2019 Opener Is In The Banks

Sophomore Zahra Banks sprints towards the finish line during the 60-meter dash at the Cobber Open. She won the 200 meters at the meet.
Sophomore Zahra Banks sprints towards the finish line during the 60-meter dash at the Cobber Open. She won the 200 meters at the meet.

MOORHEAD, Minn. (1/19/19)--- Sophomore Zahra Banks started 2019 by winning the 200 meters as she led Concordia at the annual Cobber Open. 

Banks was one of eight different Top 3 finishers for Concordia at a meet that featured athletes from MSU Moorhead, Jamestown, Mayville State, Minn.-Morris, Minot State and Valley City State.

Banks clocked a time of 27.94 in the 200 meters and won the even by a mere .01 of a second. Banks was also sixth in the 60 meters with a time of 8.50.

The other news for the Cobbers in the calendar opener was the influx of freshmen who stepped into Top 5 finishes at the meet. The top newcomer has a familiar last name but a different first name that CC fans will get used to for four seasons. Cayle Hovland, younger sister of MIAC record holder Bailey Hovland, finished second in the shot put and fifth in the weight throw.

Cayle Hovland came through with a mark of 40-07 in the shot put which puts her in the Top 25 of Division III and is the second farthest in the MIAC this year. Hovland also put up a mark of 42-03.75 in the weight throw which good for fifth place.

Fellow freshman Allyson Kangas and Gabby Renelt also recorded Top 5 finished in field events and Nicole Lilleberg came through with a Top 5 finish on the track side. Kangas was fourth in the shot put as she posted a distance of 37-05.75 while Renelt was tied for fifth in the high jump with a height of 4-11.75. Lilleberg clocked a person-best time of 10.27 in the 60-meter hurdles and was fourth in the event.

Senior Brianna Gruenberg started her final indoor season by finishing second in the mile. She led a pack of five Cobbers who all finished in the Top 6 in the race. Gruenberg clocked a personal-best time of 5:37.70 which was less than a second faster than teammate, and third-place finisher, Kara Andersen. Emily Rugloski was fourth while Tarja Nelsen and Merritt Miller rounded out the quintet of CC finishers.                  

The biggest event news of the day came from the pole vault where Concordia had a pair of athletes post Top 15 school marks. Junior Tierza Engen finished second in the event while Miriah Forness was fifth. Engen cleared the bar with a height of 9-05.25 which is the 10th best in school history while Forness had the 13th best vault at 8-11.50. Forness also finished third in the 600 meters in a time of 1:46.10.

The 600 meters also saw Concordia put five runners in the Top 6. Sophomore Josie Herrmann was second after crossing the line in a time of 1:44.17. She was only .03 of a second off the winning time. Isabel Fredrickson, Elizabeth Vought and Colleen Vought were the final three Cobbers to cross the line.

UP NEXT: Concordia will hit the road for the first time in 2019 when they travel north on I-29 to compete in the UND Invitational on Jan. 25-26.

Cobber Notables
Cobber Open Indoor
Concordia College, Moorhead, MN
January 19, 2019

Cobber All-Time:
Pole Vault – Tierza Engen – 9-5.25 (2.88m) – All-Time #10
Pole Vault – Miriah Forness – 8-11.5 (2.73m) – All-Time #13

Personal records (Cobber indoor marks only):
600- Colleen Vought
1000- Ingrid Harbo
Mile- Brianna Gruenberg, Tarja Nelsen
60 Hurdles- Nicole Lilleberg
Long Jump- Miriah Forness, Carly Fornshell
Shot Put- Katie Jobe, Carly Fornshell
Weight Throw- Sofia Palme