Sneak Peak -- 2018 Tommie Men's Indoor Track and Field
Head Coach: Joe Sweeney, starting 38th season as UST head coach
2017 MIAC Finish: First place of 12 at MIACs, 195.5 points (St. Ben's 103.3 points, runners-up)
Returning Athletes: 44
Newcomers: 20, primarily freshmen
Did You Know? The MIAC Indoor Championships have been moved up one week on the calendar -- set for Macalester on Feb. 23-24 -- to allow for an open week between the conference and national meets. Tommie women will chase their 19th consecutive MIAC indoor track and field team title.
Top Returners: The Tommie women have a strong core of athletes returning, led by Laura Eischens (hurdles/multi); Brielle Bierman (hurdles); Ali Glassbrenner, Jenny Walz and Hannah Helstad (mid-distance); Jalia Anderson and Kendall Novak (pole vault); Katie Murray (sprints); Grace Bordson (high jump); and Sara Ness and Melissa Marsh (distance).
Some of these athletes helped UST placed 22nd nationally last fall in cross country.
First Competition: The Tommies will open with back-to-back home meets indoors on January 12 and 19.
Big 2018 Tests: St. Thomas has six home meets scheduled for men and women -- three indoors and three outdoors. National meets are set for Birmingham, Ala., (indoors, March 9-10) and La Crosse, Wis. (outdoors, May 24-26).
Stats Watch: These returning Tommies are among athletes who were ranked in the top 75 nationally indoors or outdoors in 2017 or scored in the MIAC meets:
- Laura Eischens, Senior: 2017 NCAA qualifier outdoors in heptathlon and indoors in pentathlon; 2017 MIAC indoor scored 18 points with a second in the pentathlon, a third in the long jump, and a fifth in the 60 hurdles; 2017 MIAC outdoor scored 17 points by placing in heptathlon, javelin, long jump, and 100 hurdles;
- Brielle Bierman, Senior: 2017 NCAA qualifier outdoors in 400 hurdles with best of 62.10; MIAC indoor took third in the 60 hurdles and ran on the winning distance-medley and 4x200 relays; 2017 MIAC outdoor contributed to three wins in 4x100 relay, plus 100 and 400 hurdles;
- Ali Glassbrenner, Senior: 2017 MIAC indoor scored 11 points with a third in the 1000 and fourth in the 600; 2017 MIAC outdoor fourth in 1,500 and anchored third-place 4x800, 800 outdoor best of 2:15.24; 2017 Cross Country 141st at nationals, 20th regional, 13th conference;
- Jenny Walz, Senior: 2017 MIAC indoor placed second in the mile and fourth in the 1000 for 13 points; 2017 MIAC outdoor fifth in 1,500, 800 best of 2:16.39; 2017 Cross Country 160th at nationals, 40th regional, 17th conference
- Hannah Helstad, Senior: 2017 MIAC outdoor placed eighth in 800, season best 2:16.9;
- Jalia Anderson, Junior: 2017 MIAC indoor took second in the pole vault, outdoor best 11-3;
- Kendall Novak, Junior: 2017 MAC outdoor runner-up in pole vault, 11-10 1-2;
- Katie Murray, Senior: 2017 MIAC indoor scored in the 60 and 200 and anchored the winning 4x200; 2017 MIAC outdoor ran on winning 4x100 and took sixth in 100 and seventh in 200;
- Grace Bordson, Junior: 2017 MIAC indoor took second in the high jump;
- Sara Ness, Sophomore: 2017 MIAC indoor took third in the mile and eighth in the 3000; 2017 MIAC outdoor fourth 3,000 steeplechase; 2017 Cross Country 133rd at nationals, 28th regional, 16th conference;
- Becca Wilkin, Sophomore: 2017 MIAC outdoor sixth 3,000 steeplechase; 2017 Cross Country 166th at nationals, 35th regional, 21st conference;
- Melissa Marsh, Senior: 2017 MIAC outdoor seventh in 10,000; 2017 Cross Country 152nd at nationals, 25th regional, 15th conference;
- Morgan Dammann, Sophomore: 2017 MIAC outdoor seventh in the open 400 and ran on third-place 4x800 and fourth-place 4x400;
New Face: Freshman Paige Cater of Tartan High contributed to the Tommies' NCAA playoff women's soccer team last fall. She had an 800-meter best of 2:19 last season.