Gustavus Adolphus senior Janey Helland has earned Gustavus Student-Athlete of the Month Honors after having the best month of her collegiate career in March. Helland led the Gustavus women’s indoor track and field team to a third place finish at the MIAC Championships March 3-5, and a 14th place finish at the NCAA Championships March 11-12.
Helland, a two-sport athlete who competed on Head Coach Rachelle Dosch’s volleyball team in the fall, kicked off March by setting the tempo for the Gusties in the pentathlon competition of the MIAC Championships. After finishing runner-up to teammate Kaelene Lundstrum in the pentathlon last season, Helland turned in a school record score of 3512 to become 2011 MIAC Pentathlon Champion. Her mark of 3512 was the third best all-time in Division III according to Raceberry Jam.
The Mapleton, Minn. native kept the momentum going into day two of the MIAC meet, becoming a three-peat champion in the long jump with an NCAA provisional leap of 18’ 3.25” and finishing fourth in the long jump after clearing 5’ 2.50”. For her performance, Helland earned the MIAC’s Most Outstanding Field Athlete of the Meet honors.
The Maple River High School product was the only member of the Gustavus women’s track and field team to qualify for the NCAA Championships held at Capital University in Columbus, Ohio. She qualified for the pentathlon, long jump and high jump.
Helland broke her own school record set at the MIAC Championships with a score of 3, 526 on the first day at the NCAA Championships to place second in the pentathlon. She excelled at both the long jump and high jump portions, recording the top mark in the long jump (18’ 5”), and finishing second in the high jump (5’ 3.25”). Helland then earned the Gusties another four points in day one with a fifth place finish in the long jump after a leap of 18’ 2.50”.
Janey Helland closed out the month with a pair of honors from the U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA). She received All-American distinction with her performances in the pentathlon and long jump at the national meet, and was also named the Central Region Women’s Field Athlete of the Year by the USTFCCCA.
A Health Fitness major with a 3.395 GPA, Helland is involved in the Elders program at Gustavus, while volunteering for the NRHEG volleyball team.
Matt Leeb – March Student-Athlete of the Month – Senior, Men’s Indoor Track and Field
Gustavus Adolphus senior Matt Leeb’s headshot will grace the Thrivent Financial Student-Athlete of the Month display for the first time in his career after an outstanding performance at the MIAC Championships in March. Leeb, a local product hailing from nearby Kasota, Minn., led the Gustavus men’s indoor track and field team to a third place finish at the MIAC Championships. It was Gustavus’ best finish at the conference meet since finishing runner-up with 134.5 points in 2003.
On day one at the MIAC Championships, Leeb ran the best race of his collegiate career to become MIAC Champion in the 400-meter dash. Leeb’s time of 50.64 in the event was his fastest of the season. The Gustavus men’s indoor track and field team has had numerous All-MIAC performers in the 400-meter dash since the beginning of the conference championships in 1985, but never has a sprinter crossed the tape in first. Matt Leeb broke the mold, becoming Gustavus’ first ever MIAC Champion in the 400, as he was also the only Gustie to take home gold at the meet.
On day two, Leeb turned in a fifth place finish in the 200-meter dash with a time of 22.83. The senior St. Peter High School grad was also the anchor leg of the second place 4×200-meter relay and fourth place 4×400-meter relay. Leeb joined Matt Dvorak, Jay Rogotzke, and Blair Riegel in the 4×200, and Carson Smith, Eric Jorgenson, and Steve Groskreutz in the 4×400. Matt accounted for 27 of Gustavus’ 75.5 total points at the 2011 MIAC Indoor Track and Field Championships.
A captain the Gustavus men’s track and field team, Leeb is an Economics and Environment Studies double major with a GPA of 3.729.