelinske, Anna Skow-Anderson, Emily Payne, Mikayla Forness – 4:06.75
7th – Javelin Throw – Olivia Johnson – 120-3 (36.66m)
8th – 4x800 Relay – Maria West, Anna Skow-Anderson, Melissa Uhrich, Mikayla Forness – 10:00.75
8th – Long Jump – Emma Peterson – 17-0 (15.18m)
8th tie - High Jump – Anna Skow-Anderson – 4-11 (1.50m)
8th – Discus Throw – Olivia Johnson – 116-5 (35.48m)

Javelin – Mikayla Forness - 152-9 (46.56m)

Javelin Throw – Mikayla Forness - 152-9 (46.56m) – ALL-TIME #1
Javelin Throw (Heptathlon) – Mikayla Forness - 145-3 (44.27m) – ALL-TIME #2
Shot Put – Olivia Johnson – 46-6.75 (14.19m) – ALL-TIME #3
Heptathlon – Mikayla Forness – 4580 points – ALL-TIME #4
3000 Steeplechase – Maria West – 11:54.79 – ALL-TIME #10

10000- Sarah Curran;
3000 steeplechase- Maria West;
100 hurdles- Mikayla Forness (heptathlon);
long jump- Emma Peterson;
triple jump- Shelby Gelinske;
shot put- Olivia Johnson, Ashley Thompson, Tresa Reuter, Bailey Hovland, Anna Cassady, Mikayla Forness (heptathlon);
discus throw- Tresa Reuter;
javelin throw- Mikayla Forness (open), Mikayla Forness (heptathlon);
heptathlon- Mikayla Forness.