20 Years In The Making

The Cobber men's track and field team posted its highest finish at the MIAC Indoor Meet since the 2000 season.
The Cobber men's track and field team posted its highest finish at the MIAC Indoor Meet since the 2000 season.

COLLEGEVILLE, Minn. (2/29/20)--- Sophomore Jesse Middendorf capped the best performance by a Cobber track and field team at an MIAC Indoor Meet in 20 years by living up to his moniker as "The Finisher" as he raced by the race leader in the 4x400-meter relay and outkicked the competition to the finish line to help Concordia win the final event of the meet and cement second place in the final tram standings.

The second-place finish is the highest finish for a Cobber team at a conference indoor meet since they also placed second in 2000.

Middendorf's electric pace on the anchor leg of the winning 4x400-meter relay quartet was just one of many integral performances turned in by Cobber athletes on the day.

Concordia started Day 2 in third place but used a strong middle-distance group, record-setting relay teams and stellar finishes from the throw crew to hold off Carleton in the final event for the runner-up finish. The Cobbers ended the meet with 92 team points which was a single point in front of the Knights.

The Cobbers scored team points in all but one track event on Saturday and got 10 points from Jake Steiner and Ben Schelske to score 46 points. CC also record 46 points on Day 1.

Middendorf proved he is the top middle distance runner in the MIAC by winning event and then closing the deal on the 4x4. He broke the school record, and set a new facility mark, in the 600 meters. His ability to find another gear in the final 100 meters of both the individual race and relay broke the competition and allowed "The Finisher" to post program records.

Middendorf raced to a 1:20.41 in the 600 meters which bested the old school mark of 1:21.45 set by David Supinski in 2017. His anchor leg in the 4x4 turned into a coronation as he caught the anchor leg from Bethel on the backstretch, put then hammer down as they made the turn for home and outwilled the competition to the line.

The day got off to "crystal ball" start when the quartet of Tom Whiting, Cal Wright, Willie Julkes and Hayden Gagnon broke the school record in the 4x200-meter relay. They clocked a 1:30.97 to become the first group to break the 91-second barrier and better the old mark set in 2012.

Wright and Gagnon would go on to be key cogs in the second-place clinching 4x4 squad. For Julkes it was his second school record of the meet. He also got the program record in the 60-meter hurdles.

Wright also went on to score points in the 200 meters. He ran a 22.69 and finished in sixth place to earn three valuable team points.          

The "crystal ball" start also included Steiner and Schelske who went 3-5 in the shot put which was the very first field event of the day. Steiner was third with a distance of 49-09.75 which he posted in his very last attempt of the meet. It was the second Top 8 finish for Steiner at the meet as he placed eighth in the weight throw on Friday.

Schelske had a career meet. He posted a huge PR on Friday – and place seventh in the weight throw. He hacked that up with another PR – and a fifth-place finish in the shot put. He entered the meet with a PR of 45-10.75 and then put up a mark of 47-03.75 in his final throw of the meet.

The other stellar performance on the day came in the 1000 meter where junior Munir Isahak ran a personal best time of 2:31.07 and placed third which was good for six huge team points. Isahak entered the race with a season-best time of 2:35.48 and then obliterated that with the third fastest time in school history. Isahak had the slowest seed time of any of the Top 7 finishers in the race.     

UP NEXT: Concordia will take potential national meet qualifiers to the Wartburg NCAA Qualifier meet on Mar. 6-7 in Waverly, Iowa.  The NCAA National Indoor Meet will take place on Mar. 13-14 in Winston-Salem, N.C.

Final MIAC Indoor Meet Team Standings
1) St. Thomas (Minn.) - 186
2) Concordia-Moorhead - 92
3) Carleton - 91
4) St. John's (Minn.) - 85
5) Bethel (Minn.) - 78
6) Gustavus - 56
7) Hamline - 49
8) St. Olaf - 48
9) Saint Mary's (Minn.) - 47
10) Macalester - 44
11) Augsburg - 3