Athlete of the Month

 
October 2004
The Minnesota Association of USA Track & Field is proud to announce that Dana Coons and Matt Gabrielson are USATF Minnesota's Athletes of the Month for October, 2004.

Dana Coons, a member of Team USA Minnesota, is recognized for her second place finish at the USA 20 km Championships held in New Haven, CT on Sept. 6.  Coons' time over the nearly 12 and 1/2 mile course was 1:09.13.  A 2001 graduate of the University of Virginia, Coons was the ACC champion in the 10K her senior year and runner-up at 5000 meters.  She now lives and trains in the Twin Cities.
 
Matt Gabrielson is also a member of Team USA Minnesota.  He is recognized for his third place finish in the USA Men's 5km Championships held in Providence, RI on Sept. 12.  Gabrielson ran a time of 14:06.  His personal best over 5000 meters was achieved last May with a time of 13:34.61.  A 2000 Drake University graduate has lived and trained in the Twin Cities over the past three years. 

September 2004
The Minnesota Association of USA Track & Field is proud to announce that Carrie Tollefson and Thom Weddle are USATF Minnesota's Athletes of the Month for September, 2004.

Tollefson, a member of Team USA Minnesota, is recognized for making the US Olympic team and advancing to the semifinals of the 1500 meter run at the Athens Games in August.  Tollefson had a time of 4:06.46 in the preliminary round allowing her to advance.  A Minnesota native, Tollefson endured a grueling qualifying process to secure a berth on the Olympic team.

Weddle is recognized for earning two first place finishes at this year's USA Master's Track and Field Championships held in Decatur, IL.  Weddle won the Men's 65-69 year old age group 10,000 meter race in a time of 41:51.81.  He won the 5000 meter race for his age group in a time of 20:02.16.

August 2004
The Minnesota Association of USA Track & Field is proud to announce that Luke Watson and Shani Marks are USATF Minnesota's Athletes of the Month for August, 2004.

Luke Watson, a former Minnesota State High School League champion for Stillwater High School and later an All-American for Notre Dame University, had a busy month of July.  After running in the Olympic Trials finals of the 5000 meters, he set a Minnesota state record time of 50:32 at the Lumberjack Days 10 Mile race in Stillwater, posted a 4:04 in the mile to win the Rice Street Mile in St. Paul, and last Sunday won the Hennepin-Lake Classic 5k in Minneapolis with a time of 14:27.  Watson has a best of 3:57.83 in the mile. 
 
Shani Marks, an All-State athlete for Apple Valley High School and All-American at the University of Minnesota, finished fourth at the Olympic Trials in the Triple Jump with a jump of 44 feet, 5.25 inches (13.54 meters).  Marks is the school record holder for both the indoor and outdoor triple jump at the University of Minnesota and was Big Ten champion and NCAA runner-up during her collegiate career.  She has already stated plans to continue training in her quest to make the 2008 Olympic team.

July 2004
The Minnesota Association of USA Track & Field is proud to announce that Jenelle Deatherage and Martin Robeck are USATF Minnesota's Athletes of the Month for July, 2004.

Deatherage, a member of Team USA Minnesota, is recognized for winning the 1500 meter run at the Vancouver Sun Harry Jerome International Track Classic in Burnaby, British Columbia July 1 with an Olympic Trials "A" qualifying time of 4:09.67.  Deatherage entered the Olympic Trials with one of the five fastest seed times of 4:07.87. Jenelle finished 10th at the 2000 Olympic Trials in the 1500.  Currently residing in Minneapolis, the East Peoria, Illinois native is a former high school state champion and four time All-American in cross country and track at the University of Wisconsin.
 

Robeck, a University of Minnesota athlete from St. Michael, ran a "B" Qualifying 1500m time of 3:41.92 at the USATF Summer League meet at the U of MN June 30.  Martin was a state champion in track in high school and has twice been named All-American during his career as a University of Minnesota runner.  He currently holds a school record as a member of the distance medley relay.

June 2004
The Minnesota Association of USA Track & Field is proud to announce that Elizabeth Yetzer and Ibrahim Kabia are USATF Minnesota's Athletes of the Month for June, 2004.

Competing for Lakeville High School, sophomore Elizabeth Yetzer covered the 1600 meter run in 4:46.14 to win the Minnesota State High School League Track and Field Championship and set an all-time best performance, bettering the record set in 1986 by Jeanne Kruckeberg of Blooming Prairie. Yetzer's time is the fastest of 2004 for a high school girl this year according to Dyestat rankings.  She followed that record breaking performance with a second place time in the 800 meter run of 2:10.77, bettering the previous state meet record.

Ibrahim Kabia of Champlin Park High School not only defended his 100 meter dash title, the senior shattered the all-time state best performance he set last year by turning in a 10.49 time.  Kabia was a member of the state championship 4 x 100 meter relay team for Champlin Park and he turned in a second place in the 200 meter dash.

May 2004
The Minnesota Association of USA Track & Field is proud to announce that Monica Stearns and Lynden Reder are USATF Minnesota's Athletes of the Month for May, 2004.

As seniors at the University of Minnesota, both Stearns and Reder have managed to improve upon their own school records this season. Stearns, from Wadena, MN, improved her pole vault record first by earning third place at the famed Drake Relays and then returning the following day to win the Macalester Invitational with a vault of 13 feet, 0 1/4 inch.

Reder, of Luverne, MN, heaved the hammer for a throw of 215 feet, 9 inches at the St. Thomas Invitational. Reder's throw marked the seventh time he improved upon the University of Minnesota record in the hammer throw during his career.

April 2004
The Minnesota Association of USA Track & Field is proud to announce that Amanda Frame, Matthew Shannon, and Carson Glad are USATF Minnesota's Athletes of the Month for April, 2004.

Competing for Minnesota State University, Mankato, Amanda Frame won the pole vault competition at the NCAA Division II Indoor National Championships.  In the process, the junior from Pine Island, MN shattered the old record by more than nine inches, clearing 13 feet 0.75 inches.  Frame is the first ever female national champion in track and field for Minnesota State University, Mankato.  As a high school senior in 2001, Frame set the Class A state meet record in the pole vault.

Shannon and Glad challenged one another in the 100, 200, and 400 meter sprints at the MIAC Conference Championships.  Shannon, a senior fro Augsburg from Minneapolis and Washburn High School, captured first place in the 100 and 400 meter races and took second in the 200 meters.  Glad, a junior at St. Thomas University from Cold Spring and Rocori high School, was the 200 meter champion and runner-up in the 100 and 400.  Both athletes competed in the NCAA Division III Indoor Championships where Glad and Shannon earned 4th and 5th places, respectively, in the 400 meter dash.  Glad was also on the second place 4 x 400 meter relay team for St. Thomas at the national championships.

March 2004
The Minnesota Association of USA Track & Field is proud to announce that Mitch Potter and Jacenta Spandl are USATF Minnesota's Athletes of the Month for March, 2004.

Potter, a University of Minnesota senior and St. Michael native, is honored for his three-victory performance at the Big Ten Indoor Track and Field Championships in Ann Arbor, Michigan on February 28-29. Potter, who along with teammate Adam Steele won a gold medal at the world Track and Field Championships in Paris last August in the 4 x 400 meter relay, won the 200 and 400 meter dashes and anchored the Gophers victorious 4 x 400 meter relay team. Potter clocked 21.09 seconds and 46.75 in the 200 and 400, respectively. The Gophers ran 3:10.77 to
repeat as champions in the 4 x 400.

Spandl, a Gopher freshman and Moorhead native, is recognized for her runner-up finish in the pentathlon at Big Tens. Spandl tallied 3638 points in the competition behind Melissa Talbot of Wisconsin who scored 3751. Spandl's score was powered by a 39 foot, one and one-quarter inch shot put, a personal best by over a foot.

February 2004
The Minnesota Association of USA Track & Field is proud to announce that Carrie Tollefson and Karl Erickson are USATF Minnesota's Athletes of the Month for February, 2004.

Tollefson, a member of Team USA Minnesota sponsored by Adidas, is recognized for setting a new University of Minnesota field house record for the women's mile in four minutes, 37.38 seconds to win the Minnesota Open on January 17. Since that seasonal debut, Tollefson has earned a spot on the USA team for the World Cross Country Championships in Brussels, Belgium this March by finishing second at the USA Cross Country Championships 4K race in Indianapolis on February 8.

Erickson, a junior at the University of Minnesota from Zumbro Falls and Rochester Century High School, is honored for starting his 2004 campaign with three straight wins in the shot put. Erickson won the Northwest Open, the Minnesota Open, and the Gold Country Classic, all held at the U of M in January. Erickson's best throw of the season was his 60 foot, eight and one-half inch put at the Gold Country Classic on January 24.