The Gustavus Adolphus College Athletics Department has announced the 2002-03 Male Athlete of the Year and he is Luke Speltz, a throws specialist on the track and field team from Rollingstone, Minnesota. Speltz, who is the third annual recipients of the Gustavus Athlete of the Year award, will be honored at the Gustavus Athletics Hall of Fame Banquet which will take place on Saturday, September 27 in the Alumni Hall on the Gustavus campus. Molly Biehn, a softball pitcher from Mankato, Minnesota, was named the Female Athlete of the Year.
Speltz wrapped up a standout four-year career by earning five All-America certificates at the 2003 NCAA Division III Indoor and Outdoor Track and Field Championships. He finished second in the shot put and weight throw at the national indoor meet and third in the discus, fifth in the shot put and fifth in the hammer throw at the national outdoor meet. He was named Field Athlete of the Year at the NCAA Indoor Championships and scored the most points of any athlete in Division III at both the indoor and outdoor national meets. At the conference level, Speltz was the MIAC champion in the shot put and weight throw at the indoor meet and in the shot put and the hammer throw at the outdoor meet. He was named the Outstanding Field Athlete of the Meet at both the indoor and outdoor conference meets. Speltz also became the first athlete in conference history to win the shot put at both the indoor and outdoor meets for four consecutive years. He finished his Gustavus track career as a seven-time All-American and a 14-time MIAC champion. Luke is the son of Pete and Maureen Speltz of Rollingstone, Minnesota.
Speltz was selected from a group of 10 candidates. To be a candidate for the Gustavus Athlete of the Year, an athlete had to have been selected one of nine Athlete’s of the Month selected during the school year or put on the ballot by their head coach as a result of being selected their team’s Most Valuable Player. The winner’s were selected by a vote of the 16 Gustavus Head Coaches.
The 10 finalists for the Gustavus Male Athlete of the Year included: Eric Butorac of Rochester, Minnesota (senior, tennis), Neil Johnson of River Falls, Wisconsin (junior, golf), Charlie Kimball of Red Wing, Minnesota (senior, swimming and diving), Adam MacLeod-Roth of Minneapolis, Minnesota (senior, soccer), David Newell of Dalton, Minnesota (senior, basketball), Luke Speltz of Rollingstone, Minnesota (senior, track and field), Dan Suedbeck of Redwood Falls, Minnesota (senior, golf), Will Sutor of Fergus Falls, Minnesota (sophomore, swimming and diving), Joe Ulwelling of Warroad, Minnesota (sophomore, hockey) and Kevin Whipple of St. Cloud, Minnesota (senior, tennis).