Concordia University Pole Vault History

Early Years - Since 1986, Concordia University, Nebraska pole vaulters have become known for consistently producing some of the top pole vaulters in the NAIA. Through the mid 90's, pole vaulters from Concordia could be seen all over the country competing with and winning some of the top NCAA and NAIA track meets. Lead by Gene Brooks, the school record holder, the vaulters from that era tallied 7 national championships (Patrick Gellens - 2, Gene Brooks - 5), 18 All-Americans and dozens of Conference and District Champions.

2000's - The second generation was lead by six time NAIA National Champion TJ Kloster and the 2003 National Champion Jeb Meyer. Also added in this new era was the women’s pole vault which included record holder and 2003 NAIA National Champion Steph Beberniss. With the men and women together, this era produced dozens of All-Americans and Conference Champions.

2010's - This era has started off strong with Josh Tonniges and Kellie Fegter earning NAIA All-American honors. This era has also produced multiple NAIA National Qualifiers and Conference Champions. A series of women's school records began to fall in 2015 with Cassie Starks 12'06.25" and continued with Allison Brooks moving it to 12'10.50". Besides adding dozens of All-American honors, Lucas Wiechman won the 2017 NAIA Outdoor National Pole Vault Championship with a clearance of 16'10.75", Lucas also won the NAIA Indoor Heptathlon National title.   

Results - This strong history has lead an All-Time record list that is the most difficult to get onto in the modern GPAC conference.  As a point of comparison, our tenth spot on our all-time list would be the school record and most other GPAC and NAIA colleges. Concordia vaulters are proud of the strong vaulting tradition they have built and been part of over the past decades.

Concordia University is an excellent institution of higher learning with a Christian foundation affiliated with the Lutheran Church (LCMS). Concordia University strives to be a caring community through the people who comprise the faculty, administration, staff, and student body. The basis of Concordia’s community is the commonly held faith in Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord.

You may visit Concordia’s website at CUNE Track & Field. Concordia is a member of the GPAC Conference. You may visit the GPAC conference web page at www.gpacsports.com

2016 Season Recap

The Seward area featured a lot of exciting highlights and more this 2016 Track & Field season.

Concordia University women's team earned it's first ever team NAIA National Championship. The team was lead by a great group of throwers, but also featured Kim Wood scoring in the 800m. The Vaultdogs were present as well with freshmen McKenzie Gravo and Allison Brooks. McKenzie, the indoor and outdoor GPAC Champion cleared 12'1.5" for her second All-American (also All-American indoor). Allison cleared a new PR at 11'11.75" and just missed out on a scoring spot.

The Concordia men had two vaulters, Lucas Weichman and Tyrell Reichert. Tyrell earned his first trip to nationals and cleared 15'1 to place 10th. Lucas NH's in the PV, but that was after two days in the Decathlon where he finished National Runner-Up earning 6,858 points. During that competition he cleared 15'7" in the PV. 

On both the men and women groups have many returners for 2017 season with a pile of All-American and National Qualifier experience to build upon.

The Seward High School team was lead by a very strong pole vault core. On the men's side Chase Berry and Logan Craig both cleared 14'4" and place 3rd and 4th at State. Dalton Berry, after struggling with injuries cleared 13'2". This represented the strongest PV group of boys to vault at the same time at SHS. They all return for 2017 season.

On the SHS ladies side was lead by Anna Baack, clearing 11'0" and earned her first medal at the state track meet. Kristin Oborney and Shelby Todd rounded out a solid ladies group with 9'6" and 8'6" respectively.

The Seward vaulters preformed great this year and all return next year for another fun season! 

2015 Season Recap

2015 Outdoor Season

Cassie Starks set the outdoor school Outdoor record with 12'06.25" clearance while winning the Concordia Invite in the women's pole vault. Cynthia Mick cleared 12'02.25" to join Cassie as an Automatic Qualifiers for the NAIA Outdoor National Championship meet.

Lucas Wiechman qualified for the NAIA Outdoor National Championship meet on the men's side with a 16'00.75" clearance. Brandon Ramos cleared 15'05" hitting the provisional qualifying mark.

 

2015 Indoor Season

Cassie Starks sets new school indoor record with 12'06.25" clearance while winning the GPAC Conference Champion title in the women's pole vault. Cassie was named Bulldogs Female Athlete of the Week on February 24, 2015. 

Concordia comes home from the 2015 NAIA Indoor National Championships with 5 All-Americans that vaulted... Cassie Starks cleared 11'10.75" to earn 6th place. Brandon Ramos cleared 15'05.00" to earn 6th place. Then in the Heptathlon, Lucas Wiechman placed 3rd, Brandon Ramos placed 4th and Brandon Cook finished 8th. 

Concordia had 5 NAIA National qualifiers during the 2015 Indoor track and field season in the pole vault and heptathlon. School record holder, Senior Cassie Starks and sophomore Cynthia Mick qualified in the women's pole vault with heights of 12'06.25 and 11'10.75" respectively. On the men's side, junior Brandon Ramos, sophomores Lucas Wiechman and Brandon Cook all placed qualifying marks in the heptathlon with scores of 5101, 4797 and 4696. Ramos and Wiechman also qualified in the open pole vault competition with clearances of  15'10.50" and 16'02.50" respectively. 

The NAIA National Indoor Championships was held in Geneva, Ohio the first week of March 2015. 

Cassie Starks pictured to right clearing 12'01.50".

2014 Season Recap

2014 NAIA National Championships and Nebraska State Meet

Wow what a championship weekend. 

At the NAIA National Championships in Gulf Shores, Alabama, the Concordia University Track & Field team had great performances. Highlighted by Liz King who won the Javelin by over 15' with a toss of 164'8"... Huge throw that ranks her as one of the top jav throwers in the USA. Congrats!

For the vaulters, the weekend started off with great performances by seniors Shelby Yelden and Kellie Fegter. Shelby cleared 12'01.50" to tie for 3rd place. This height matched the winning height and the places were sorted out according to overall misses. Considering Shelby came out of High School with a PR of 9'06", to improve to be one of the nations top female vaulters is impressive. 

Equally impressive was the gutty performance by Kellie. After suffering a major ACL knee injury last season, she trained hard to get back to being a national level pole vaulter. She was able to earn a trip to nationals and cleared 11'02" and in true pole vaulter fashion she wanted to vault higher, but I was very proud of her.

On the men's side, Brandon Ramos and Lucas Wiechman competed in the Decathlon and Pole Vault. After two days of decathlon, they were exhausted in the southern heat. But they were able to clear 15'05" and 15'01" respectively. In the open vault, neither were able to clear the opening height of 15'01". But for being only a sophomore and freshman, they gained outstanding experience. Brandon finished the decathlon in 15th place and Lucas moved up to just miss an All-American place with a 9th place finish.

Senior Carson Farr put on a great performance after struggling to clear his opening height of 15'07" (which almost gave me a heart attack) in which he cleared the bar on his third attempt. But after this he cleared 16'01.75", 16'04.75" and 16'08.75" all on first attempts. The final height being a new PR. Carson then moved up to a new pole at 17'00.75". His first attempt, he didn't turn it up, but when he came in for his second attempt, the 15' 175 pound pole broke! He was able to take the next pole off the ground but was unable to clear the final bar. This put Carson in 3rd place and earned All-American honors. This also moved me, Coach Berry, down the Concordia All Time List, but I couldn't have been more happy to get moved down the list.

The same weekend, the Nebraska State Championships were going on in Omaha. Seward High School and future Concordia Bulldog, Kalvin Lankford, was competing in the Class B competition. Kalvin cleared a personal best of 14'02" to earn a second place finish. The winning height in the competition was the same but Kalvin lost by a extra miss. He finished his high school career with a PR in the state track meet, awesome way to finish!

At the Nebraska State Track & Field meet, a vaultdogs elevated wood runway was used for the girls competition. A few meet records and many PR's were set on our fast runway. Next year the boys will get to use it.

2013 Outdoor Season Recap

NAIA National Outdoor Championships Qualifiers 

Carson Farr (JR), Kami Moore (SR), Shelby Yelden (SO) and Cynthia Mick (FR) all qualified for the 2013 NAIA National Outdoor Championships. 

On the men's side, Carson Farr (JR) cleared 15'01" to earn 9th place at the 2013 NAIA Outdoor Championships. The NAIA National Outdoor Championships was held May 25-28, at the Indiana Wesleyan University in Marion, IN. 

Cynthia Mick cleared 11'09.75" (3.60m) to win the GPAC Outdoor Conference Championship.

Full NAIA 2013 Outdoor ranking lists can be found at http://www.tfrrs.org/lists/1026.html

2013 Indoor Season Recap

NAIA National Indoor Championships Qualifiers 

Ashlee Brown (SR), Shelby Yelden (SO) and Cynthia Mick (FR) all qualified and competed at the 2013 NAIA National Indoor Championships. Cynthia Mick cleared 11'06" (3.50m) to earn 10th place at the championships. Coming off a good GPAC conference championship in which all three ladies earned All-Conference honors, they are set to compete on the national level. 

On the men's side, Carson Farr (JR) cleared 15'07" to earn 10th place at the 2013 NAIA Indoor Championships. Two weeks prior he cleared 15'05 to win the GPAC Pole Vault Championship and earned All-Conference.  

The NAIA National Championships was held February 28, March 1 & 2 at the SPIRE Institute in Geneva, Ohio which is just east of Cleveland. The women competed on Friday March 1 and Carson competed Saturday March 2.

Full NAIA 2013 Indoor ranking lists can be found at http://www.tfrrs.org/lists/945.html