St. Paul, Minn. – The Minnesota Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (MIAC) released iys annual Men’s and Women’s Outdoor Track and Field Awards on Wednesday afternoon. Among the conference’s award winners was Gustavus’ Blair Riegel (So., Lakeville, Minn.), who took home the Outstanding Field Athlete award for his performance at 2012 MIAC Championships held over the weekend at Concordia College in Moorhead, Minn.
A standout both on the track and in the field events, Riegel put his versatility on display in Moorhead last weekend, winning two MIAC titles and earning All-Conference honors in three events. The sophomore was successful in defending his MIAC title in the long jump where he recorded a season-best leap of 22-feet 10.50-inches to take gold for the second-straight season. He then placed second in the triple jump on Saturday after jumping into the pit at 46-feet 0.50-inch.
To go along with his outing in the field events, Riegel was also a member of the first place 4×100-meter relay team, running with Matt Dvorak (Sr., Burnsville, Minn.), Phillip Butler (So., St. Paul, Minn.), and Kendrick Hall (Jr., Minneapolis, Minn.). The group won the race with a season-best time of 42.05. The Gustavus 4×100-meter relay team currently ranks 22nd in the nation.
The top three finishers in each individual event at the MIAC Championships were named automatic All-Conference, as well as the first-place team in each relay race. Individuals in places 4-6 and relay teams in places 2-6 received All-Conference Honorable Mention honors. Joining Riegel as recipients of All-MIAC distinction on the men’s side were Steve Groskreutz (Sr., Faribault, Minn.), Matt Dvorak, Anders Bowman (Sr., Plymouth, Minn.), Ryan Ness (Jr., Inver Grove Heights, Minn.), Josh Owens (Jr., Brooklyn Park, Minn.) and Mark Stice (Sr., North Oaks, Minn.)
Steve Groskreutz captured Gustavus’ only other MIAC individual title with a first place finish in the 400-meter hurdles. After finishing second in the event at last season’s conference meet, Groskreutz crossed the line first this season in a career-best time 53.51.
Rounding out Gustavus’ All-Conference performers on the track was Matt Dvorak and Anders Bowman. In the last 100-meter dash of his career, Dvorak left it on the track, running a career-best 10.88 to obtain a silver medal and the first individual All-Conference honor of his tenure at Gustavus. Also earning achieving All-MIAC status for the first time in his four-year career was Anders Bowman. Bowman ran a career-best 9:26.99 in the 3,000-meter steeplechase to take second place, Gustavus’ best finish in the steeplechase since Max Hanson won the race in 2010.
Joining Riegel on the podium in the field events was Ryan Ness, Josh Owens, and Mark Stice. Coming out of nowhere to finish second in the javelin was Ness, who recorded a throw of 166-feet 11-inches in the javelin. Ness is the second-consecutive Gustavus javelin thrower to record a second place finish at the conference meet, as David Young also placed second last year.
Although Owens did not achieve his goal of an MIAC individual crown in the pole vault, the junior still brought home a silver medal after clearing 15-feet 5-inches. The junior is currently ranked fifth in NCAA Division III in the pole vault with a height of 16-feet 6.75-inches, which he cleared at the Meet of the UnSaintly on May 5.
Mark Stice was named All-Conference for the first time after throwing the hammer 173-feet 8-inches – good enough for third place. Stice snaps Gustavus’ four-year All-MIAC absence in the hammer throw with his performance. The last Gustie to place inside the top-three in the event was Andy Klaers in 2007.
On the women’s side, the Gusties tallied a total of seven All-Conference performances at the MIAC Championships. Individuals earning All-MIAC distinction this season included Danielle Burgmeier (Sr., Plymouth, Minn.), Haley Kemper (Fy., Prior Lake, Minn.), Amanda Iverson (Jr., Waconia, Minn.), Sara Lundgren (Fy., Mankato, Minn.), Caitlin Fermoyle (Fy., Mendota Heights, Minn.), Emily Klatt (Sr., Woodbury, Minn.), Megan Endresen (Sr., Lino Lakes, Minn.), and Erica Roelofs (Sr., Vernon Center, Minn.).
Leading the way on the track was Danielle Burgmeier and the 4×400-meter relay team. Burgmeier recorded her fastest time of the season to take second place in the 400-meter relay after going 62.72. For the second year in a row, the Gustavus 4×400 turned in a second place finish. This season, Burgmeier, Haley Kemper, Amanda Iverson, and Sara Lundgren crossed the finish line in 3:54.29 to take second place.
Rounding out the top performers on the track was Caitlin Fermoyle who garnered All-Conference status with a third place finish in the steeplechase after going 11:45.68. She is the second-straight All-MIAC performer in the steeplechase, as Laura Secor placed third in the event last season.
Pacing the Gustie women in the field events was Allyson Voss. After clearing 11-feet 11.75-inches, Voss became the third Gustavus athlete ever to win an MIAC title in the pole vault, joining the likes of Janna Catellano in 2005 and 2007, and Shanna Dawson in 2008.
Second place finishers included Emily Klatt and Erica Roelofs. With a mark of 18-feet 1.50-inches in the long jump, Klatt earned All-Conference honors for the first time in her career. Roelofs competed in the MIAC Multi’s the weekend before in Northfield, getting the Gusties out to a fast start with a second place finish in the heptathlon after recording 4,256 points.
Rounding out the group of All-Conference performers in the field events was Megan Endresen, who finished third in the hammer throw after recording a season-best toss of 159-feet 9-inches.
Both the Gustavus men’s and women’s outdoor track and field teams finished third at this year’s MIAC Championships. The men tallied 124 points, while the women scored 99 points.
As part of a conference-wide sportsmanship initiative, the MIAC selected the sixth annual All-MIAC Sportsmanship teams for Men’s and Women’s Outdoor Track & Field. 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 this season’s All-Sportsmanship Teams are seniors Allyson Hannemann (Cypress, Texas) and Anders Bowman.