Sneak Peek: Tommie Men's Indoor Track and Field

Sneak Peek: Tommie Men's Indoor Track and Field

Sneak Peak -- 2018 Tommie Men's Indoor Track and Field


Head Coach: Steve Mathre, starting 23rd season as UST head coach

2017 MIAC Finish: First place of 11 at MIACs, 179 points (St. Olaf 120 points, runners-up)

Returning Athletes: 55

Newcomers: 11, primarily freshmen

Did You Know? The MIAC Indoor Championships have been moved up one week on the calendar -- set for Macalester on Feb. 23-24 -- to allow for an open week between the conference and national meets. Tommie men will try to make it 34-for-34 in MIAC indoor track and field team titles.

Top Returners: Senior All-America pole vaulter Connor O'Neill has one outdoor season of eligibility left for the Tommies but won't compete with UST indoors. The Tommie indoor squad will be led by football All-America Austin Jochum (throws); jumpers Conor White and Nick Spann; and senior Preston Huddleston, an NCAA indoor qualifier in the multi-event. All were All-Region and top MIAC performers last winter and spring.

Other top St. Thomas returners include Ryan Neville (sprints); Austin Coates (hurdles); Aidan Ritzenthaler and Michael Bury (pole vault); James Skidmore, Joshua Prater and Chris Mueller (400); and mid-distance/distance runners Karl Wachter and Parker Rosenau

First Competition: The Tommies will open with back-to-back home meets indoors on January 12 and 19.

Big 2018 Tests: St. Thomas has six home meets scheduled for men and women -- three indoors and three outdoors. National meets are set for Birmingham, Ala., and La Crosse, Wis.

Stats Watch: These returning Tommie athletes were ranked in the top 75 nationally indoors or outdoors in 2017 or scored in the MIAC meets:

  • Connor O'Neill, Senior: 2014 All-America, pole vault; 2017 best 16-0 indoors, 16-8 1-4 outdoors; NCAA qualifier indoors multi-event; MIAC champion indoor PV; 9th NCAA outdoor PV; MIAC 110 hurdles runner-up outdoors; in six career MIAC championship meets indoors and outdoors has scored 127 points to help UST win all six team titles, and scored 23 times.
  • Conor White, Junior: 2017 NCAA outdoor qualifier long jump, best of 23-11 3-4; MIAC indoor champion, long jump and triple jump, triple jump best of 45-5 3-4; MIAC outdoor ran on winning 4x100, won long jump, third in high jump, fourth in triple jump;
  • Preston Huddleston, Senior: 2017, 10th NCAA indoor heptathlon; MIAC runner-up in indoor heptathon and outdoor decathlon;
  • Austin Jochum, Senior: 2017, MIAC champion indoor weight throw, season best of 58-8 3-4; ranked 21st nationally in outdoor hammer, season best of 184-5;
  • Nick Spann, Junior: 2017, fourth MIAC indoor triple jump, season best of 46-0 3-4; indoor long jump best of 23-0 1-2; MIAC runner-up outdoor long jump, best of 23-6 3-4;
  • Joshua Prater, Sophomore; Runner-up MIAC 4x400 indoors and outdoors; fourth MIAC in 48.53 for 400 outdoors; MIAC outdoor runner-up triple jump, best of 45-10;
  • Karl Wachter, Sophomore; 13th MIAC and 32nd regional in 2017 cross country; 2017 MIAC indoor eighth 1000;
  • Ryan Neville, Sophomore: In 2017 MIAC outdoor was fourth in the 200 (22.40) and fifth in the 100 (11.19) and ran on winning 4x100.
  • Austin Coates, Sophomore: 2017 MIAC outdoor placed fourth in the 110 hurdles (15.50), eighth in the 400 hurdes (56.21); MIAC indoor eighth in 60 hurdles;
  • Luke Van Zuilen, Senior: 2017 third MIAC outdoors javelin, best of 180-2;
  • Aidan Ritzenthaler, Sophomore: 2017 sixth MIAC pole vault, 14-10 1-4;
  • Michael Bury, Sophomore: 2017 pole vault best of 14-10 1-4;
  • Parker Rosenau , Junior: Placed third in the steeplechase last May at the MIAC Championships, season best of 9:31.7).
  • Chris Mueller, Senior: 2017 400 meters best indoors 50.40, outdoors 48.53; MIAC indoor and outdoor 4x400 relay runner-up; fifth 600 and fourth 400 in MIAC indoor;
  • James Skidmore, Senior: 2017 MIAC outdoor and indoor 4x400 relay runner-up
  • Eric Holst, Junior: 2017 MIAC runner-up hammer throw, outdoors, 177-11.

New Face: Freshman Carl Kozlowski of Lake City was the Minnesota Class A track champion at 800 meters last June and placd third in Class A state CC in 2016. He has track bests of 1:55 at 800 and 9:44 for the 3200. Last fall, he placed 37th in MIAC cross country, the sixth freshman finisher in the 8K race.