BLOOMINGTON, Minn. -- The Minnesota Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (MIAC) had countless top performers at last week's 2016 MIAC Men's Indoor Track and Field Championships and, Thursday, the league recognized the best of the best with the announcement of the 2016 MIAC Men's Indoor Track and Field Awards.
A duo from MIAC-champion St. Thomas was recognized, as Connor O'Neill (Jr., Stillwater, Minn.) received Outstanding Field Athlete honors and Head Coach Steve Mathre (21st Season) was voted Coach-of-the-Year. Carleton's Jerry Cook-Gallardo (So., Moscow, Idaho) turned in an outstanding performance on his home track to win the Outstanding Track Athlete award, and St. Olaf's Jake Campbell's (Sr., Edina, Minn.) record-setting 3,000-meter run was voted the Outstanding Performance-of-the-Meet.
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 11 men's indoor track and field head coaches.
Carleton's Cook-Gallardo was recognized for his outstanding work in the middle-distance events on his home track, as he captured his second-straight MIAC Indoor titles in both the 800- and 1,000-meter runs. The sophomore broke a 14-year old Carleton Recreation Center in the 1,000 by more than a second with his time of 2:29.39, and his time of 1:54.22 was good for a repeat in the 800 as well. He also helped Carleton's 4x400-meter relay team finish sixth (3:26.83) as he earned two All-Conference honors and one All-MIAC Honorable Mention award. Cook-Gallardo helped the Knights finish fifth with a team total of 81 points, just nine points out of third.
St. Thomas' O'Neill played a big role in the Tommies' latest MIAC championship by placing in the top seven in four different events. His best performance came in the pole vault, where he cleared the bar at 15-3 to win the MIAC indoor title by four inches. He also earned All-MIAC honors in the high jump by clearing 6-6.25 for a third-place finish, and he was seventh in both the long jump (21-2.5) and the 55-meter hurdles (8.26 seconds). O'Neill's points helped UST score 166 as a team and cruise to a 32nd-straight MIAC title.
Campbell claimed his second major MIAC honor of his senior season with the Indoor Performance-of-the-Meet award. He was also named the MIAC Men's Cross Country Athlete-of-the-Year in the fall, and received his latest honor for a record-breaking showing in the 3k. Campbell finished first in the event in 8:19.65, which was a new MIAC Championships and Carleton Recreation Center record. The meet record was broken for the second-straight year, as he claimed the record from former teammate Grant Wintheiser, who finished in 8:25.51 in 2015, and Campbell's time was 10 seconds better than the facility record. He is the defending national champion in the event, and will try to defend that title this weekend at the Division III Indoor National Championships.
Mathre receive the Coach-of-the-Year award for his role in St. Thomas' remarkable 32nd-straight MIAC Indoor championship, as the Tommies remain the only team to ever claim a men's indoor conference title. UST scored 166 total points to win by 61 over second-place St. Olaf. In his 21 seasons as head coach, Mathre's team has won all 21 indoor titles, and is 15-for-20 in the MIAC Outdoor meet to give him titles in 36 of 41 conference meets. Mathre last won the Indoor Coach-of-the-Year award in 2012, and he recently won three-consecutive conference Outdoor Coach-of-the-Year honors from 2012-14.
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 MEN'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