Middendorf Leads 50.5-Point Saturday

Jesse Middendorf crosses the line after winning the 800 meters at the MIAC Championship Meet on Saturday. He helped the Cobbers score 50.5 points on Day 2 and place sixth at the meet. (Photo courtesy of Nathan Lodermeier).
Jesse Middendorf crosses the line after winning the 800 meters at the MIAC Championship Meet on Saturday. He helped the Cobbers score 50.5 points on Day 2 and place sixth at the meet. (Photo courtesy of Nathan Lodermeier).

ST. PAUL, Minn. (5/15/21)---Led by 800-meter champion Jesse Middendorf, Concordia scored points in seven different events on Saturday and finished in sixth place at the MIAC Outdoor Championship Meet.

Middendorf ran away with the 800-meter title to give the Cobbers 10 points and then anchored the 4x400-meter relay team which finished second and captured eight team points. Those 18 points helped CC end the day with 73.5 points – their most at a conference outdoor meet since 2015 when they had 83 points and finished fifth.

While Middendorf was the only event winner for the Cobbers at the 2021 MIAC Outdoor Meet, there were plenty of other quality performances that led to the 50.5-point Saturday.

Munir Isahak and had a pair of Top 5 finishes and Dan Wilson posted a 5th-place finish, which earns them All-Conference Honorable Mention honors, in track events - while the shot put trio of Cooper Folkestad, Jacob Steiner and Ben Schelske all finished in the Top 8 to give CC 10 points.

Isahak posted a pair of Cobber all-time Top 10 marks on Saturday. He recorded his 5th-place finish in the 1500 meters, and also continued his improvement in the 800 – finishing in eighth place. Isahak was able to bear down in the late going of the 1500 meters and crossed the line in 3:58.02 which is a personal best time and seventh fastest in school history. It also marks the fifth straight meet this outdoor season where he has dropped time in the event. Isahak also put up a PR in the 800 meters where he ran a 1:54.12 which is No.9 on the school's all-time list.

Folkestad, Steiner and Schelske backed up their appearances in the finals of the discus on Friday by all qualifying for the finals in the shot put on Saturday. Folkestad once again led the trio as he finished third with a distance of 51-05.75 which came in his second attempt. That mark is an outdoor PR for Folkestad whose previous season best was 51-00.00

Steiner also put up an outdoor PR when he recorded a mark of 50-03.50 on his sixth, and final, attempt of the afternoon. With that mark he was able to climb into sixth place in the final standings.

Schelske completed the trio with an 8th-place finish. He came up with a distance of 44-08.25 in his final toss of the prelims which got him into the finals.

The other Top 3 finish, and All-Conference honors, at the meet was turned in by multi-event specialist Wade Rhonemus who cleared a PR height of 14-06 and finished third in the pole vault. That height is also No.8 on the school's all-time list. Rhonemus' previous season best came in the MIAC decathlon when he posted a mark of 13-11.75 on his way to a 3rd-place finish.

The final two point-getters for the Cobber in individual events came on the track side. Wilson came through with a 56.21 and was fifth in the 400-meter hurdles. That time is a PR for Wilson who shaved off .62 of a second from his prelim time.

Freshman Cole Nowacki completed his first conference outdoor meet by placing seventh in the 3000-meter steeplechase. He crossed the line in a season-best time of 9:54.50. Nowacki was able to outlast teammate Nolan Christenson who came home in eighth place with a mark of 9:58.47. It was the first time in his career that Christenson has broken the 10-minute mark in the event.    

The Cobbers knew they would need a second-place finish in the 4x400-meter relay, the final event of the meet, if they were going to stay in front of Bethel and finish in sixth place. Concordia accomplished that goal with the quartet of Colin Schuller, Dawson Schaffer, Simon Zahrback and Middendorf. Schuller and Schaffer started the relay by going out in 1:41.02 in the first two legs. Schaffer gave way to Zahrbock, who qualified for the finals in the individual 400 meters, and ran a 50.91 in the third leg. Middendorf took the baton and The Closer proceeded to clock a 48.10 to give the team a final time of 3:20.05 which was 4-seconds faster than the third-place relay team. That mark is also a season best for a CC squad.
UP NEXT: Concordia will take a select group of athletes to the Wis.-La Crosse NCAA Qualifier Meet on Thursday, May 20 at 4 p.m. The Cobbers will hope to get additional qualifiers for the NCAA Outdoor Championship Meet which takes place in Greensboro, NC on May 27-29.   

Concordia All-MIAC Award Winners (1st-3rd place individuals, 1st-place relays)
800 Meters
1. Jesse Middendorf – 1:51.49
3. Cooper Folkestad – 147-02
Pole Vault
3. Wade Rhonemus – 14-06
Shot Put
3. Cooper Folkestad – 51-05.75
3. Wade Rhonemus – 5,914 pts.

Concordia All-MIAC Honorable Mention Award Winners (4th-6th place individuals, 2nd-6th place relays)
400-Meter Hurdles
5. Dan Wilson – 56.21
800 Meters
4. Munir Isahak – 1:54.12
1500 Meters
5. Munir Isahak – 3:58.02
5. Jake Kerzman – 137-07
Shot Put
6. Jake Steiner – 50-03.50
4x400-Meter Relay
2. Colin Schuller, Dawson Schaffer, Simon Zahrback, Jesse Middendorf – 3:20.05
4x800-Meter Relay
4. Connor Haugrud, Nolan Christenson, Cole Nowacki, Dan Wilson - 7:57.79

RECAP SPONSOR: Today's recap sponsor is Eventide Senior Living Communities. Cobber athletics would like to thank Eventide for their longtime support of Concordia student/athletes.