A Checklist of Champions
"I was numb after winning the title," Marc Langseth, coach of the Cobber women's basketball team, said during chapel services honoring the national championship team. "It was special because of the way we won it team." The phrase "as a team" rang familiar. Other Concordia coaches had been saying the same thing about their teams.
In addition to the Association for Intercollegiate Athletics for Women (AIAW) Division Ill championship women's basketball team, other athletic teams, individuals and coaches also achieved outstanding accomplish ments this year. The Cobber football team won the Division II National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA) championship, and the basketball and golf teams were both Minnesota Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (MIAC) champions. Three wrestlers represented Concordia at the National Collegiate Athletic Associa tion (NCAA) tournament, and three gymnasts participated in the AIAW Division Ill national meet.
Concordia College also boasts two "coaches of the year." James Christopherson was named MIAC and NAIA Division football coach of the year, and John Eidsness was selected MIAC and NAIA District 13 men's basketball coach of the year. Allen Rice, head hockey coach, participated as an assistant coach in the East West all~star game.
"What makes this year of outstanding accomplishments even more exciting," says Dr. Armin Pipho, athletic director and chairperson of the physical education, health and recreation department at Concordia, "is that we have experienced this success with young men and women who have made us equally proud of their efforts and actions outside the competitive arena, Wherever we have competed, Concordia's athletes have conducted themselves with dignity and poise."
First ever: A championship basketball team
When the Cobber women defeated Mount Mercy College of Cedar Rapids, Iowa, 73-72 on March 27 for the AIAW Division Ill title, they became Concordia's first-ever national championship basketball team.
Concordia was rated third in the Division Ill season-ending poll. Mount Mercy, who defeated Concordia 77-57 in the Region 6 tournament last year was rated number nine.
En route to that final game, the Concordia women defeated Malone College of Canton, Ohio, 74-64 in quarterfinal action and Millersville (Pa.) State College by a score of 67-57 in the semifinal round.
The Cobbers had built a lead early in the game against the Mount Mercy Mustangs only to see a complete turnabout during the second half, when the Mustangs took a 58-49 lead. With two and one-half minutes remaining, freshman JoDee Bock, reserve center from Lisbon, N.D., regained the lead for the Cobbers 67-66. Mary Moenkedick, a junior guard from Pelican Rapids, Minn., made a basket, following a successful jump-ball play by Marybeth Stephan, senior co-captain and guard from Bismarck, N.D. The Mustangs then hit to make it 69-68. Sue Ekberg, senior center from Bismarck, added a free throw and basket, and Stephan claimed the last Cobber point with a free throw. A final Mustang basket in the closing seconds of the game brought the score to Concordia 73, Mount Mercy 72.
The win concluded a sparkling season for the Cobber women that spanned 34 games in five and one-half months. Their impressive 31-3 record included 25 straight wins. Coach Langseth, who completed his second year as Concordia's women's basketball coach, has a 57-9 record.
Nancy Halda, a 6-foot senior forward from Mayville, N.D., who scored 25 points in the final game, was named most valuable player in the national tournament. Senior forward Paula Langseth, Casselton, N.D., was selected to the AIAW Division Ill all-American team. She led Concordia in scoring for the season with a ~3.9-point average. Four individuals, all from North Dakota, were voted to the Minnesota state all-tournament team: Halda, Ekberg, Stephan and Bock.
Men's basketball team claims first MIAC title In 51 years
"With five returning juniors and five returning seniors, it was obvious from the beginning of the season that we had the potential for a very good year," noted head coach of the men's basketball team John Eidsness. "I was pleased with the way the players blended to become a totally unselfish unit. And because of that, they exceeded my expectations."
By winning two key consecutive conference games, the Cobber men earned an outright MIAC title - the first in 51 years; they claimed a share of the MIAC crown on Feb.10 by defeating St. Thomas 86-80 for their 13th con secutive MIAC win and three days later tallied an 80-74 win over Augsburg to clinch the MIAC title.
However, the team's hopes for a national championship were cut short when Moorhead State University defeated the Cobbers 82-76 in the final NAIA District 13 playoff game. The season record for Concordia was 16-2 in the MIAC and 20-9 overall.
As a result of their outstanding playing, three Cobbers were voted to the MIAC all-conference team: Andy Askegaard, a forward from Comstock, Minn.; Greg Strand, guard from Portland, N.D., both seniors; and Garrett Byrne, a junior pivot man from Bloomington, Minn.
Of the five juniors on this year's team, three were starters. All of them will return for the 1982-83 season. "We will expect good leadership from those who will be seniors next year, Eidsness said.
Three wrestlers represent Concordia at NCAA
The Cobber mat men compiled a 5-3 dual meet record and placed third behind Augsburg College and the College of St. Thomas in the MIAC. However, three wrestlers represented Concordia at the NCAA Division Ill finals held at the State University of New York, Cortland, Feb. 26-27.
Wrestling in the nationals were DuWayne Kilbo, 177, a senior from Menahga, Minn.; Malcolm ("Molly") McLeod, heavyweight, a junior from Fargo, N.D.; and Douglas Soderman, 150, a senior from Great Falls, Mont. McLeod took fourth in the national tournament and won his third consecutive all-American honor. He lost in the semifinal match to Dennis Koslowski of the University of Minnesota, who went on to win the championship. McLeod has placed sixth, seventh and fourth, respectively, during the last three NCAA tournaments. To date, McLeod's credentials include an overall college record of 68-22, three MIAC individual titles, two all-Lutheran titles and three NCAA Division Ill all-American honors.
McLeod needs 34 victories during his senior year to break a school record of 102 set by Mark Jensen ('79), Nisswa, Minn. McLeod and his brother, Murdick, have been elected co-captains of the 1982-83 Cobber wrestling team.
During the national meet, Kilbo won his opening match but was defeated in the second round. Soderman lost his first contest.
Three Cobber gymnasts participate in nationals
Concordia's gymnastics team completed its regular season with a triangular meet Feb.20 at South Dakota State University, Brookings, one week after breaking the previous school-point record of 115.55 by scoring 118.2 during the Hamline Quadrangular. The record-breaking score boosted the team average to 114, the highest ever, four points above the 110 standard set for regional qualifications.
But the Cobbers' 114 average failed to gain them a position in the AIAW Division Ill regional meet, since the AIAW allowed only two Division Ill schools to compete this year as compared with five in previous years.
Individually, however, four Cobbers maintained averages high enough for regional competition, held at Southeast Missouri State University, Cape Girardeau: seniors Julie Bale, Moorhead; Karen Hegre, Fargo; Ruth Reimnitz, Bismarck; and freshman Brenda Olson, Box Elder, S.D.
Hegre, Reimnitz and Olson advanced to the AIAW Division Ill national meet March 19-20 at keene (N.H.) State College. Hegre is a three-time qualifier for the national meet. Reimnitz made her first appearance, and Olson, who had the highest all-around average for the team this year, also made her first appearance
In the finals each contestant competed in four events - balance beam floor exercise, vault and bars. Hegre earned a 26.6 all-around score, Reimnitz, 28.45 and Olson, 27.90. No one qualified for final rounds.
Hockey coach guides all star team
Cobber icemen skated to a third place finish in the MIAC this year. In the running for top honors until Feb. 12-13, their double loss to Augsburg eliminated any chances of a title. The Cobber team closed the season with a 13-14 overall record and a 9.7 conference tally.
Hockey honors were bestowed upon coach Al Rice and Steve Baumgartner, senior center from Regina, Saskatchewan. Rice was selected by the American Hockey Coaches Association to help coach the West all-star team, and Baumgartner became the first Cobber ever to be invited to play in the senior all-star game, held at the Met Sports Center in Minneapolis on March 29.
Baumgartner and George McPhee, from Bowling Green (Ohio) State University, scored goals 14 seconds apart in the final minute to put the West ahead of the East 6-4. That victory evened the series at one win each and one game ending in a tie.
Langseth named coach of the year
Concordia women's basketball coach, Marc Langseth, was named coach of the year for the Association of Intercollegiate Athletics for Women (AIAW) Division III basketball teams.
Awarded by the American Women's Sports Federation, the honor
recognized Langseth's leadership of the Cobber women to the national
championship. In the title game, played March 27, the Cobbers defeated
Mount Mercy College of Cedar Rapids, Iowa, 73-72, to earn the first national
basketball championship in Concordia's history. The team's remarkable 31-3
season included a winning -streak of 25 games. In the two years he
has coached the women's basketball team, Langseth
has compiled a 57-9 record.