Josh Owens, Gustavus

Brooklyn Park, Minn. / Champlin Park
Week of: 2012-02-27

Gustavus junior Josh Owens (Brooklyn Park, Minn./Champlin Park) has had a remarkable pole vaulting indoor season in 2012 highlighted by his latest record-setting performance Friday at Macalester. Owens seemed perfectly comfortable in the host facility of this week's 2012 MIAC Indoor Track and Field Championships as he set a new Gustavus and MIAC indoor record in the event, finishing first and staying ahead of his top competitors in the conference by at least eight full inches. For his record vault, Owens has been named the MIAC Men's Indoor Field Athlete-of-the-Week for the second time this season.

Owens had turned several incredible pole vault performances this season, but he was at his best Friday, clearing the bar at 5.00 meters, or 16-04.75 feet to set a new school and conference record. The previous MIAC best was 16-03.25, set by St. Thomas' Matt Schroeder in 2007, and now Owens leads the current conference field by more than eight inches as Hamline's Shaise Schuette is second at 4.79 meters or 15-08.5 feet. Owens was also named MIAC Athlete-of-the-Week back on Feb. 6 after another school-record breaking performance.

Owens and his Gustavus teammates will hope to soar even higher at the Leonard Center on the Macalester Campus this week as the Scots host the 2012 MIAC Indoor Track and Field Championships. The event begins Thursday with the multi-event competitions, then continues Friday and concludes Saturday afternoon. Field events begin Friday at 3:30 p.m. with track events starting at 5:15 p.m. Saturday's action starts with field events at 11:30 a.m. and track events will begin at 2 p.m.

 

Brennan McKeag, Hamline

Lakeville, Minn. / Apple Valley
Week of: 2012-02-20

Hamline thrower Brennan McKeag was really good on Friday, and even better on Saturday in a pair of impressive performances for the Pipers. McKeag was the top Division III competitor and a top-10 finisher Friday in the weight throw in a meet hosted by the University of Minnesota, and he added a first-place finish and new school record in the event on Saturday at St. Olaf. For his impressive performances, McKeag has been named the MIAC Men's Indoor Field Athlete-of-the-Week.

McKeag finished eighth in the weight throw at the Gophers' Snowshoe Open Friday with a distance of 18.19 meters, or 59-08.25 feet, behind competitors who were either unattached, or from D-I Minnesota or D-II Minnesota State-Mankato. The following day, McKeage won the weight throw at St. Olaf's Tostrud Invitational, setting a new school record and a personal best by more than two feet with a throw of 18.84 meters, or 61-09.75 feet. McKeag's new record throw currently ranks ninth in all of Division III this season.

Hamline and its strong throwers will have one more chance to get ready for the 2012 MIAC Indoor Track and Field Championships, and fortunately both meets will be at the same location. Friday, the Pipers will compete at Macalester's Pre-Conference Meet which begins at 5 p.m. The Scots will also host the MIAC Championships the following weekend on March 1-3.

Andrew Schlichting, Hamline

North Oaks, Minn. / Mounds View
Week of: 2012-02-13

The Hamline men's track and field team has found a lot of success in throwing events in recent years, and it appears that 2012 will be no exception. At Saturday's St. Thomas showcase, senior thrower Andrew Schlichting (North Oaks, Minn./Mounds View) not only won the weight throw with a strong performance, but he made a splash in the MIAC and nationally with his winning distance. Thanks to his first-place finish and standout performance, Schlichting has been named the MIAC Men's Indoor Field Athlete-of-the-Week.

Schlichting finished first in the hammer throw at the St. Thomas Showcase across town in St. Paul Saturday thanks to a winning distance of 18.03 meters, or 59-02 feet, to edge out teammate Brennan McKeag for first place. Schlitchting's throw wasn't just the best at that particular meet, it is the top throw in the MIAC this season, and he is currently ranked No. 12 in all of Division III in the weight throw. His winning throw came on the fourth of his six attempts.

The Hamline track team and its talented throwers will have two opportunities to continue their strong season this week with a pair of meets on the schedule. Friday, the Pipers will compete at the University of Minnesota Snowshoe Open, which will be held on the U of M campus in Minneapolis at 4 p.m., and Saturday they will take on St. Olaf at 11 a.m.

Josh Owens

Brooklyn Park, Minn. / Champlin Park
Week of: 2012-02-06

Saturday was a memorable day for the Gustavus men's track and field team and junior Josh Owens (Brooklyn Park, Minn./Champlin Park). The Gusties were the only Division III team in the field of the Ted Nelson Classic at Minnesota State-Mankato and fared well against the Division II field, highlighted by Owens' performance in the pole vault. Owens won the event, setting a new Gustavus school record and climbing the national performance list in the process. For his record-setting performance, Owens has been named the MIAC Men's Indoor field Athlete-of-the-Week.

Owens set his new personal record - not to mention the new Gustie record - by clearing the bar in the pole vault at 4.81 meters, or 15-09.25 feet. That height also sent Owens to the top of the MIAC performance list thus far in 2012, and it moved him into the Top 10 nationally as he now ranks ninth in all of NCAA Division III. In addition to the Gusties and Mankato, Augustana and St. Cloud State also competed in the meet. 

The Gusties and their record-setting pole vaulter will be back in action Saturday when they travel north to St. Cloud for the Van Nelson Classic, hosted by St. Cloud State. Gustavus has just three more events on its schedule to prepare for the 2012 MIAC Indoor Track and Field Championships, which will be hosted by Macalester in St. Paul on March 1, 2 and 3.

Mike Harley, Augsburg

Scandia, Minn. / Stillwater
Week of: 2012-01-30

It hasn't taken long for Augsburg's talented new high-jumping duo to make an impact at the collegiate level. Just a few weeks into their career as Auggies, freshmen Mike Harley (Scandia, Minn./Stillwater) and John Spray (Mount Dora, Fla./Mount Dora Bible) have already put their names into Augsburg's track and field record book. Saturday, the duo tied for first place in the high jump, simultaneously breaking the school record for height and sharing the new record thanks to their identical marks. For their record-setting performance, Harley and Spray have been named the MIAC Men's Field Co-Athletes-of-the-Week.

The high-flying Auggie freshmen scored the co-first-place finish and the new school record Saturday just across the border into Wisconsin at the Warren Bowlus Open hosted by UW-Stout on its Menomonie, Wis., campus. Harley and Spray both cleared the bar at 1.89 meters, or 6-2.25 feet to finish first, break the Augsburg record and lead the Auggies' field team. The previous record was 1.86 meters, set by Luke Trees during the 2001 indoor season. The record-breaking performance came in Augsburg's first indoor meet of 2012, and the first career meet for both Harley and Spray.

 

The talented first-year duo will try to continue their early success this weekend, as the Auggies travel across the metro area to Arden Hills, Minn., for the Bethel University Invitational. It will be Augsburg's second of five meets during the indoor season leading up to the MIAC Indoor Championships, hosted by Macalester March 2-3.

John Spray, Augsburg

Mount Dora, Fla. / Mount Dora Bible
Week of: 2012-01-30

It hasn't taken long for Augsburg's talented new high-jumping duo to make an impact at the collegiate level. Just a few weeks into their career as Auggies, freshmen John Spray (Mount Dora, Fla./Mount Dora Bible) and Mike Harley (Scandia, Minn./Stillwater) have already put their names into Augsburg's track and field record book. Saturday, the duo tied for first place in the high jump, simultaneously breaking the school record for height and sharing the new record thanks to their identical marks. For their record-setting performance, Spray and Harley have been named the MIAC Men's Field Co-Athletes-of-the-Week.

The high-flying Auggie freshmen scored the co-first-place finish and the new school record Saturday just across the border into Wisconsin at the Warren Bowlus Open hosted by UW-Stout on its Menomonie, Wis., campus. Spray and Harley both cleared the bar at 1.89 meters, or 6-2.25 feet to finish first, break the Augsburg record and lead the Auggies' field team. The previous record was 1.86 meters, set by Luke Trees during the 2001 indoor season. The record-breaking performance came in Augsburg's first indoor meet of 2012, and the first career meet for both Spray and Harley.

 

The talented first-year duo will try to continue their early success this weekend, as the Auggies travel across the metro area to Arden Hills, Minn., for the Bethel University Invitational. It will be Augsburg's second of five meets during the indoor season leading up to the MIAC Indoor Championships, hosted by Macalester March 2-3.

Shaise Shuette, Hamline

Anoka, Minn. / St. Francis
Week of: 2012-01-23

Over his first two years at Hamline, Shaise Schuette (Anoka, Minn./St. Francis) has established himself as one of the league's top pole vaulters, and thus far in 2012, it appears the Pipers' star is ready to vault even higher. Over the weekend, Schuette was in mid-season form at the St. Olaf Triangular, winning his event and setting a new personal record. For his performance, Schuette has been named the first MIAC Men's Indoor Field Athlete-of-the-Week for the 2012 season.

Saturday, Schuette cleared the bar at 15-8.5 feet (4.79 meters), and all at once he won first place in the event, broke his personal record and moved into the Top 10 across all of Division III. Schuette's height is currently the eight-best mark in the nation this season. Schuette was one of four Pipers to finish first in an individual event at St. Olaf, and he finished nearly 0.5 meters ahead of the rest of the field in the pole vault. As a team, Hamline finished second with 105 points, narrowly losing to the host school (114 points) but edging out Carleton (103) for the runner-up spot.

After his big performance, Schuette and the Piper track and field team will take a week off before returning to competition on Saturday, Feb. 4. On that date, Hamline will compete in the Bethel Invitational at 11 a.m. across the metro area at Bethel's campus in Arden Hills.