Athlete of the Month

November 2013

The Minnesota Association of USA Track & Field is proud to announce that Bethany Hasz and Obsa Ali are USATF Minnesota's Athletes of the Month for November 2013.

Hasz, a sophomore at Alexandria High School, won the Minnesota State High School League (MSHSL) AA cross-country title November 2 at St. Olaf College in Northfield. Her time in the 4k race was 13:53.1, 20 seconds ahead of the runner-up and the fastest time overall from both the AA and A races. Hasz then won the Nike Cross-Country Nationals (NXN) Heartland Regional race in Sioux Falls, South Dakota, clocking a 5k time of 17:17.5. She was followed by her twin sister Megan, who finished second at both races.

Ali, a senior at Richfield High School, won the MSHSL AA cross-country title November 2, covering the 5k course in 15:15.2. He finished over two seconds ahead of runner-up Connor Olson of Wayzata despite losing his shoe partway through the race. Ali then placed second at the NXN Heartland Regional November 10, finishing in 15:11.

October 2013

The Minnesota Association of USA Track & Field is proud to announce that Annie Bersagel and Jonathan Peterson are USATF Minnesota's Athletes of the Month for October 2013.

Bersagel, who grew up in Apple Valley and whose parents live in Victoria (where she claimed residence for the race), won the Twin Cities Marathon and captured the US Marathon Championship October 6. Bersagel, a former member of Team USA Minnesota, covered the course in 2:30:52. She currently lives and trains in Norway.

Peterson, of Saint Paul, led from the gun to win the Twin Cities 10 Mile, also on October 6. The Team USA Minnesota member finished in 49:02.

September 2013

The Minnesota Association of USA Track & Field is proud to announce that Meghan Peyton and Matt Berens are USATF Minnesota's Athletes of the Month for September 2013.

Peyton, of Minneapolis, won the USA Track & Field 20 km title on Labor Day in New Haven, Connecticut. The Team USA Minnesota runner finished in 1:09:57, over 27 seconds ahead of runner-up Mattie Suver.

Berens, a Bethel College junior (Oakdale, Minnesota/North Saint Paul High School), won the Maroon III race at the Roy Griak Invitational September 28. Berens' time of 25:45 was ten seconds ahead of second place and led Bethel to a 17th-place finish out of 26 teams.

August 2013

The Minnesota Association of USA Track & Field is proud to announce that Heather Kampf and Wally Ellenson are USATF Minnesota's Athletes of the Month for August 2013.

Kampf, a former Gopher now training with Team USA Minnesota, scored two major road mile victories in August. On August 9 in Pittsburgh, she won the GNC Live Well Liberty Mile in an event-record 4:32; on August 23, she won the Crim Michigan Mile in Flint in 4:46.7. On August 10 she took runner-up honors at the Falmouth Mile, which takes place on the track at Falmouth High School in Falmouth, Massachusetts in 4:42.94.

Ellenson, a high jumper and basketball player for the Gophers (Rice Lake, WI), won gold at the Pan American Junior Games in Medellin, Colombia in August. He recorded his winning jump of 2.16 meters on his first attempt.

July 2013

The Minnesota Association of USA Track & Field is proud to announce that masters athletes Jim Schoffman and Susan Lloyd are USATF Minnesota's Athletes of the Month for July 2013.

Schoffman, 60, of Fridley, finished third in both the 400m and 800m events for men 60 and over at the USA Track & Field Masters' Championships in Olathe, Kansas the weekend of July 11-14. He also placed fourth in both the 100m and 200m events. His times in the 100m (13.45), 200m (27.01) and 400m (60.1) were all under the standing Minnesota M60 age group records.

Lloyd, 55, of Edina, placed third in the 100m (15.76), 200m (32.60) and 400m (73.37) events for women 55 and over at the USA Track & Field Masters' Championship meet. She also placed fourth in the shot put (6.66m/21-10).

June 2013

The Minnesota Association of USA Track & Field is proud to announce that Eli Krahn and Kelly Brinkman are USATF Minnesota's Athletes of the Month for June 2013.

At the Minnesota State High School League Track and Field Class AA Meet June 7-8, Krahn, a freshman at Stillwater Area Public Schools, won the 1600 meter event and placed second in the 3200 meter event. His winning time of 4:09.38 in the 1600 set a new national record for freshman at the event, and his time of 8:58.67 in the 3200 was under the previous MSHSL Track and Field Meet Record of 9:02.65.

Brinkman, 32, of Bloomington, placed third at the USA Half Marathon Championship June 22 in Duluth. Her time of 1:11:32 was approximately a seven-minute personal best, and she finished only seven seconds behind 2012 Olympian Desiree Davila.

May 2013

The Minnesota Association of USA Track & Field is proud to announce that USATF Minnesota's Athletes of the Month for May 2013 are Becky Culp and Christopher Reed.

Culp, a Hamline Senior (Lino Lakes; Centennial High School) won the discus with a throw of 154-6 (47.11m) at the NCAA Division III championship in La Crosse, Wisconsin May 23-25. She also earned All-America honors in the shotput, placing fifth with a mark of 45-10 1/2 (13.98m). Culp also won the MIAC title in the shotput and discus and placed third in the conference in the hammer throw earlier in May.

Reed, a redshirt sophomore at MSU-Mankato (Omaha, Nebraska; Omaha Central) won the shotput with a mark of 65-7 (19.99m) at the NCAA Division II championship in Pueblo, Colorado May 23-25. He earned two additional All-America honors in the discus and hammer throw, finishing seventh in both with marks of 175-5 (53.47m) and 194-8 (59.33m) respectively. Earlier in May, Reed won the NSIC title in the hammer throw and shotput.

April 2013

The Minnesota Association of USA Track & Field is proud to announce that USATF Minnesota's Athletes of the Month for April 2013 are Jamie Cheever and Travis Burkstrand.

Cheever finished second in the 3000m steeplechase at the Payton Jordan Invitational on April 28 in a time of 9:29.13, the second-fastest time in the world this year and an "A" standard qualifier for the IAAF World Championship in Moscow this summer. It was a breakthrough performance for the Team USA Minnesota athlete and former University of Minnesota and Southwest (Minneapolis) High School standout, whose previous best in the event was 9:51.42.

Burkstrand won the College/University individual title in the 800m at the Drake Relays on April 27 in 1:49.82. The University of Minnesota senior (Eastview High School) was also on the Gophers' 4x800m team that won its third Drake Relays title in as many years on April 26. Burkstrand's individual win was the first Gophers' title in the individual 800m at the storied meet.

March 2013

The Minnesota Association of USA Track & Field is proud to announce that Melissa Agnew and Jerrell Hancock are USATF Minnesota's Athletes of the Month for March 2013.

Agnew, a senior at the University of Mary in Bismarck, North Dakota (Onamia, Minnesota) won the mile at the NCAA Division-II Indoor Track & Field Championships March 7-9 in a time of 4:46.94. She also anchored the national-champion University of Mary Distance Medley Relay at the meet.

Hancock, a senior at Minnesota State University-Mankato (St. Louis, Missouri), placed second in the 200-meter dash at the NCAA Division-II Indoor Track & Field Championships March 7-9 in a time of 21.17.

February 2013

The Minnesota Association of USA Track & Field is proud to announce that Harun Abda and Todea-Kay Willis are USATF Minnesota's Athletes of the Month for February 2013.

Abda, a senior on the Gopher track & field team (Fridley High School), won the 800 meters in a University of Minnesota Fieldhouse record 1:49.68 at the Snowshoe Open February 15. He earned First Team All-Big Ten Honors at the Big Ten Indoor Championship, placing third in the 400 meters in 46.99 and placing second in the 600 meters in 1:15.80. He also anchored the Gopher 4 x 400 meters relay to a second place finish in 3:07.19, then the fifth-fastest time in the nation.

Willis, a senior on the Gopher track & field team (Mavis Bank, Jamaica), earned First Team All-Big Ten honors at the Big Ten Indoor Championship, placing second in the long jump with a University of Minnesota school record 20-73 (6.29m).

January 2013

The Minnesota Association of USA Track & Field is proud to announce that Jon Lehman and Ladia Albertson-Junkans are USATF Minnesota's Athletes of the Month for January 2013.

Lehman, a junior at the University of Minnesota (via Coon Rapids High School) currently sits fourth in NCAA Division-I rankings in the weight throw at 20.74 meters (68 feet, 0.5 inches). He achieved this throw en route to winning the Northwest Open at the University of Minnesota January 12. Lehman also won the event at the University of Minnesota's Jack Johnson Invitational January 19 with a throw of 20.26 meters (66 feet, 5.5 inches).

Albertson-Junkans, of Team USA Minnesota, finished seventh at the Bupa Great Edinburgh International Cross Country Meet January 5, covering the 6-kilometer course in 21:08. The former state cross-country champion from Stillwater was the top finisher of five Minnesotans who represented the United States in Scotland, and was the second finisher on the United States' contingent that finished second at the meet.