Gustavus Adolphus senior hurdler Tanner Miest (Willmar, Minn./New London-Spicer) and head track and field coach Tom Thorkelson were each honored as the 2007 Minnesota Intercollegiate Athletic Conference Outdoor Track and Field Awards were released by the league Friday, May 18. Miest captured the MIAC Men’s Outstanding Performance for the second year in a row, while Thorkelson repeated as MIAC Women’s Outdoor Track and Field Coach of the Year.
Miest claimed his third straight conference title in the 110-meter hurdles at the 2007 MIAC Outdoor Track and Field Championships May 11-12 at Clemens Stadium in Collegeville, setting a stadium record with his winning time of 14.58 seconds. Miest also finished second in the event as a freshman. Miest’s time, just 0.05 seconds off his own school record, provisionally qualified him for the NCAA Championships later this month in Oshkosh, Wis. This is the fifth time since 1998 that a Gustavus athlete has recorded the MIAC’s Outstanding Male Track/Field Performance, joining thrower Aaron Smith (1998 and 1999), sprinter Jerry Washington (2002), and Miest last year.
Thorkelson was named MIAC Women’s Outdoor Track and Field Coach of the Year after leading the Gustavus women to a second place finish at the MIAC Championships. Thorkelson also leads the Gustavus men’s program, which logged a third-place finish. This is the third time Thorkelson has been named MIAC Women’s Outdoor Track and Field Coach of the Year, also being honored in 2001 and 2006.
Also honored by the MIAC were Chris Erichsen of Saint John’s (Men’s Outstanding Track Athlete), Erik Diley of Saint John’s (Men’s Outstanding Field Athlete), Heather Schuster of Concordia (Women’s Outstanding Track Athlete), Selina Dehn of St. Thomas (Women’s Outstanding Field Athlete and Women’s Outstanding Performance), and coach Tim Miles of Saint John’s (Men’s Outdoor Track and Field Coach of the Year).
As part of a conference-wide sportsmanship initiative, the MIAC also announced the first annual Outdoor Track and Field All-MIAC Sportsmanship Teams. Members of the All-MIAC Sportsmanship team are selected by their coaches and teammates as individuals who demonstrate ideals of positive sportsmanship both on and off the field of competition. Gustavus’ representatives on the teams are middle distance runner Chris Ward (Sr., Mapleton, Minn.) and sprinter Kelsey Becker (Sr. Lakeville, Minn.).