Athlete of the Month

May 2006
The Minnesota Association of USA Track & Field is proud to announce that Aaron Buzard and Liz Roehrig are USATF Minnesota's Athletes of the Month for May, 2006.

Aaron Buzard (junior) of the University of Minnesota earned the athlete of the month honor with his first place finish in the 400 meter race at the Midwest Region meet in a time of 45.87.  His finish earned him the right to compete in the NCAA Division I Outdoor Championships in June.  Earlier in May, Buzard ran a 45.51 time at the Big Ten Conference Meet to establish the fourth fastest time in the nation this year.  The Rochester Mayo High School graduate has long been a specialist in the 400 meter race, having won the Minnesota State High School League meet at the distance in both 2002 and 2003.  He was recently named the U.S. Track & Field/Cross Country Coaches Association 2006 Midwest District Athlete of the Year.  Buzard will anchor the U of M 4 x 400 relay team at the National meet.  He has previously helped to establish the school record in the 4 x 400 relay and earned All-American status his freshman season for that effort at the National meet.

Liz Roehrig (sophomore) of the University of Minnesota was selected as athlete of the month for May.  At the Midwest Region meet, Roehrig jumped more than a foot better than her previous personal best in the long jump to place fourth and establish a new school record with a distance of 21 feet, 1 and ¼ inches.  In addition to the long jump, Roehrig also earned the right to compete at nationals in the heptathlon.  The heptathlon consists of seven events completed over two consecutive days.  Roehrig earned 5472 points and first place at the Big Ten Championships in the heptathlon events of the 100 meter hurdles, high jump, shot put, 200 meters, long jump, javelin throw, and 800 meters.  The former Chilton, WI high school grad is no stranger to multi-events.  In each of her four years of high school, she competed in four events at the state high school meet, becoming high jump champion three of those years and runner-up twice in the 200 meter race.  She owns the U of M school records in the indoor pentathlon and the high jump.

April 2006
The Minnesota Association of USA Track & Field is proud to announce that Andrew Carlson and the University of Minnesota Women's 4 x 1600 meter relay team are USATF Minnesota's Athletes of the Month for April, 2006.

Andrew Carlson of Team USA Minnesota, and a 2005 University of Minnesota grad, finished second at the USA 10 Mile Championships in Louisville, KY on April 15.  His time of 48:51 placed him just ahead of his teammate Jason Lehmkuhle in a field of over 6000 runners.  While at the University of Minnesota, the former Fargo South High School runner was twice All-American in cross country and once in track and field for his performance in the 10,000 meters.  Carlson is the school record holder at the 5,000 meter distance and holds the second fastest 10K time at the U of M in 28:56.59.

Four University of Minnesota women share the honor of USATF Minnesota Athlete of the Month for April.  The Gophers’ 4 x 1600 meter relay of Jamie Cheever (freshman), Heather Dorniden (freshman), Ladia Albertson – Junkans (sophomore), and Emily Brown (junior) ran to a first place finish at the Drake Relays with a time of 19:10.92 (an average of 4:47.73 per person).  The foursome shattered the U of M school record by 35 seconds and established a new Drake Relays record.  Cheever (Minneapolis Southwest High School) and Dorniden (Rosemount High School) are both true freshmen.  Cheever was runner-up in the 1600 meter run at the state high school meet last year.  Dorniden came to the University after a very successful high school career, winning the 400 meter race her junior year and the 800 meter race her senior year at the state meet.  Dorniden has already established new school records at the U of M in both of those races during indoor track and in the 800 outdoors and became the first track national champion at the U of M when she won the 800 meter race at the indoor championships.  Albertson – Junkans (Stillwater Area High School) was a runner-up in the 3200 meter race in her senior season of high school and shares the Distance Medley Relay school record at the U.  Brown (Nathan Hale High School, West Allis, WI) has recovered from an injury last season and has established school records in the 3000 meter steeplechase and was part of the distance medley relay record team.  Dorniden (800 meters) and Brown (3000 meter steeplechase) both qualified to compete at the NCAA Championships in June.

March 2006
The Minnesota Association of USA Track & Field is proud to announce that Jim Dilling and Heather Dorniden are USATF Minnesota's Athletes of the Month for March, 2006.

Jim Dilling of Minnesota State University, Mankato set a new record on his way to winning the high jump at the NCAA Division II Indoor Track & Field Championships in Boston on March 11.  Dilling, a junior from Fond du Lac, Wisconsin, leaped 7-feet, 6 inches.  His jump was the second best jump in the United States this year.  Although Keith Moffat of Morehouse also jumped 7-6, Dilling won the title due to fewer misses.

Heather Dorniden, a freshman at the University of Minnesota, won the NCAA Division I Indoor Track & Field Championships 800-meter run title on March 11 at Fayetteville, Arkansas.  Dorniden became the first Golden Gopher woman to capture a national track & field title with her winning time of 2:05.64.  The Rosemount High School graduate also earned All-America honors with her distance medley teammates finishing in third place.  Dorniden’s national title capped an outstanding indoor season, setting indoor school records in the 800-meter run (2:04.30), the 400-meter dash (54.71), and also winning the Big Ten Conference 800-meter run.

February 2006
The Minnesota Association of USA Track & Field is proud to announce that Adam Schnaible and Carrie Tollefson are USATF Minnesota's Athletes of the Month for February, 2006.

Adam Schnaible, a University of Minnesota junior, set fieldhouse and school records in the 35-pound weight throw at the Gold Country Snowshoe Open at the University of Minnesota February 17.  The Burnsville High School graduate established a new personal best with his distance of 69 feet, 8 and 1/4 inches.  Schnaible went on to finish second at the Big Ten Indoor Championships the following week.

Olympian Carrie Tollefson of Team USA Minnesota had impressive performances in February.  On February 19, she won the USA Cross Country Championships 4 kilometer race in New York.  One week later, she stopped off in Boston to win the AT&T USA Indoor Track & Field Championships 3000-meter run with a time of 9:05.80.  Her performances qualified her to compete at the IAAF World Championships in Cross Country and Indoor Track.  On March 11, Tollefson finished with a season best 3000-meter time of 8:59.13 and seventh place overall.   Racing in Moscow at the Indoor World Championships.  On April 1 in Fukouka, Japan, Tollefson helped the US team to a fifth place finish despite falling early in the race.

January 2006
The Minnesota Association of USA Track & Field is proud to announce that Ryan Kleimenhagen and Shani Marks are USATF Minnesota's Ahtletes of the Month for January, 2006.

Ryan Kleimenhagen of Team USA Minnesota broke through the hallowed 4-minute mile barrier on January 28 at the Reebok Boston Indoor Games.  Kleimenhagen’s time of 3:59.00 was run in fast company, with 11 men running under 4 minutes.  The 2005 University of Wisconsin-Platteville graduate was named 2005 NCAA Division III Athlete of the Year following his national title wins in the 800-meter run and the mile run.

Shani Marks, a University of Minnesota and Apple Valley High School graduate, won the women’s triple jump at the University of Northern Iowa Invite on January 28 with a distance of 44 feet, 2 and 3/4 inches.  Marks was an NCAA runner-up in the triple jump while at the University of Minnesota and narrowly missed qualifying for the U.S. Olympic team with a fourth place finish at the Olympic trials.