Editor's Note: Starting July 7 and running through the rest of the month, Tommiesports.com will highlight 25 memorable events from St. Thomas' successful 2017-18 athletics year
MVPs in Purple
St. Thomas received conference MVP awards 11 times last school year in postseason awards following the seasons or championship meets.
Seven of the 10 athletes honored graduated last May.
The MIAC honorees were:
- Football's Austin Jochum, who later made second-team AFCA All-America, was named the recipient of the Mike Stam Award as the conference's top offensive lineman. In 35 games over the last three seasons, Jochum helped his team build a 38-4 record and collected 30.5 tackles for loss (11.5 sacks) among 56 tackles.
- Men's Soccer's Shae Bottum, who was later selected Division III Men's Soccer National Player of the Year for 2017. He's the first Tommie soccer athlete to win the elite honor. Bottum started every game the last three seasons and helped the Tommies improve from nine wins in his freshman season of 2014, to 12 in 2015, to 20 in 2016, to a school-record 22 victories in 2017. He helped the Tommies tie for third in the nation in 2016, and tie for fifth in the country in 2017, with a combined 42-4-3 record. In last season's 22-2 finish, UST set school records for goals (56) and longest win streak (19), aided by Bottum's school-record 15 assists and nine goals (eight game winning).
- Men's Golf's Emmet Herb, as a sophomore, was also named to the PING Division III Men's Golf All-America team. Herb had the MIAC low scoring average for the 2017-18 regular season. He helped the Toms share 11th place at the national meet as he had a team-best 14 birdies in the 72-hole tournament. Prior to the NCAA Championships, Herb's last six spring rounds were scores of 68, 74, 71, 68, 70 and 68.
- Women's Basketball's Hannah Spaulding also was named one of 10 first-team All-Americas on the WBCA Coaches' honor team. Spaulding led her team to another sweep of the conference regular-season and playoff team titles and a 27-3 record. She led all NCAA Division III women players in field-goal proficiency (.700) and topped the conference in scoring at 19.8 ppg.
- Women's Hockey's Allison Borgstrom was also among 12 players named AHCA Division III West All-America. Borgstrom led St. Thomas to a 16-3-6 record last season, including her eight goals and 18 assists during a season-closing 13-game unbeaten streak (8-0-5). She finished with 37 points in 25 games, including 13 multi-point performances. She scored a career-high 15 goals and closed at No. 10 on the school's career scoring chart with 75 goals in 110 games.
- Women's Track and Field's Katie Murray was honored following both the MIAC indoor and outdoor meets as Outstanding Track Athlete. An indoor All-America in March in the 60 dash, Murray improved from 17th to 14th to eighth to first in the 200 dash in her four outdoor meets, and 14th to 13th to seventh to second on the 60 dash. In her last three MIAC outdoor meets, she improved from 11th to sixth to first in the 100 dash, and she moved from seventh to first in the 200 in the last two years. Murray scored 51.5 individual points and contributed to 68 relay points in MIAC competition over her era, and helped her UST teams sweep all eight team titles indoors and outdoors. She was part of three 4x200 wins indoors and three 4x100 wins outdoors.
- Men's Swimmer Bailey Biwer was a part of 17 firsts on his career in the MIAC championships -- including all four 800 relay wins -- and also had five seconds on relay and individual races. He was a repeat champ in both the 500 free and 100 fly. Biwer, competing in his third NCAA meet, was a two-time honorable mention All-America. He placed 11th in the 200 Fly and 14th in the 100 Fly and scored nine team points.
- Men's Diving's Andrew Grabowski capped his MIAC meet career as a seven-time champ -- 4-of-4 on three-meter, 3-of-4 on one-meter -- and a four-time conference Diver of the Year. He qualified for his first national meet last March and placed 14th out of 24 entrants in three-meter diving to collect three team points.
- Women's Swimmer Katelyn Strauss, as a junior, led her Tommie team to the program's third conference crown in a row. She was in on six conference wins and now has 15 relay or individuals victories in MIAC meet competition in her first three years. Strauss placed fifth in the 200 fly finals at the NCAA Championships for All-America honors.
- Softball's Melissa Barry, as a junior was named MIAC Player of the Year and won her third All-MIAC honor. Barry went 5-for-11 with one walk over three games in the Iowa Super Regional to lift her final batting average to .401. She reached 75 times in 47 games with 63 hits and 12 walks or HBP. In 131 career games, Barry is batting .398 with 159 hits and only six errors in 431 chances. She only struck out twice in 176 plate appearances last season.
Previous July Rewind stories:July 22: Women's Hockey Closes Strong