Loper Men Selected to Win MIAA
The Nebraska-Kearney cross country teams are picked first (men) and sixth (women) in the 2015 MIAA preseason polls.
The men tallied 58 points and six first place votes to place just ahead of Pittsburg State (52), Missouri Southern State (47; one first place) and Fort Hays State (45; one first place) in a nine-team race.
Last fall, UNK was nationally ranked for multiple weeks, finished runner up at the MIAA Championships and fell just short of qualifying for the NCAA Championships.
Head coach Brady Bonsall returns the majority of that squad but top runner Bryan Hill graduated. A large roster features five seniors, including track All-American Cole Wellnitz (Rushville) and team captain Alex Obermier (York), and 2014 All-Region selection Jahn Landrigan (Broken Bow), UNK's only junior.
A young women's squad tallied 54 points to come in ahead of five others. Missouri Southern and Southwest Baptist each tallied 94 points to tie for first with MSSU having six first place votes and SBU grabbing the other five.
UNK was eighth at the MIAA's last fall.
The Lopers have only two upperclassmen on its roster, including 2014 All-Region runner Morgan Benesch (Columbus). Freshmen Melissa Davison (Auburn), Gabby Gracia (Holdrege) and Shelbi Sloup (Seward) all redshirted last fall but had successful track seasons.
UNK begins the regular season on Friday, September 4th at NW Missouri State.
Nebraska-Kearney track & field team members Kevin Carder, Dillon Schrodt and Jackie Ziemke have been selected to the 2014 Capital One Academic All-District 7 teams, as selected by CoSIDA (College Sports Information Directors of America).
To be eligible for this squad, a student-athlete must carry a 3.30 cumulative GPA, be a starter or key reserve and been at his/her current school for one academic year. Finally, sports information directors (SID's) vote on the makeup of the Academic All-American and All-District teams.
District 7 includes schools from the MIAA, NSIC (Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference) and GAC (Great American Conference).
This is the second year of the expanded Academic All-America program as CoSIDA moved from recognizing a University Division (Division I) and a College Division (all non-Division I) and has doubled the number of scholar-athletes honored. The expanded teams include NCAA Division I, NCAA Division II and NCAA Division III participants, while the College Division Academic All-America Team combines NAIA, Canadian and two-year schools.
Carder maintains a 3.99 GPA as Political Science major. Currently running across Europe, the Albion native was the Lopers team MVP in cross country in each of the past two years while being an NCAA provisional qualifier at 10,000 meters this spring.
In the ring, Ziemke (Waco) earned All-American honors in the shot this past March thanks to a third place finish. Also qualifying for the NCAA Outdoor Championships, she has a 3.93 GPA in Business Administration.
A junior from Lincoln North Star, Schrodt was an All-American in the heptathlon at the NCAA Indoor meet with a third place finish. At last week's NCAA Outdoor meet, he placed ninth in the decathlon and also was a qualifier in the 110 hurdles. He maintains a 3.86 GPA in Math (grades 7-12).