Three former University of Nebraska at Kearney student-athletes will be inducted into the UNK Athletic Hall of Fame during ceremonies homecoming weekend Sept. 14-15. Football player Matt Bruggeman (Class of 1996), men’s track athlete Lance Pfeiffer (2006 and 2008), and women’s cross country/track athlete Paula (West) Mayfield (1991) make up this year’s class. The group will be honored at the Athletic Hall of Fame Banquet Sept. 14 in the Ponderosa Room of the Nebraskan Student Union. A social hour begins at 5:30 p.m. with dinner and a program starting at 6:30 p.m. Tickets are $35 per person ($40 after Sept. 5) and reservations can be made on the UNK Alumni Association website (unkalumni.org/homecoming). The class will be recognized at halftime of the Sept. 15 football game against Emporia State.
Lance Pfeiffer is one of the most decorated throwers in UNK history. Between 2003-07, the Eustis-Farnam High School graduate won two national titles in the shot put, was tabbed All-American five times, won four individual Rocky Mountain Athletic (RMAC) shot titles and was the first Loper to reach the 60-foot mark. KRVN’s Jayson Jorgensen spoke with Pfeiffer this week about his career with the Lopers. Click here to listen.
In 2003 Pfeiffer was named the RMAC Freshman of the Year as he was the indoor champ in the shot while placing seventh in the event at nationals. He then was a 2004 national indoor and qualifier in the shot before redshirting in 2005. Pfeiffer had a banner junior season as he was the NCAA outdoor national champ in the shot thanks to a career-best toss of 60-6. That was the school record at the time and currently ranks second in Loper lore. A few months earlier, Pfeiffer was national runner-up in the shot at the national indoor meet. He was the RMAC indoor and outdoor champ in the event as well while also being a U.S. Track & Field/Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA) Academic All-American. Finally, Pfeiffer was named the 2006 National Strength and Conditioning Association (NSCA) Athlete of the Year. As a senior, Pfeiffer set a then-school record in the indoor shot (61-2.75). He won the national title in the event that March after repeating as RMAC champion. In the spring Pfeiffer was national runner up to conclude his career. Pfeiffer holds undergraduate and graduate degrees from UNK in Business Administration. He currently lives in Windsor, Colorado, with his wife, Heidi, and children, Gage and Reid. Since 2008 he has been an Orthopedic Trauma Sales Consultant for DePuySynthes.