Melissa Kuebler, St. Thomas

New Ulm, Minn. / New Ulm
Week of: 2011-02-28

The University of St. Thomas is excited to host the 2011 MIAC Indoor Track and Field Championships this week at its brand-new facility, and last weekend senior Melissa Kuebler (New Ulm, Minn.) gave the Tommies another reason for optimism at the upcoming conference meet. Kuebler finished first in the 55-meter hurdles at the St. Olaf College Ole Open and is atop the MIAC’s performance list in the event. For her performance, she has been named the MIAC Women’s Indoor Track Athlete-of-the-Week.

Kuebler won the 55 hurdles at St. Olaf with a time of 8.57 seconds. That was a new personal best and the top time in the conference in 2011. In addition, it’s the third-fastest time in St. Thomas and it just missed the NCAA provisional qualifying mark for the national championships. The provisional mark is 8.55 and the automatic time is 8.25.

This weekend, Kuebler will get a chance to qualify for nationals and win a conference title on the Tommies’ home track. The event – held at UST’s Anderson Fieldhouse – will be held March 3-5. Log on to the MIAC Web site for complete details and results.

Emily Van Heel, St. Thomas

Swanville, Minn. / Little Falls
Week of: 2011-02-21

For most first-year MIAC track athletes, it might be a little intimidating to go head-to-head against top athletes from both Division I and II in a meet at a Big Ten university. However, St. Thomas’ Emily Van Heel (Swanville, Minn./Little Falls) has proved throughout the 2011 indoor season she isn’t like most freshmen. Van Heel won the 400-meter dash over the weekend at the University of Minnesota Parent’s Day Open, setting a new school record and lowering her NCAA qualifying time in the process. As a result, Van Heel has been named the MIAC Women’s Indoor Track Athlete-of-the-Week for the second time in 2011.


Van Heel finished first at the talent-laden meet in the 400 with a time of 57.95. That time is the new St. Thomas school record, which takes the place of a mark that had stood for 26 years. The old record was 58.04, set by Erin Sobaski in 1985. Van Heel’s time is the fastest in the MIAC this season by nearly two full seconds, and she currently ranks 14th in all of Division III. Saturday’s performance lowered Van Heel’s provisional qualifying time for the NCAA championships. Van Heel also had a new personal best (25.99) in the 200-meter dash and she finished fourth in the triple jump (35-5) at the U of M.


The Tommies and their star rookie will be back in action this Saturday when it travels to Northfield to compete in the Ole Open at St. Olaf College. That will be UST’s final tune-up before it hosts the 2011 MIAC Indoor Track and Field Championships March 3-5 at its new Anderson Athletic and Recreation Center on its St. Paul campus.


Simone Childs-Walker, Carleton

Seattle, Wash. / Lakeside
Week of: 2011-02-14

Carleton junior Simone Childs-Walker (Seattle, Wash./Lakeside) had plenty of success in the fall for the Knights’ cross country team. However, the distance runner has picked up right where she left off and is now showcasing her talents for the Knights’ indoor track and field team. Childs-Walker turned in an excellent performance in the 5,000-meter run at the Iowa State Classic in Ames, Iowa, against top-notch competition from NCAA Division I, II and III. Childs-Walker finished second in her heat and provisionally qualified for the NCAA Indoor Track and Field Championships. For her performance, Childs-Walker has been named the MIAC Indoor Track Athlete-of-the-Week.

Childs-Walker finished the 5,000-meter course in 17:25.96, which met the provisional qualifying standard in NCAA Division III. Her time is not only the best in the MIAC this season, but it is a full 30 seconds better than the second-best time. She finished 19th overall and was the top Division III finisher. Most of the runners who finished head of Childs-Walker were from the Big 12 conference or the Missouri Valley. While Childs-Walker was running her outstanding race, her teammates were finishing third at the Meet of the Hearts, hosted by Carleton at the Recreation Center to cap a big day for Knights’ track and field.

Carleton and Childs-Walker will get another shot against good Division I competition this weekend when they compete at the University of Minnesota Saturday at the U of M’s Fieldhouse at 10 a.m. The Knights will also compete the St. Olaf Qualifier across town on Friday, Feb. 25, as their final tune-up before the 2011 MIAC Indoor Track and Field Championships, which will be held at St. Thomas on March 4-5.

Shanek Telphia, Augsburg

Chicago, Ill. / Gage Park
Week of: 2011-02-07

The Augsburg women’s track and field team is off to a strong start in 2010-11, and that continued Saturday at the Bethel Invitational at the Bethel Sports and Recreation Center. The Auggies were led by sophomore sprinter Shanek Telphia (Chicago, Ill. / Gage Park), who dazzled in a pair of victories in the sprinting events. In the process, one of her times was the best in the MIAC this season, and the other cracked the top three. For her performance, Telphia has been named the MIAC Women’s Indoor Track Athlete-of-the-Week.

Telphia won both the 200-meter dash and the 55-meter dash Saturday at Bethel thanks to a pair of strong performances and great times. The sophomore finished first in a 26-runner field in the 200 with a season-best time of 26.31 seconds, which is also the fastest time in the MIAC this season. She also bested 23 runners to win the 55 with a time of 7.56. which is the third-fastest time in the conference in 2011. Telphia also added a second-place finish in the long jump Saturday with a distance of 16-03.75, which is the sixth-best jump in the league this season.

The Auggies and their star sprinter will be back in action Saturday when they travel to Northfield, Minn., to compete in the Carleton College Meet of the Hearts. The following weekend Augsburg will compete at the University of Minnesota’s Parents’ Day Open across town in Minneapolis.

Emily Van Heel, St. Thomas

Swanville, Minn. / Little Falls
Week of: 2011-01-31

It hasn’t taken St. Thomas freshman Emily Van Heel (Swanville, Minn./Little Falls) long to adjust to competing at the collegiate level. The sprinter and jumper turned in a dominant all-around performance at Friday’s St. Olaf Triangular in Northfield, Minn. Van Heel won two sprinting events, one field event and helped her relay team finish first as well to put the finishing touch a four-win day. For her performance, Van Heel has been named the MIAC Women’s Indoor Track Athlete-of-the-Week.

Van Heel was particularly good in the sprinting events. She won the 55-meter dash with a time of 7.46 and she added another first-place finish in the 200-meter dash thanks to her time of 26.42. She also turned in a distance of 10.84 meters to win the triple jump, and her 4x200 relay team – which trailed until Van Heel took the baton – won as well with a time of 1:50.02. Van Heel currently has the MIAC’s top 55-meter dash time and her mark in the 200 sits second on the conference honor roll. No team scores were recorded at St. Olaf.

Next weekend, Van Heel and the Tommies will hope to keep their hot streaks alive as they head south into Iowa. UST will compete at the Wartburg Select Meet at noon in Wartburg, Iowa.

Caroline Senungi, Augsburg

Shoreview, Minn. / Mounds View
Week of: 2011-01-24

Augsburg senior Caroline Senugi (Mounds View, Minn.) and her Auggie teammates got off to a good start over the weekend with a solid performance at the University of St. Thomas Invitational at the Tommies’ new Anderson Fieldhouse. In her 2011 debut, Senugi won the 55-meter hurdles, setting a new personal record and jumping to the top of the MIAC performance list in the process. Thanks to her performance, Senugi is the first recipient of the MIAC Women’s Track Athlete-of-the-Week award of 2011.

Senugi’s first-place finish Friday came thanks to her record time of 8.79 seconds. She entered the meet with the conference’s fourth-best time, but her performance at UST vaulted her to the top of the list. No team scores were recorded at the meet, which included athletes from UW-La Crosse and MIAC schools Bethel, Saint Mary’s, St. Catherine and St. Thomas.

Senugi and her teammates will return to action right away this weekend when they travel across the border into Wisconsin. The Auggies will compete Saturday at the University of Wisconsin-Stout Warren Bowlus Invitational in Menomonie, Wis.