We'll lead with academics as it was announced last week that St. Thomas grad, Katie Theisen is one of six finalists for a $24,000 Walter Byers postgraduate scholarship. Three men and three women have been selected as finalists. Thesen is the only track athlete in the group, all the others are Division I athletes.
A native of Elko, Theisen graduated with a 4.00 gpa in biology from St Thomas. An NCAA Postgraduate Scholarship recipient, a Goldwater Scholar, and a two-time first-team CoSIDA Academic All-American, Theisen was also named College Sporting News' Senior Female Student-Athlete of the Year from the MIAC -- a honor also bestowed on her older brother, 2008 UST graduate P.J. Theisen.
Theisen was a six-time All-American, including an NCAA runner-up placing in the steeplechase last May in a conference record time of 10:27. She anchored UST's distance medley relay to runner-up NCAA indoor finishes in 2008 and 2009. She also anchored that quartet to first place at the 2009 Drake Relays -- the conference's first relays win at Drake in 77 years. In her four NCAA cross country championship races, she improved each year from 71st to 36th to 20th to 13th place.
Theisen, who is headed to medical school at the University of Minnesota, helped the Toms win 11 of a possible 12 MIAC team titles in CC, indoor and outdoor track. She contributed to 263 team points in eight career conference track and field meets, and was a four-time All-MIAC honoree in cross country. She was a nine-time MIAC Athlete of the Week in her three sports. Last summer, Theisen was named one of 10 national semifinalists in Division III for the 2009 NCAA Woman of the Year award.
On the track last weekend: University of Minnesota Junior, Ben Peterson, won the open pole vault title at Arizona State’s Sun Angel Classic in Tempe, AZ, on Saturday. Peterson cleared 17 feet, 3 inches, for his third straight victory of the 2010 outdoor season.
The Gophers Chris Rombough was fourth in the 1,500 meters in 3:44.49. Andy Richardson finished seventh seventh in 3:46.21. Harun Abda placed seventh in the 800-meter run in 1:48.96, then anchored the Gophers’ 4x400-meter relay to a fourth-place finish, season-best time of 3:09.25. On the relay with Abda were John Holton, Logan Stroman, and David Pachuta. Redshirt freshman Micah Hegerle finished fifth in the Sun Angel hammer throw with a toss of 198-8. On Friday, Hegerle won the hammer title at the Mesa Classic with a toss of 197-2. Trey Davis topped the U of M men's performances in the other open events. He was second in the shot put with a throw of 54-10. Travis Burkstrand was fourth (1:50.85) and Pachuta sixth (1:50.99) in the open 800 meters.
In the women's events in Arizone, Senior Megan Duwell broke her own Minnesota school record in the 5,000-meter run, placing second overall, the first collegian, in 16:04.55. Junior Samantha Sonnenberg captured the lone first-place finish for the Gophers at the meet, winning the pole vault with a career-high of 13 feet, 6 1/4 inches, which ranks her No. 2 on the Minnesota all-time list in the event.
Gabriele Anderson placed seventh in the 1,500-meter race with a career-best time of 4:20.56, the fifth-fastest time in Gopher history. Elizabeth Yetzer and Nikki Swenson placed third and fourth, respectively, in another 1,500-meter section. Yetzer posted a time of 4:23.14, while Swenson ran a career-best and all-time No. 9 time of 4:24.34.
The U of M teams split with some team members competing at the Hamline Invitational. The men won six individual titles, led by sophomore Sean King, who won the 100 in a career-best time of 10.62 seconds. Freshman Cameron Boy won the 200in 21.51 seconds after placing third in the 100 meters in 10.98. Another freshman, Oladipo Fagbemi, won the triple jump with a leap of 47-11 1/4, and was second in the 200in 21.61.
Other Gophers winning events were Sean Duling in the 110-meter hurdles (14.78), Matt Clauer in the high jump (6-8) and Paul Hoplin in the javelin (190-10).
For the women, DeAnne Hahn won the hammer throw with a personal-best toss of 192 feet, third best mark in Golden Gopher history.Two other Gopher women also won: Caty Dongoske won the shot put(42-4 1/4). Emily Betz triumphed in the javelin(134-7). Nikki Tzanakis placed second in the discus(160 feet).
Host team Hamline had three athletes who posted NCAA provisional qualifying marks: Ben Johnson (So, Roseville) was second to a Gopher competitor in the triple jump with an NCAA provisional leap of 14.44 meters (47-4 ½). In the throws, Derall King (Jr, Inver Grove Heights) was second to an unattached athlete in the shot put with an NCAA provisional put of 16.03 meters (52-7 ¼). Brennan McKeag (So, Lakeville) was third at 15.23 meters (49-11 ¾). In the sprints, Tyson Molitor (Jr, Belgrade) won the 400in 48.69. Ian Campbell (So, Blooming Prairie) won the 1500 in 3:55.35.
University of St. Thomas junior Matt Griswold won the 400 hurdles in an NCAA provisional qualifying mark of 54.05 and was second in the 110 hurdles in 14.97. For the Tommie women, Senior Nikki Arola had a hand in four top-two placings as the team had five NCAA provisional qualifying performances.In all UST had 11 top-two finishes.
In the 800, Kelly Russ was first in 2:13.34,an NCAA provo time, and fellow senior Erin Sprangers was second in 2:14.01 to improve her previous provo qualifying mark. Senior Megan Honan took second in the hammer in 159-8 and improved her previous NCAA provo qualifying mark. UST won both relays in NCAA provo times. In the 4x100, seniors Laura Janas, Arola and Molly Demmer and junior Jenna Ewing clocked 48.61. In the 4x400, Demmer, Sprangers, Russ and Arola clocked 3:54.25. Arola also won the 100 meters in 12.56. She also ran the 400 hurdles for the first time in three seasons and took second in 65.00. Janas won the 100 Hurdles in 15.79, and Demmer took second in the 400 meters in 59.24.
Up north at the North Dakota Open, the wind was blowing as North Dakota State sophomore Kevin Jackson won both the 100 meters and the 200 meters. Jackson won the 200 in a personal best time of 21.34, which is seventh on the NDSU all-time performance charts. His 100 meter time was 10.89. In the 110 meter hurdles, sophomore Weston Leutz claimed the title in a time of 14.44. Jackson was third in 14.77. Redshirt freshman Casey Orgon won the shot put with a personal best throw of 48-10 ¾. In the high jump, sophomore Jeramy Geditz took first with a leap of 6-6. Freshman Moses Heppner won the 800 meters in 1:54.33. Redshirt freshman Dan Merritt was second in 1:56.06. In the pole vault, junior Joe Bredahl finished first with a mark of 15-7. Sophomore Nolan Berg was second with a leap of 15-1. Junior Sam Soholt claimed the discus title with a mark of 152-1. Senior Scott Johnson was second with a throw of 147-6. Johnson was also second in the javelin with a mark of 167-9.