Editor's Note: Starting July 7 and running through the rest of the month, Tommiesports.com will highlight 25 memorable events from the Tommies' successful 2017-18 athletic year
Seniors Go Out on Top
St. Thomas Women's Track and Field swept the conference indoors and outdoor team crowns for the 14th consecutive year.
Coach Joe Sweeney has guided Tommie teams to 82 conference championships in cross country and indoor/outdoor track and field. UST scored national Directors Cup points in CC and indoor/outdoor track and field.
Seniors who played special roles for Sweeney in 2017-18 included:
Sprinter Katie Murray
Murray matured into an MIAC individual champion. Indoors, she improved over her four-year career in the 60 dash at the MIAC meet from 17th to 14th to eighth to first place. Outdoors, she improved over the last three years in the 100 dash at the MIAC meet from 11th to sixth to first place.
Murray placed eighth at the NCAA Indoor Championships to earn All-America honors. She qualified for outdoor nationals, but an illness prevented her from a stronger bid for a spot in the finals.
Murray received the conference's 2018 otdoor meet Outstanding Track Athlete and Outstanding Meet Performance awards. She had a hand in three Saturday victories -- two in record fashion -- to fuel St. Thomas' team crown. The Edina, Minn., native won the 100 dash in 12.11 and took the 200 in 24.74, both MIAC outdoor meet records.
Murray made the Dean's List in each of her last three terms and majored in Marketing Management.
Multi athlete Laura Eischens
Eischens had placed in the top 10 at least 20 times in career conference indoor/outdoor meets, and along the way had contributed 81 points in hurdles, jumps, throws and multi-events. But she was never an MIAC individual champion. Then on her final throw in the javelin in the May outdoor conference meet, she recorded a career-best 132-11 heave and won her first MIAC individual title. She finished with a 91-point MIAC-meet career.
A native of Ham Lake, Minn., Eischens advanced to nationals three times on her career in the multi event. She graduated with a 3.54 gpa while majoring in Geology.
Middle-Distance ace Ali Glassbrenner
Glassbrenner earned all-conference distinction in four different sports: swim-dive; cross country; plus indoor and outdoor track and field. She capped her impressive college athletics career with a rare feat for any college student-athlete, too. She participated in NCAA Championships meets in four different sports in five different states.
- an NCAA championship meet in swim-dive as a freshman in March 2015 in Shenandoah, Texas, where she was honorable mention All-America on a relay;
- in cross country national meets in Nov. 2016 and Nov. 2017 in Louisville, Ky., and Elsah, Ill., where she helped Tommie teams place 20th and 22nd;
- in the March 2018 indoor national meet for track and field in Birmingham, Ala., where she earned All-America honors in the mile with a fourth-place finish;
- and in the May 2018 NCAA outdoor track and field meet in La Crosse, Wis., where she placed sixth in the 1,500 meters for All-America honors.
Glassbrenner improved her 1,500 season best from 4:41.39 in 2017 to 4:31.66 this season.
Besides the aforementioned trips to Texas, Kentucky, Illinois and Alabama, Glassbrenner also competed and trained in Florida, California and in Iowa at the Drake Relays.
An Eau Claire, Wis., native, Glassbrenner graduated in May with a 3.77 gpa while majoring in Actuarial Science.
Hurdler/Relay ace Brielle Bierman
Bierman (pictured at top of story) scored 57 individual points and contributed to 74 relay points in her MIAC Championship meet career. This spring she placed third in both the 100 and 400 hurdles, and ran on the winning 4x100 relay.
Bierman was a prime reason why the Tommies held off St. Ben's by just 17 points to win the May 2017 MIAC outdoor team crown. On that warm and humid day with the Blazers pushing UST, she won the 100 and 400 hurdles and also ran on the winning 4x100 relay.
She also was a four-year standout in soccer. She helped UST win the 2015 and 2016 MIAC team championships, and compete in the 2016 and 2017 NCAA playoffs. In 69 career games she contributed 20 goals and 16 assists, and helped UST to a 50-21-9 overall record.
A native of La Crescent, Minn., Bierman graduated with a 3.77 gpa while majoring in Accounting.
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