Nothing But Goodness On MIAC Day 1

Willie Julkes stretches for the finish line in the prelims of the 60-meter hurdles at the MIAC Indoor Meet. He went on to set a school record in the finals of the event. (Photo courtesy of Nathan Lodermeier)
Willie Julkes stretches for the finish line in the prelims of the 60-meter hurdles at the MIAC Indoor Meet. He went on to set a school record in the finals of the event. (Photo courtesy of Nathan Lodermeier)

COLLEGEVILLE, Minn. (2/28/20)--- A school record, MIAC champions and multiple Top 5 finishes made for an eventful first day at the MIAC Indoor Championship Meet for the Cobbers.

With so many highlights it is hard to know where to begin but at the end of the day Concordia stood in third place in the team standings at the halfway point of the conference indoor meet. The Cobbers have 46 team points which is only seven points shy of second place but only one point ahead of the fourth-place team.

The day started with senior Matt Bye rallying to defend his championship in the heptathlon and ended with the distance medley team running the second fastest time in school history. In between it was nothing but track and field goodness for the Cobbers.

Bye overcame a 73-point deficit to become the fourth athlete in school history to win back-to-back conference titles. His first-place finish was worth 10 team points.

Fellow senior, and 2-sport athlete, Willie Julkes provided the next show-stopping moment for Concordia. Julkes started his day on the field side by participating in the weight throw. He then moved to the track where he broke the school record in the finals of the 60-meter hurdles.

Julkes qualified for the finals with a time of 8.56 in the prelims and joined Bye in the final eight. Julkes then shook off his tired legs from the weight throw and uncorked a time of 8.48 in the finals to break the school record and finish in fourth place. Julkes' broke the program record set by Bye who clocked an 8.50 last season. Bye finished in seventh place in the event with a finals time of 8.80.

The sophomores took the stage next for the Cobbers with Cal Wright finishing fifth in the 400 meters with a time of 50.51.

Jesse Middendorf added the second MIAC title on the day as he sprinted to a win in the 800 meters. Middendorf was pushed until the final turn where Joey Cook-Gallardo tried to pull up on Middendorf's outside shoulder. Middendorf calmly shook off the challenge, found another gear and rolled to a time of 1:54.94 which was .22 of a second ahead of Cook-Gallardo.

Sophomore Dan Wilson posted a season-best time of 1:58.01 to win the second heat and finished in sixth place overall.

A pair of distance events provided Top 11 finishes for the Cobbers. Senior Eric Wicklund ran a personal best time of 15:28.84 and placed 11th in the 5000 meters. His time is seventh fastest in school history.

Junior Munir Isahak continued his late-season surge by recording a sixth-place finish in the indoor mile. He posted a season-best time of 4:23.50 which was 1.25 seconds in front of his seed time, a personal best and No.8 on the school's all-time list.

Ben Schelske and Jake Steiner scored team points in the weight throw. Schelske had a huge personal best mark with a distance of 52-03.75 and placed seventh. That mark is fourth farthest in school history and beats his previous season best by over four inches.

Steiner finished in eighth place with a distance of 51-04.50 which marks the fifth straight meet he has surpassed the 50-foot mark.

The distance medley quartet of Tanner Olson, Hayden Gagnon, Connor Haugrud and Isahak played the encore and sent the fans home happy by crossing the line in a time of 10:27.91 which is the second fastest in school history and good for third place and six team points. It is the fastest time run by a Cobber relay squad since the record was sent in 2011.           
UP NEXT: Concordia will hope to keep the momentum going when they compete on Day 2 at MIAC Indoor Championship Meet on Saturday, Feb. 29 at 12 p.m. at St. John's University.  

MIAC Indoor Meet Team Standings After Day 1
1) St. Thomas (Minn.) – 134
2) Carleton - 53  
3) Concordia-Moorhead - 46       
4) Bethel (Minn.) - 45  
5) St. John's (Minn.) - 39       
6) St. Olaf - 26  
7) Gustavus - 22       
8) Macalester - 21  
9) Hamline - 20      
10) Saint Mary's (Minn.) - 19  
11) Augsburg - 3