Gustavus Adolphus track and field Athlete Janey Helland (Mapleton, Minn.) brought to a close a dream senior season by winning the 2011 NCAA Outdoor Track and Field Heptathlon Championship, solidifying herself as the Gustavus Student-Athlete of the Month for May. Helland’s win was the seventh individual championship in Gustavus history, claiming the heptathlon with a school record total of 5,061 points. She was just the fifth heptathlete to score over 5,000 points at the NCAA Championships in Division III history and her total is the sixth highest ever registered at the national meet. Also at the NCAA Championships, Helland placed fifth in the long jump with a career best and new school record leap of 18-9.75, earning All-America distinction. It is the second time this season that Helland has been bestowed Student-Athlete of the Month honors by the Gustavus Sports Information Department.
The senior two-sport athlete who also competed on Rachelle Dosch’s volleyball team this fall kicked off the month by successfully defending her MIAC Title in the heptathlon at the MIAC Multi’s on May 5-6, becoming the first Gustie to win the competition back-to-back seasons. For her performance in the heptathlon, Helland earned Most Outstanding Performance of the Meet honors. Also at the conference meet, Helland won the long jump, placed second in the 400-meter hurdles and third in the javelin. The MIAC named Janey the Most Outstanding Field Athlete of the Meet following the competition. The Gustavus women’s track and field team placed second with 132.5 points at the MIAC Championships.
The product of Maple River High School, located just 40 minutes south of the Gustavus campus, was also named the Central Region Field Athlete of the Year by the U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA). She earned the distinction for the second straight season.
Blair Riegel – May Student-Athlete Of The Month – Freshman, Men’s Outdoor Track and Field
Gustavus Adolphus freshman track and field athlete Blair Riegel (Lakeville, Minn.) will certainly be one to watch in the next three years, capping off an outstanding outdoor season with three All-Conference performances at the MIAC Championships and earning Gustavus Student-Athlete of the Month honors for May. Riegel can boast to be the fastest sprinter in the MIAC after winning the 100-meter dash with a time of 11.20, narrowly edging Augsburg’s Nick Ward who crossed in 11.22. It was Gustavus’ first win in the 100 since Jerry Washington took the event in 2002.
Along with his win in the 100, Riegel also took home gold in the long jump after recording a season-best leap of 22-9. Gustavus had not crowned a champion in the long jump since Tom Durell took the event in 1989. Riegel’s other All-MIAC performance came in the 100-meter relay where he joined Matt Dvorak, Matt Leeb, and Kendrick Hall, running the anchor leg and finishing second with a time of 42.24. The Lakeville, Minn. native also finished fourth in the triple jump and sixth in the 200-meter dash, providing the Gusties with big points and helping them to a third place finish at the meet.