St. Thomas is sending seven men in eight events and three women field-event athletes to the March 8-9 NCAA Indoor Track and Field Championships in Boston.
The top 20 declared entries in each of 21 events for each gender will compete. The top eight placewinners per event score points and receive All-America distinction.
Here's a look at the St. Thomas contingent:
Senior Grace Bordson/Hutchinson, Minn. -- High Jump
Third national meet... Bordson will attempt to repeat as an indoor All-America recipient in the high jump (plced eighth in 2018 indoors, 12th outdoors)... Her season best of 5-7 currently ranks 10th, just a fraction out of the top two... A two-time MIAC champion, Bordson is close to breaking the St. Thomas school record... Bordson also played volleyball for the Tommies... An Academic All-MIAC honoree, she a Dean's List student while majoring in Operations Management.
Junior Steph Kretlow/Owatonna, Minn. -- Long Jump
Kretlow is seeded ninth in the long jump with a season and career best of 18-9 1-4... won her first MIAC individual title two weeks in long jump; third last May at outdoor conference meet; sixth at indoor MIACs last winter... best 2018 jump ranked No. 145 in nation... An Academic All-MIAC honoree, she a Dean's List student while majoring in Biology... Minnesota HS state-meet runner-up in vault as prep gymnast... dad Matt was All-America wrestler at Augsburg.
Freshman Megan Gehrke/Faribault, Minn. -- Shot Put
Gehrke is seeded ninth in the shot put with a school-record best of 45-10 1-2... Gehrke won the shot put (43-10 3-4) and took third with a career-best in the weight throw (49-3 3-4) at the MIAC meet and was named Most Outstanding Field Athlete for women.... Gehrke missed five weeks of training while in Italy taking a J-Term class just after Christmas... She broke a 10-year-old school record in the shot put in her first collegiate meet... Neuroscience major.
Senior Eric Holst/Lanesboro, Minn. -- Weight Throw
Third national meet... Holst is seeded third in the weight throw with a conference-record mark of 66-1 3-4... That mark is just two inches off the top-10 all-time list in Division III, and currently would rank seventh among 30 throwers in the D-I Big Ten Conference... Holst was a national champion last May in the outdoor hammer throw... He won his first conference title recently as he won the weight throw in 64-2 1-2... Holst qualified for indoor and outdoor nationals in 2018... Holst broke two 25-year-old Tommie school records in the 2018 season: indoors in the weight throw, and outdoors in the hammer; both records were held by Eric's event coach, Pat Ahern, a four-time NCAA champion with the Tommies in 1992 and 1992 as a junior and senior... At 6-3, 220 pounds, he started slowly at St. Thomas as a freshman. He tried the hammer throw and had a best of 120-10. That mark ranked 495th among Division III throwers nationally and eighth best on his St. Thomas team... As a sophomore in 2017 he jumped to a best of 177-11 in the hammer for second at the MIAC meet and zoomed to 33rd best in D-III, although he still missed qualifying for the 20-man NCAA Championships field... A breakthrough season indoors in 2018 sent him into the top 10 nationally in the weight throw; he qualified for his first national meet and took 13th in that event... Last spring in outdoor track and field he broke 200 feet in the hammer and was seeded third going into the NCAA meet in La Crosse, Wis.; Holst improved his conference record to 207-5 on his second throw at nationals, and capped it off on his final try with a 211-4 best to secure the gold medal; that mark is the ninth best in Division III history covering approximately 40 seasons, and just seven feet out of second place all-time... Mechanical Engineering major.
Senior Conor White/Deephaven, Minn. (Providence Academy HS) -- Long Jump
Fourth national meet... White is seeded seventh in the long jump with a best of 23-8 (top five on St. Thomas all-time indoor list)... He scored 15 points in the MIAC indoor with his long jump victory (23-8), a sixth in the triple jump and a seventh in the 100 dash... White's long jump best is tied for third on the St. Thomas all-time indoor list... Took 10th at indoor nationals and 11th at outdoor nationals as a junior in 2018... In seevn career MIAC Championship meets has won the long jump five times, the triple jump obce and also ran on winning 4x100 relay... has scored 107.5 points in 19 events individually at conference meets... Operations Management major.
Senior Nick Spann/Apple Valley, Minn. (Eastview HS) -- Long Jump & Triple Jump
Spann is seeded ninth in the long jump with a best of 23-6 3-4 (top five on St. Thomas all-time indoor list)... He has also qualified in the triple jump and is seeded 15th... Spann repeated as MIAC indoor champ in the triple jump two weeks ago; seeded seventh based on season marks, he had a career-best leap of 47-1 1-2... Spann won the Wartburg Last Chance meet in the long jump last Saturday and bumped into the top 10 nationally on the season... Financial Management major.
Senior David Danhauer/Barrington, Ill. -- Shot Put
Danhauer placed second in the shot put and fifth in the weight throw at the recent MIAC meet... His 54-4 1-2 season best in the shot ranks 10th nationally... Danhauer has improved his indoor shot put from a No. 240 national ranking as a sophomore (44-0) to a No. 63 ranking as a junior (49-10) in 2018; to a No. 10 current ranking as a senior in 2019 (54-4 1-2)... He was an All-America honoree in football at defensive line last fall for the nationally-ranked Tommies... An Academic All-MIAC honoree, he's a Dean's List student while majoring in Operations Management; 2018 CoSIDA Academic All-District honoree in football...
Junior Gage O'Brien/Inver Grove Heights, Minn. (Rosemount HS) -- Shot Put
O'Brien, will compete in his first NCAA meet, and is seeded 14th in the shot put (53-11 3-4)... O'Brien took fourth in the MIAC shot put and seventh in the weight throw... He's made great strides: His best national ranking as a sophomore in 2018 was 104th indoors and 99th outdoors in the shot, and 193rd indoors in weight throw... His best discus throw as a freshman in 2017 was 14th best in the MIAC (133-3), but his sophomore best of 150-1 in 2018 won the conference championship... An Academic All-MIAC honoree, he's a Dean's List student while majoring in Mechanical Engineering...
Junior Karl Wachter/Shakopee, Minn. -- Mile
Wachter is seeded 11th in the mile with a season-best of 4:13.43 after ranking at No. 59 in 2018 indoors as a sophomore... His March 2 time was the third fastest mile in program history (for NCAA seeding, time converts to 4:10.24)... He was a two-event runner-up at the conference meet in the mile and 3,000 (8:30.20). Wachter's 3K time ranks sixth best in school history indoors... Last fall in cross country placed fourth in the MIAC, 21st at the regional race and 76th at nationals... MIAC outdoor runner-up at 1,500 meters last May... An Academic All-MIAC honoree, he's a Dean's List student while majoring in Mechanical Engineering...
Sophomore Carl Kozlowski/Lake City, Minn. -- 800
Kozlowski is seeded 19th in the 800 meters after a 2018 indoor natinal best rank of No. 50... His season best of 1:54 converts to 1:52.91 for NCAA seeding... At the MIAC meet, he swept to victories in the 800 and 1000, and his winning time in the 1000 was a season-best 2:28.59, third fastest by a Tommie in the last 21 years... Last fall in cross country placed 14th at MIACs, 47th at the regional race and 165th at nationals...