Senior track athlete Steve Groskreutz capped his career at Gustavus by finishing ninth at the 2012 NCAA Championships last week in Claremont, Calif. For his outstanding finish to his career, the Office of Sports Information has named Groskreutz Male Student-Athlete of the Month for May, presented by Thrivent Financial.
The Faribault, Minn. native started the month at Hamline’s Meet of the UnSaintly on May 6. Groskreutz competed in one event, the 110-meter hurdles, and placed third with a time of 15.35. The following weekend at the MIAC Championships, Groskreutz claimed the 400-meter hurdles title with a time of 53.51. He also took fifth in the 110-meter hurdles, crossing the line in 15.60.
As a precursor to the national meet, Groskreutz participated in the University of La Crosse’s Last Chance Meet on May 11-12. The senior hurdle specialist set a career-best in the 400 with a time of 53.41, which also propelled him into the Top-20 in Division III.
Groskreutz entered the NCAA Championships seeded 20th in the 400-meter hurdles and climbed the ladder in the preliminaries. He ran a career-best 53.37 and qualified for the finals with an eighth place finish. In the finals, Groskreutz ran a 53.56 for a ninth place finish in Division III.
“It was a windy and cooler day, so he used the advantage of living in the Midwest to make it to finals where he was the twentieth person going in,” Head Coach Dale Bahr said of the NCAA Championships. “He definitely rose to the occasion. Being a bigger, stronger guy he could run through the wind pretty easy. He got into the final when just a week earlier he wasn’t supposed to be there because he was actually twenty-first on the list and only twenty make it in. One person didn’t declare, he made it in and he took advantage of it. He ran a faster time than he did at conference and set himself up for finals where he ran against the best in the country. To be able to have that opportunity was good for him.”