Larson Named MIAC Coach of the Year

Garrick Larson was named the MIAC Indoor Track and Field Coach of the Year for guiding the Cobbers to a second-place finish at the MIAC Indoor Meet.
Garrick Larson was named the MIAC Indoor Track and Field Coach of the Year for guiding the Cobbers to a second-place finish at the MIAC Indoor Meet.

MOORHEAD, Minn. (3/05/20)---Concordia head coach Garrick Larson was named the MIAC Indoor Track and Field Coach of the Year following the Cobbers' dramatic second-place finish at last weekend's conference indoor track and field championship meet.

It is the first Coach of the Year honor for Larson in indoor track and field. He was named the MIAC Men's Cross Country Coach of the Year in 1999.

Larson becomes the first Concordia coach to earn MIAC Coach of the Year honors since women's track and field head coach Marv Roeske was given the award following the 2015 outdoor track and field season.

"I want to acknowledge all the hard work and effort our coaches and athletes put in that led to truly a team award for the Coach of the Year'" Larson said. "Special thanks to our coaches Marv Roeske, Laura Januszewski, Matt Neururer, Kelsey Laufenberg, and Adam Stein. All of our coaches are critical to the development of the athletes and competitiveness at the right time".  

Larson guided the Cobbers to their highest finish at the MIAC Indoor Track and Field Meet in 20 years. The last time Concordia posted a runner-up finish was back in 2000.

The second-place finish was made even more electric because Concordia clinched their position in the very final race of the meet. The Cobbers entered the 4x400-meter relay needing to get four more team points than Carleton – who entered the event with a 3-ppoint edge over CC. Concordia needed to win the race, or at worst finish second, and then hope Carleton placed third (for a first-place CC finish) or even worse if the Cobbers place second.

The quartet of Cal Wright, Hayden Gagnon, Dan Wilson and Jesse Middendorf hand delivered the event win – and ultimately the second-place team finish – by racing to a time of 3:21.11 which won the event by a mere .23 of a second over nationally-ranked Bethel. Middendorf put the finishing touches on the historic finish by passing the Bethel runner on the back stretch and then holding off the competition in the last 30 meters of the race.

Carleton placed third in the 4x4 which sent the Cobbers into celebration mode because of the final team's runner-up finish.

In the end, Larson helped the Cobbers win four events, post six Top 3 finishes which earned All-Conference honors and have 15 All-Conference Honorable Mention performances for athletes finishing fourth through sixth in an event. Concordia also broke three school record at the meet.

Concordia finished the meet with 92 team points which is the most since 2001 when they ended the meet with 114.0 points.

"I want to also thank all of the athletes on the men's team for your consistent training and coachability, plus buying into a team culture where everyone is valued and supported," Larson added. "Additionally, thank you to the women's team for training alongside the men's team and supporting both programs, not as separate men's and women's teams, but rather a fully integrated co-ed team."

Larson will now take a group of athletes to Wartburg for the last chance qualifier for the NCAA Indoor Meet which takes place on Mar. 13-14 in Winston-Salem, N.C.