MOORHEAD, Minn. (1/25/20)---Some teams like to wade into a new year by entering the pool from the shallow end. The 2020 Concordia squad is the opposite. They entered the indoor pool with a gigantic cannon ball at the Cobber Open.
Concordia's 4x200-meter relay team of Tom Whiting, Cal Wright, Hayden Gagnon and Colin Schuller decided to get the drama of breaking a school record out of the way early as they cruised to a new Concordia record in the event. The quartet crossed the line in a time of 1:31.18 which bettered the old record of 1:31.57 set in 2012 by Dustin Britten, Ben Vickstrom, Bruce Shields and John Bye.
The 4x2 team set the tone for Concordia throughout the meet. The Cobbers posted seven event wins in the first meet of 2020 and had several other Top 3 finishes at the meet that featured two Division III a DII school and an NAIA squad.
Wright went on to win the individual 200 meters with a time of 22.48. That mark is faster than the 22.54 he ran at the MIAC Indoor Meet last year when he placed fourth. It is also the fastest time in the MIAC this season and only .10 of a second off the school record of 22.38 set by Vickstrom in 2014.
Senior Willie Julkes started his final indoor season by winning the 60-meter hurdles. Julkes clocked an 8.76 and won the event by .18 of a second. Julkes' time was .02 of a second slower than his conference mark last year when he placed sixth.
The other two track individual event wins came from cross country teammates. Senior Eric Wicklund fought off a cold and won the mile while Jesse Middendorf eased his way to a victory in the 1000 meters.
Wicklund led from gate to wire in the mile and crossed the line in a time of 4:35.57. Wicklund is ahead of his pace from last year where he ran a 4:36.98 at the same meet.
Fellow senior Olsen Pancoast recorded a Top 3 finish in the event by running a personal best time of 4:51.43 and placing third.
Middendorf was almost two seconds faster than any other runner in the 1000 meters. He raced around the track and finished with a time of 2:36.81. Last year Middendorf scored points at the MIAC Indoor Meet by running a 2:34.73 and finishing in eighth place.
Munir Isahak was third in the 1000 meters with a finishing time of 2:39.32.
Middendorf then teamed 4x200 school record holders Gagnon, Schuller and Wright to win the 4x400meter relay. The crew clocked a 3:26.56 which was 7-seconds faster than the second-place team.
Junior Jake LePard had the lone field victory for Concordia. He won the long jump with a mark of 20-07. LePard's distance would have won last year's Cobber Open long jump event – a competition where he placed eighth with a distance of 18-10.50.
LePard was also fourth in the high jump with a height of 5-07.00.
Matt Bye kicked off his quest for indoor multi-event All-American honors by placing third in the long jump with a mark of 19-09.75.
Junior Jake Steiner recorded a pair of Top 5 finishes in the throws. He was fourth in the weight throw at 48-7.50 and fifth in the shot put with a distance of 47-07.25.
UP NEXT: Concordia will look to continue making a splash in 2020 when they compete in the UND Open and Multi-Event on Jan. 31 and Feb. 1.
Saturday recaps sponsored by Bufffalo Wild Wings: Grab your friends and get to B-Dubs on Sunday nights for College Nights at 9 p.m. 50% off 1 food item with ID and $3 apps at the Buffalo Wild Wings located on Hwy 10 in Moorhead.