Dani Larson, St. Olaf

St. Peter, Minn. / St. Peter
Week of: 2012-02-27

In her final tune-up before her first MIAC Track and Field Championship appearance, St. Olaf freshman Dani Larson (St. Peter, Minn.) delighted the home crowd in Northfield with a pair of first-place finishes in field events and three top-two performances overall Saturday. Larson won the high jump with the conference's top performance and a top-five national height and tied for the top spot in the 60-yard hurdles at Saturday's Ole Open Qualifier. For her outstanding performance, Larson has been named the MIAC Women's Indoor Field Athlete-of-the-Week.

Though Larson's all-around performance was tremendous, the highlight clearly was the first-place finish in the high jump. The Oles' rookie cleared the bar at 1.71 meters (5-07.25 feet) to record the best jump in the MIAC this season by nearly three full inches, and her height has her ranked fourth in all of Division III. Larson's time of 9.31 also helped her tie for the win in the 60-meter hurdles, and that time is tied for the second-best effort in the conference this season. In addition, Larson added a second-place finish in the 400-meter dash with a time of 59.50 seconds, and her season-best time of 59.44 seconds has her in the top six in that event in the MIAC as well.

The Oles and their well-rounded freshman will travel to St. Paul this week  as Macalester hosts the 2012 MIAC Indoor Track and Field Championships at the Leonard Center. 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.

Brenna Coyle, Hamline

Lindstrom, Minn / Chisago Lakes
Week of: 2012-02-20

Hamline senior Brenna Coyle (Lindstrom, Minn./Chisago Lakes) continued her stellar senior season with an outstanding performance Saturday against top-flight competition. The Pipers' thrower won the weight throw - beating a host of Division I and II athletes in the process - while setting a new personal best and moving up the ranks on the Division III performance list. For her tremendous throw, Coyle has been named the MIAC Women's Indoor Field Athlete-of-the-Week for the second time in 2012.

Coyle's winning throw traveled a distance of 17.39 meters, or 57-00.75 feet. Not only is that the top throw in the MIAC this season, but it beats the second-best throw by nearly 1.4 meters. It also ranks as Coyle's career best and registers as the seventh-best mark this season in Division III. Coyle's first place finish at the University of Minnesota's Snowshoe Open Saturday came over a field that included throwers from D-I Minnesota, D-II Minnesota State-Mankato, Concordia-St. Paul and St. Cloud State and numerous unattached and Division III throwers as well.

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.

Becky Culp, Hamline

Lino Lakes, Minn. / Centennial
Week of: 2012-02-13

The Hamline women's indoor track and field team had several standout performances at Saturday's St. Thomas Showcase with six first-place finishes, but the most impressive may have been a second-place performance. Junior Becky Culp finished second in the shot put to an unattached athlete, but her distance was a new personal record, the top throw in the MIAC by a considerable margin and almost in the Top 10 nationally. For her standout throw, Culp has been named the MIAC Women's Indoor Field Athlete-of-the-Week.

On her very first attempt, Culp unleashed a throw that traveled 13.6 meters, or 43-02 feet, to earn her second-place finish behind an impressive throw of 13.48 meters. Culp's new distance beat her previous personal record by eight inches, and it's the best distance recorded in the MIAC in 2012 by a full foot-and-a-half. In addition to climbing to the top of the MIAC performance list, Culp is now ranked No. 11 in all of NCAA Division III.


The Pipers will try to continue their hot start to the 2012 indoor season against some great competition this week when they compete Saturday at the University of Minnesota Parent's Day Open, hosted on the U of M campus in Minneapolis.

Julia Renner, Saint Benedict

Shoreview, Minn. / Mounds View
Week of: 2012-02-06

The Saint Benedict track and field team had an impressive performance Friday at Carleton's "Meet of the Hearts," taking first in the team competition. With several standout performances, perhaps the top highlight was Julia Renner's (Shoreview, Minn./Mounds View) emergence in the pentathlon. In her first-ever try at the event, Renner not only finished first, but she turned in the top performance in the MIAC this season and made a splash nationally. As a result, Renner has been named the MIAC Women's Indoor Field Athlete-of-the-Week.

Renner's first-ever pentathlon resulted in a total score of 3,013 points and a first-place finish. Renner became the first MIAC athlete to score 3,000 or better this season and now leads the conference in the event. En route to her win, Renner won the 55-meter hurdles, the high jump and the long jump, and she finished fourth in both the shot put and the 800-meter run. Thanks to her performance, Renner now ranks No. 1 in the conference in the pentathlon and long jump, No. 2 in the high jump and No. 6 in the hurdles. Her score also earned her the No. 15 spot this season on the NCAA Division III performance list for the pentathlon, and her win helped CSB accumulate 86.5 team points to win first place over Carleton and St. Olaf by nearly a 30-point margin.

Over the next two weekends, Renner and the Blazers will compete in meets against MIAC competition both just up the road in Collegeville, Minn., on the Saint John's campus. Saint Benedict 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.

Amy Maas, St. Thomas

Burnsville, Minn. / Burnsville
Week of: 2012-01-30

This weekend, the St. Thomas track and field team traveled to Northfield to compete in the St. Olaf Invitational, and the story of the meet for the Tommies was the performance of thrower Amy Maas (Burnsville, Minn.). The senior not only won two different field events - the shot put and the weight throw - but she also set new personal bests in both events and climbed toward the top of the MIAC Performance lists as well. For her double-winning performance, Maas has been named the MIAC Women's Indoor Field Athlete-of-the-Week.


In the shot put, Maas's winning throw traveled a distance of 12.70 meters, or 41-08 feet. She also finished first in the weight throw to sweep the two main throwing events at the Oles' invite with a distance of 15.35 meters or 50-04.5 feet. In addition to setting a new personal best in each event, Maas is also now ranked second in both events on the MIAC Performance List. She only trails Hamline's Becky Culp in the shot put (12.79 meters) and Hamline's Brenna Coyle in the weight throw (17.21 meters).


Saturday's meet at St. Olaf was the Tommies third of the indoor season. They'll travel to The Select Meet this coming Saturday in Wartburg, Iowa, for a noon start. After that, UST will have four more events to get prepared to defend their MIAC Indoor Track and Field Championship. This year's event will be March 2-3, hosted by Macalester.

Brenna Coyle, Hamline

Lindstrom, Minn. / Chisago Lakes
Week of: 2012-01-23

Last season, Hamline's Brenna Coyle (Lindstrom, Minn./Chisago Lakes) established herself as one of the MIAC's top throwers, and it looks like she's poised from even more success as a senior, evidenced by her performance over the weekend. Coyle was tremendous in the weight throw at Saturday's St. Olaf Triangular, winning the event, setting a new personal record by a considerable distance, and moving into the Top 3 in the nation at this early point in the season. For her performance, Coyle has been named the inaugural MIAC Women's Indoor Field Athlete-of-the-Week for the 2012 season.

Coyle led the Hamline women to a near-victory and a runner-up finish at the Triangular meet, finishing with 105 points, just behind host school St. Olaf (108) and ahead of Carleton (67). Coyle's record-setting performance came on her final throw, when she recorded a distance of 17.21 meters, or 56-5.75 feet. She finished first by nearly 2.5 meters, ahead of teammate Becky Culp (14.75 meters), and set her new personal record by a full foot. Coyle's outstanding throw is currently the third-longest in Division III this season. This is her third career MIAC Indoor Field Athlete-of-the-Week honor after earning the award twice in 2011.

The Pipers and Coyle will be back in Action Saturday when they return to Northfield, only this time to compete at that city's other MIAC school. Carleton will host the Meet of the Hearts on its campus Saturday at 11 a.m. Hamline. They'll also be back on the track a week from Friday when they head across town to the St. Thomas Invitational.