St. Thomas (Minn.) wins MIAC title
Van Heel captures four events to lead Tommies to championship
MOORHEAD, Minn. -- St. Thomas used big Saturday performances and swept the MIAC men's and women titles at the two-day conference meet, which concluded Saturday in Moorhead.
The two titles gave St. Thomas a new conference record with 13 of a possible 22 regular-season MIAC team championships on the 2011-12 school year. St. Thomas had won 12 titles twice before. The 13 championships included eight crowns or shared titles by men's teams -- football, golf, basketball, hockey, swimming, baseball and a sweep of both indoor and outdoor track. Tommie women swept indoor/outdoor track, won softball and basektball and shared the volleyball title.
The Tommie women scored 140 points on Saturday alone. Its 172.5 points topped runner-up Concordia-Moorhead (120.5) by 52 points. Coach Joe Sweeney's team won the school's eighth consecutive title and 69th MIAC team crown under 33-year coach Sweeney in indoor/outdoor track and cross country.
Sophomore Emily Van Heel had a hand in four firsts and now has 13 individual/relay wins in four career MIAC meets indoors and outdoors. Van Heel won the triple jump and 400 dash, ran on the winning 4x100 and anchored the winning 4x400 relay. The 4x100 team of Mallory Burnham, Van Heel, Christina Rozeske and Angela Tipp clocked 47.05 and broke a 15-year old school record of 47.25 set by the Tommies' 1997 NCAA champion team.
Senior Larissa Peyton (800), sophomore Sarah McNamara (steeplechase) and junior Taylor Berg (1,500) also had firsts for the Tommies women, who scored in 19 of 22 events and got points from 19 different athletes.
McNamara was seeded fifth but dropped 25 seconds off her previous best in the steeplechase as she won the eight-lap race by just .35 of a second over St. Ben's senior Kaycee Knutson.
The Tommie men held off runner-up Hamline to win by a 187-153 margin. Senior Mike Hutton had a hand in three of the Toms' five victories (800, 4x800, 4x400), and UST added five second places. UST scored in 20 of 22 events and received points from 23 different athletes.
Cody Jerabek won the 100, took second in the 200 and anchored the runner-up 4x100 relay. Eyo Ekpo won the high jump and took third in the long jump.