The Gustavus Adolphus track and field team has had five individuals selected for the 2006 NCAA Divsion III Outdoor Track and Field Championships. Tanner Miest (110 hurdles), Andy Klaers (discus throw), Kourtney Joyce (3000 steeplechase), Ashley Cronen (800 meter run), and Lisa Brown (javelin throw) will represent Gustavus May 25-27 at Benedictine University in Lisle, Illinois.
Tanner Miest, a junior from New London, Minn., posted the seventh-best qualfying time of the 110 hurdles with his school-record run of 14.53 seconds in the finals of the event at the 2006 MIAC Championships. Paul Klemic of Richard Stockton (N.J.) has the fastest time in Division III this year at 14.05 seconds, followed closely by Wisconsin-LaCrosse’s Marcus Walgrave at 14.06 seconds. Miest has gone through the 2006 season unbeaten in the discipline.
Andy Klaers, a junior from Delano, Minn., snuck into the 17-person field in the discus throw. His best effort of the season, a toss of 162-1 at the Carleton Relays in late April, ranks 16th best heading into the NCAA Championships. Dan Austin of Williams has the best throw in Division III this year at 196-11, over seven feet ahead of anyone else.
Kourtney Joyce, a senior from Wadena, Minn., is a repeat qualifier in the 3000 steeplechase. Last year, Joyce was nipped at the line for eighth place by Dickinson’s Caitlin Bradley. She missed earning All-America status by 0.05 seconds. Joyce has qualified tenth on her school-record 10:52.87 clocking from the MIAC Championships, but has actually run faster this season. Her clocking of 10:44.12 at the Drake Relays was deemed ineligible for NCAA qualifying purposes because the barriers were set too low. Amanda Kuca of Concordia (Wis.) has this year’s fastest time in Division III with a 10:07.67 clocking, a full 30 seconds ahead of any other runner.
Ashley Cronen, a senior from Kandiyohi, Minn., has qualified ninth in the 19-person field in the 800 meter run with the school-record 2:12.29 time she posted at Thursday’s UW-LaCrosse Last Chance Meet. Amber Druien of North Central College leads all qualifiers with a 2:08.56 clocking. Cronen sits in the middle of an 11-runner pack separated by 1.1 seconds.
Lisa Brown, a first-year from Lake Crystal, Minn., qualified 16th in the javelin throw on the strength of her school-record 136-11 toss at the MIAC Championships. Pacific (Ore.) will bring the top two javelin throwers in Division III to the NCAA Championships with Brooke Barker qualifying first (153-10) by 11 inches over teammate Dee Dee Arnall (152-11).
Last season, the Gustavus women narrowly missed on two opportunities to record points at the NCAA Championships as Joyce was nipped at the line in the 3000 steeplechase for eighth place and Janna Castellano found herself in a four-way tie for seventh place, but finished tied for ninth on number of attempts. Miest and Klaers are the first Gustavus men to qualify for the NCAA Championships since 2003 when a contingent led by sprinter Jerry Washington and thrower Luke Speltz finished 12th with 16.5 points.
Schedule of Events (Gustavus events only)
Thursday, May 25
4pm – Men’s Discus Throw Finals (Klaers)
Friday, May 26
3:40pm – Men’s 110 Hurdles Trials (Miest)
5:20pm – Women’s 800 Run Trials (Cronen)
6:00pm – Women’s 3000 Steeplechase Final (Joyce)
Saturday, May 27
11:00am – Women’s Javelin Throw Finals (Brown)
1:55pm – Men’s 110 Hurdles Final (Miest)
2:50pm – Women’s 800 Run Final (Cronen)