BLOOMINGTON, Minn. -- NCAA competition continued last week for Minnesota Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (MIAC) teams. The 2019 season wrapped up for baseball and golf squads, while softball rolled on and track and field competitors qualified for the national meet.
The MIAC champion St. Thomas Tommies earned the top seed in this week's eight-team NCAA Division III Softball Championship Tournament in Tyler, Texas after sweeping UW-La Crosse in Super Regional action last week. The Tommies will face off with Eastern Connecticut State to open the double-elimination tournament at 11:00 a.m. on Thursday, May 23. No. 4 seeded Texas Lutheran will take on Williams at 1:30 p.m., followed by No. 2 Illinois Wesleyan vs. Trine at 4:00 p.m. and No. 3 Emory vs. Randolph-Macon at 6:30 p.m. The second round of games will be played on Friday with the Division III National Championship set for Saturday afternoon. St. Thomas is making its second trip to the national tournament in the last three years, tying for seventh-place in 2016. The Tommies previously won back-to-back national championships in 2004 and 2005 after taking fifth place in 2002. St. Thomas also placed second in 2006 and third in 2014.
Carleton College recorded its third consecutive top-10 finish at the NCAA Division III Women's Golf Championships, tying for seventh overall with a four-day total of 1249. The Knights finished sixth last year after another seventh-place result in 2017. Carleton senior and MIAC Player of the Year Ziyi Wang tied for seventh as an individual with plus-15 303 for the tournament. Carleton's Ayumi Sakamoto and Bethel's Nicole Miller tied for 31st overall at 314 on the week. New York University tied the Division III record with a 294 on Friday and a four-day total of 1217 to win the national championship.
The MIAC sent two teams to Nicholasville, Ky. for the 2019 NCAA Division III Men's Golf Championships. St. Thomas finished No. 15 in the nation with a four-round total of 1236. Saint John's tied for 21st as a team with a two-round total of 623. The conference also had three top-30 performers, as the Tommies Emmet Herb tied for 15th overall with 296 shots, with the Johnnies' David Schneider one behind in 21st place at 297, and UST's Jack Ritchay in a tie for 28th at 301. Illinois Wesleyan won the national championship with a three-over-par 1174 team total for the week.
Saint John's finished its 2019 campaign in Chicago last week with a pair of tough losses to Baldwin-Wallace and Buena Vista. The MIAC Playoff champs suffered a 5-4 loss in 10 innings to B-W on Friday before falling to Buena Vista, 7-3, on Saturday. Extra innings have been unkind to the MIAC in recent years, as the league's automatic qualifier has lost at least one game in extra innings during regionals each of the last four seasons.
Track and Field
The individual qualifiers for the 2019 NCAA Outdoor Track and Field Championships were announced over the weekend. The MIAC qualified 40 student-athletes in 48 slots. The championships will be held May 23-25 at the SPIRE Institute in Geneva, Ohio.