BLOOMINGTON, Minn. -- The Minnesota Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (MIAC) recognized outstanding performances from the past week with the announcement of its Athlete-of-the-Week award winners in swimming and diving and indoor track and field. Student-athletes from Carleton, Gustavus, Hamline, Saint Benedict and St. Thomas claimed the conference's weekly honors for the week of Jan. 9-15, 2017.
The MIAC Athlete-of-the-Week awards are nominated and selected each week by the conference's sports information directors. Each week, team sports (basketball and hockey) Athletes-of-the-Week are recognized each Monday afternoon, with individual sports (swimming and diving and indoor track and field) announced on Tuesday afternoon.
The MIAC Swimming and Diving Athlete-of-the-Week awards were claimed by a pair of standout swimmers. Gustavus' Tanner Sonnek won his third-straight men's honor behind four first-place finishes and a pool record in a dual-meet win against Carleton. St. Thomas' Katelyn Strauss also had a hand in four first-place finishes as she led the Tommies to the team title at their home invite.
The first MIAC Indoor Track and Field Athletes-of-the-Week were announced, with some outstanding early-season performances recognized. Carleton's Jerry Cook-Gallardo won the men's track honor with his third-place finish in the mile against Division I and II competition, and Hamline's Travis Jacobson won men's field honors for his shot put toss that ranks second in the nation. Another Piper, sprinter Briana Berninghaus, won women's track honors for her dual wins in the 60- and 200-meter dashes, and Saint Benedict's London Stelten took home women's field honors for her pole vault victory that ranks in the top eight nationally.
To view each sport's 2016-17 Athlete-of-the-Week home page, visit the MIAC's Awards page, or visit the 2016-17 Athlete-of-the-Week news archive for complete details on each week's selections and winners.
MIAC Athlete-of-the-Week awards are awarded each week during the regular season for each of the MIAC's 22 championship sports to recognize and honor outstanding performances and athletic excellence that contribute to the MIAC's core value of "Quality Athletics."
||Men's Swimming &
Gustavus Adolphus College
North Mankato, Minn. / Mankato West
|Gustavus swimmer Tanner Sonnek continued his outstanding season with his third-straight MIAC Men's
Swimming and Diving Athlete-of-the-Week award. Sonnek's latest heroics included four first-place finishes
in a 189-109 dual meet win at Carleton Friday. His season-best time of 2:06.05 not only gave him a win in
the 200-yard breaststroke, but it also broke a Thorpe Pool record. Sonnek added individual wins in the 100-
yard breaststroke (57.77) and the 200-yard individual medley (2:01.15) and contributed to a win in the 200-
yard medley relay (1:39.26).
||Women's Swimming &
University of St. Thomas
Plymouth, Minn. / Osseo
|Sophomore Katelyn Strauss had a hand in four wins at the five-team St. Thomas Invite to help the Tommies
win the team championship, and lead to her selection as MIAC Women's Swimming and Diving Athlete-of-the-
Week. Strauss swept the 200-yard freestyle (1:59.17) and 500-yard freestyle (5:13.80) races and contributed
to a pair of first-place relay efforts in the 400-yard freestyle relay (3:36.81) and the 400-yard medley relay
(3:57.33). This season, Straus holds the top time in the MIAC in two events (100- and 200-yard butterfly, and
ranks second in another (500-free).
|Men's Indoor Track
|Racing against primarily NCAA Division I and II, Carleton's Jerry Cook-Gallardo took third in the mile run at the
Univeristy of Minnesota's Minnesota Open to earn the first MIAC Indoor Track Athlete-of-the-Week honor of 2017.
He finished the race with a time of 4:17.20, a mark that ranks sixth in NCAA Division III this season. The Knights'
junior was the lone D-III runner among the top 15 finishers in the 29-runner field on Saturday. In fact, among the
top eight placeholders, he was the only one that was not a part of the track program at Division I Minnesota.
|Men's Indoor Field
Pequot Lakes, Minn.
|Hamline thrower Travis Jacobson started the 2017 season off in style with a shot put effort that will likely earn him
a trip to the NCAA Division III Indoor Track and Field National Championships. The MIAC's first Indoor Field Athlete-
of-the-Year in 2017, Jacobson won the shot put at The Opener meet at St. Thomas with a distance of 55-05, which
ranks second in the nation and is just 1.25 inches behind the top-ranking distance. He added a fifth-place finish in
the weight throw with a distance of 51-01, which ranks fourth in the MIAC this season.
|Women's Indoor Track
Montgomery, Minn. / Montgomery-Lonsdale
|Hamline rookie Briana Berninghaus had quite the collegiate debut, which led to MIAC Indoor Track Athlete-of-the-
Week honors. The Piper sprinter won a pair of events at St. Thomas' The Opener meet, and just missed school
records in both. She finished first in the 60-meter dash in 7.97 seconds (.02 off the school record) and also won
the 200-meter dash in 26.65 seconds (.39 off the school record). Berninghaus also showed off her versatility with a
second-place finish in the long jump (16-05.25). Her times in the 60 and 200 both lead the MIAC this season.
|Women's Indoor Field
College of Saint Benedict
Cologne, Minn. / Chanhassen
|Saint Benedict pole vaulter London Stelten appeared to be in mid-season form in her first meet of the 2017 season,
en route to MIAC Indoor Field Athlete-of-the-Week honors. The Blazers' senior cleared the bar at 3.55 meters, or
11-7.75, to finish first in the event against solid regional competition at the UW-Stevens Point Quad meet. Stelten's
winning height is a new personal best, it leads the MIAC thus far in 2017 and it ranks No. 8 nationally. Her
impressive performance also ranks as the second-best mark in Saint Benedict school history.