BLOOMINGTON, Minn. -- The 2016 Minnesota Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (MIAC) Women's Indoor Track and Field Championships were held last weekend at Carleton College and, Thursday, the conference recognized the top performers with the announcement of the 2016 MIAC Women's Indoor Track and Field Awards. St. Thomas' Emily Gapinski headlined the 2016 honors, as she claimed two of the four individual honors.
Gapinski (Sr., Sheboygan, Wis. / North), who led the Tommies to another MIAC title, was named the Outstanding Track Athlete, and she received Outstanding Performance-of-the-Meet honors for her record-setting win in the 1,000-meter run. Gustavus' Sarah Swanson (Sr., Fairbanks, Alaska / West Valley) was honored with the Outstanding Field Athlete award and Saint Benedict's Robin Balder-Lanoue was voted the Coach-of-the-Year by her peers.
The individual honors are accompanied by the announcement of the All-Conference selections and All-Conference Honorable Mention team, which are automatically determined based on performance, and one member of each team was selected to the All-Sportsmanship Team. The top individual awards were voted on by the 12 women's indoor track and field head coaches.
Gapinski received her dual MIAC honors for her tremendous performance and her role in the Tommies' 17th-straight MIAC Indoor championship. She helped UST score 182.4 points to win by more than 80 points with two individual MIAC titles and a second-place relay finish. Gapinski's second-straight indoor track honor was in recognition of her second-straight wins in the 1-mile run (4:56.39) and the 1,000-meter run (2:51.48), and she helped the Tommies' 4x400-meter relay team finish second (4:01.44), less than a half second behind first-place St. Olaf (4:01.15). Gapinski is seeded second in the mile at this weekend's NCAA Division III Championships.
She also received Performance-of-the-Meet recognition thanks to her record-setting run in the 1,000. Gapinski's winning time of 2:51.48 wasn't just good for a nearly eight-second margin of victory, it also broke the MIAC Indoor Championships record and the Carleton Recreation Center record. She broke former UST runner Taylor Berg's meet record of 2:52.37, which was set in 2013, and the old facility record was Bethel's Marie Borner (2:54.87) in 2010.
Gustavus' Swanson dominated in the throwing events en route to her Outstanding Field Athlete award, as she won the MIAC indoor title in both the shot put and the weight throw. Her winning distance in the shot put was 43-10.5, which was nearly 16 inches better than anyone else in the field, and she was victorious in the weight throw by well over two feet, thanks to her winning distance of 50-9.25. Swanson will compete in the shot put this weekend at the national championships, where she'll be seeded 12th.
Balder-Lanoue received the Coach-of-the-Year award from her peers for her work in guiding the Blazers to a second-place finish, with an impressive total of 101.2 points. She coached eight All-MIAC performances at the 2016 Indoor meet, and this marks the seventh time in the last eight seasons her team has finished fourth or better in the MIAC standings. This is the fourth career MIAC Coach-of-the-Year award for Balder-Lanoue and third in Indoor Track and Field, as she also won the Indoor honor in 2011 and 2009, and the Outdoor award in 2010.
In addition to the top individual award-winners, the MIAC also recognized the 2015 Men's Indoor Track and Field All-MIAC Sportsmanship team. Also listed below are the 2016 MIAC Men's Indoor Track and Field All-Conference individuals and relay teams. The top three finishers in each individual event and each first-place relay team received All-MIAC honors. Individuals that finished 4-6 and relay teams that finished 2-6 received All-Conference Honorable Mention honors and can be found in the final results.
Fans can re-live all the action of the 2016 MIAC Indoor Track and Field Championships online. The event home page has complete results, recaps and photo galleries from an exciting weekend.
2016 MIAC WOMEN'S INDOOR TRACK AND FIELD AWARDS
2016 Individual Awards
Outstanding Track Athlete
Outstanding Field Athlete
2016 All-MIAC Sportsmanship Team
2016 All-Conference Team
Distance Medley Relay