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UST Athletics History

Founded in 1885 on a former farm overlooking the Mississippi River in St. Paul, the University of St. Thomas has grown to be the state’s largest independent college or university.

A Catholic, liberal arts, comprehensive regional university, UST experienced significant growth from the mid-1970s to the 1990s. During that time, enrollment grew from about 2,500 mostly male undergraduate students to nearly 11,000 undergraduate and graduate women and men.

St. Thomas has been coeducational at the undergraduate level since 1977. Today half of its students are women.
Athletics has been an integral part of the college scene at St. Thomas since the institution first opened. In the first 20 years, intramural baseball teams were quite popular. The Tommies' school colors -- purple and gray -- evolved from the "Blues" and the "Grays," the top intramural baseball teams in the 1890s.

Varsity intercollegiate sports began in 1904, and St. Thomas celebrated 100 years of varsity athletics in 2003-2004. (Varsity football didn't play during World War II in 1943, thus the 2004 season was the 100th season of varsity football).

In 1920, St. Thomas was among seven charter members of the newly-formed Minnesota Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (MIAC). Five of those institutions have remained in the MIAC throughout that span -- St. Thomas, Hamline, Macalester, Gustavus and St. John's. St. Olaf and Carleton were charter members who left the conference for a spell but returned in 1975 and 1983, respectively.

Concordia-Moorhead (1921), Augsburg (1924), St. Mary's (1926) have also been longtime MIAC members. Minnesota-Duluth was a member from 1951-75. Bethel has been a member since 1977. St. Benedict and St. Catherine joined the conference in 1982 when the conference started sponsoring women's championships.

St. Thomas has enjoyed long and intense rivalries with Twin Cities neighbors like Macalester, Hamline and Augsburg, as well as outstate institutions St. John's, Gustavus, St. Olaf, Carleton and Concordia-Moorhead.

Team National Championships (16)

Since 1973, when the MIAC became affiliated with NCAA Division III, just 39 conference teams have won NCAA team championships. St. Thomas has won more than one-third of those 39, with 15 NCAA team crowns in eight different sports.

The Tommies also have 13 NCAA team runner-up finishes. They’ve placed first or second in 11 different sports. St. Thomas has top-five national team finishes in 20 different sports.

The Tommies also have one AIAW national title in women’s cross country. That makes 16 national crowns.

Out of 1,000-plus NCAA institutions at the Division I, II and III levels, St. Thomas is the only one to have secured at least one NCAA team championship in each of the sports of baseball, softball, volleyball and men’s and women’s basketball.

UST National Title Teams

Women’s Cross Country (5): AIAW 1981; D-III 1982, 1984, 1986, 1987
Men’s Cross Country (2): 1984, 1986
Baseball (2): 2001, 2009
Softball: (2): 2004, 2005
Men’s Indoor Track & Field (1) 1985
Women’s Basketball (1) 1991
Men’s Basketball (2) 2011, 2016
Volleyball (1) 2012

MIAC Championships

St. Thomas won the first MIAC team championship contested – in baseball in 1920.

In each of the last 17 academic years, St. Thomas has won the most MIAC team crowns among its peers. Its 15 regular-season titles in 2015-16 set a conference record for most in one academic year. That year included a record-tying total of nine won by Tommie women’s teams. With its first victory in women's swimming and diving, UST has now at least won conference crown in all 23 varsity sports it has sponsored.
In all-time totals (through winter season, March 2017), St. Thomas has captured a conference-best 472 MIAC team championships – 408 regular season and 64 playoffs. No other conference institution has won more than 250.
In MIAC all-sport competition, St. Thomas has swept the men’s and women’s divisions in each of the last nine years since 2007-2008. The Tommie men have placed first in 30 of the 54 years since the award debuted in 1962-1963. The Tommie women have finished first in 25 of the 33 years since its award was initiated in 1983-1984.


Tommies’ MIAC Regular-Season Team Crowns (408)

  • Football: 19 (five of the last seven)
  • Volleyball: 16 (eight in row from 2007-2014)
  • Men’s Soccer: 7
  • Women’s Soccer: 6 (two in a row)
  • Men’s Golf: 9
  • Women’s Golf: 10 (seven in a row from 2001-2007)
  • Men’s Cross Country: 24 (10 in a row from 1984-1993)
  • Women’s Cross Country: 16 (nine in a row from 1981-1989)
  • Men’s Hockey: 34 (12 of 14 from 1988-2002)
  • Women’s Hockey: 4
  • Men’s Basketball: 34 (12 in a row from 2005-current)
  • Women’s Basketball: 16
  • Men’s Swimming & Diving: 14
  • Women’s Swimming & Diving: 2
  • Men’s Indoor Track & Field: 33 (all 33 since the event was first held in 1985)
  • Women’s Indoor Track & Field: 30 (18 in a row since 2000)
  • Men’s Tennis: 9
  • Women’s Tennis: 2
  • Baseball: 35 (12 in a row from 2003-2014)
  • Softball: 21 (five in a row from 2010-2014)
  • Men’s Outdoor Track & Field: 34 (14 in row from 1983-1996)
  • Women’s Outdoor Track & Field: 32 (12 in a row from 2005-2016)


Division III All-Sports Championships

Relying on balance across its women's and men's sports, St. Thomas placed ninth out of 440 institutions in the final 2015-16 Learfield Division III Directors' Cup all-sport standings.

It's the eighth time in the last nine years that St. Thomas has posted a top-15 finish:
  • 12th in 2008;
  • 13th in 2009;
  • 10th in 2010;
  • 26th in 2011;
  • eighth in 2012;
  • ninth in both 2013 and 2014;
  • 14th in 2015;
  • ninth in 2016.
St. Thomas is the lone conference school -- and one of just 12 national D-III institutions -- to place in top 10 percent (top 40) all 21 years of the competition.
St. Thomas’ best finish was fourth in 1999-2000.


Individual/Relay NCAA Champions (66)

UST Individual (61)/Relay (5)

Total National Championships (66)


Men’s Track & Field

NCAA D-III Outdoor Champions (18) NCAA D-III Indoor Champions (11)
Discus 1977--Robert Grimm/162-0
1992--Pat Ahern/178-7
1993--Pat Ahern/175-1
High Jump 1992--Leonard Jones/7-1 1/4
1994--Leonard Jones/7-0 3/4
Decathalon 1992--Steve Dolan/6,773
1995--Erik Rosenkranz/7,212
Long Jump 1991--Leonard Jones/23-11
1992--Leonard Jones/24-6 1/2
1994--Leonard Jones/25-1 1/4
Hammer 1993--Pat Ahern/195-2
2008--Mark O’Connell/191-0
Triple Jump 1993--Leonard Jones/50-6 3/4
1994--Leonard Jones/51-10 1/2
Long Jump 1992--Leonard Jones/25-8***
1993--Leonard Jones/25-6.25
35lb Weight Throw 1990--Ben Bautch/55-2 1/4
1991--Ben Bautch/59-5
1993--Pat Ahern/62-10 3/4)
Shot Put 1975--Mark Dienhart/57-3 3⁄4 800 2012—Mike Hutton/1:52.26
1,500 Meters 1990-Mike Brown--3:50.76    
5,000 Meters 1986--Jeff Hyman/14:22.00    
10,000 Meters 1984--Nic Mancui/30:14.15
1985--Nic Mancui/30:39.26
3000 Meter Steeplechase 1979--Paul King/8:58.20
1987--Jeff Hyman/8:58.71
4x100-Meter Relay 2009--St. Thomas  40.76
  (James Ewer, Sam Moen, Joe DeFrance, Pat Jager)
4x400-Meter Relay St. Thomas  3:10.60
   (James Ewer, Joe DeFrance, Matt Griswold, Pat Jager)


Women’s Track & Field

NCAA D-III Outdoor Champions (18) NCAA D-III Indoor Champions (10)
Discus 2007--Shara Guidry/145-11 Distance Medley Relay

2009--St. Thomas  11:50.46
  (Taylor Berg, Nikki Arola, Erin Sprangers, Kelly Russ)

2015--St. Thomas  11:49.12
  (Megan Terukina, Erika Tipp, Kayla Goeman, Emily Gapinski)

2016--St. Thomas  11:47.04
  (Megan Terukina, Summer Ellefson, Aimee Junget, Emily Gapinski)

Long Jump 2006--Kristal Grigsby/19-0 3-4
2005--Andretta Colley/19-5 1/4
2004--Kristal Grigsby/19-10 3/4
Long Jump 2005--Kristal Grigsby/19-2 1/2
100 Hurdles 2014—Mallory Burnham/14.02 Weight Throw 2008--Carol Comp/ 56-10 1-4
400 Hurdles 1990--Trish Tinucci/61.64
1991--Trish Tinucci/60.63
1,500 Meters 1985--Lisa Koelfgen/4:35.04
1986--Lisa Koelfgen/4:34.74
1,500 Meters 1983--Rose McIlrath/4:34.21
1985--Lisa Koelfgen/4:36.69
1986--Lisa Koelfgen/4:29.66
5,000 Meters 1994--Kelly Copps/17:10.75
1995--Kelly Copps/17:27.1
5,000 Meters 1990--Gretchen Farkas/16:43.96
1994--Kelly Copps/17:04.73
 Mile  2016--Emily Gapinski/4:52.28
10,000 Meters 1983--Deb Thometz/33:50.32***
1990--Gretchen Farkas/34:42.80
1993--Kelly Copps/36:19.08
1994--Kelly Copps/35:32.74
1995--Kelly Copps/35:37.94
4x100-Meter Relay 1997--St. Thomas  47.33
    (Celeste Campo, Megan Pfeiffer, Emily Haley, Andrea Budig)


CoSIDA Academic All-Americas

St. Thomas ranks in the top 20 of all Division III institutions in Capital One CoSIDA Academic All-Americas with 98, including 78 honorees since 2000-2001. St. Thomas has received Academic All-America honors in 18 different sports.

2016-17 (through fall): Ryan Winter (football); Nick Waldvogel (football)

2015-16: David Simmet (football); Emma Paulson (swimming & diving); Emily Gapinski (CC/T&F); Dylan Baumann (CC/T&F); Jacob Gerhartz (CC/T&F)

2014-15: David Simmet (football); Kelly Foley (volleyball); Jill Greenfield (volleyball); Alex Kapraun (at-large/men's golf); Drew Fielding (at-large/men's hockey); Kendra Bowe (softball).

2013-14: Kelly Foley (volleyball); Alex Kapraun (men's golf); Emily Gregory (softball); Kirstin Bigelbach (softball); Erin Statz (Women's CC/track and field)

2012-13: Kimmy Hassel (softball); Eyo Ekpo (men's track and field)

2011-12: Dan Chapman (football); Fritz Waldvogel (football); Ashley Maher (volleyball); Eyo Ekpo (men's track and field)

2010-11: Dan Chapman (football); Ben Wartman (football);

2009-10: Ben Wartman (football); Elliot Amundson (men's soccer); Matt Schuld (baseball); Nikki Arola (women's track & field); Pat Jager (men's track & field); Marta Radcliffe (softball); Alison Wright (softball)

2008-09: Katie McCaffrey (volleyball); Matt Schuld (baseball); Nikki Arola (women's track & field); Phil Bastron (men's track & field); Katie Theisen (women's track & field); Alison Wright (softball)

2007-08: P.J. Theisen (football); Katie Theisen (women's track & field); Maria Bye (softball); P.J. Thiesen (men's track & field)

2006-07: Maria Bye (softball); Carrie Embree (softball); Riley Bosch (baseball)

2005-06: P.J. Thiesen (football); Ben Kessler (football); Andrew Ubbelohde (football); Nikki Conway (softball); Maria Bye (softball); Carrie Embree (softball); Molly Bauman (women's track & ield); P.J. Theisen (men's track & field)

2004-05: Ben Kessler (football); Brigid Power (women's CC/track & field; Dave Linn (at-large/swimming & diving; Tut Fuller (at-large/men's tennis); Katie Glorvigen (at-large/women's golf)

2003-04: Dave Linn (at-large/swimming & diving; Kristi Huegel (softball)

2002-03: Tessie Thompson (women's soccer); Jake Barkley (football); Andrew Hilliard (football); Dave Linn (at-large/swimming & diving; Andrew Hilliard (men's track and field); Tom Carroll (baseball); Shannon Moore (softball)

2001-02: Andy Kaiser (football); Jake Barkley (football); Andrew Hilliard (football); Kristin Murray (at-large/women's swimming & diving); Andrew Hilliard (men's track & field); Tut Fuller (at-large/men's tennis)

2000-01: Jake Barkley (football); Mychal Brendan (men's basketball); Andrew Hilliard (at-large/men's track & field)

1998-99: Greg Kaiser (at-large/men's track & field); Steve Aronson (at-large/men's hockey)

1997-98: Greg Kaiser (football); Tonia Call (softball)

1995-96: Curt Behrns (football)

1994-95: Curt Behrns (football); Johnny Tauer (men's basketball); Kelly Copps (at-large/women's CC, track & field)

1993-94: Curt Behrns (football)

1992-93: Penny Thompson (volleyball); Kari Bymers (at-large/women's tennis)

1991-92: Penny Thompson (volleyball)

1990-91: Michelle Auger (at-large/women's track & field)

1984-85: Laura Inderieden (at-large/women's track & field)

1982-83: Debbie Thometz (at-large/CC, women's track & field)

1980-81: Doug Groebner (football); Greg Hendricks (men's basketball)

1977-78: Tom Kelly (football); Terry Fleming (men's basketball)

1974-75: Mark Dienhart (football)

1973-74: Mark Dienhart (football)

1966-67: Dan Hansard (men's basketball)