November 2017 Athletes of the Month

12/13/2017
 
  
MENDOTA HEIGHTS
- With a slew of championship races sprinkled throughout the month of November, high school, college, and post-college athletes saw lots of opportunities to show their fitness and end the year on a good note. Khalid Hussein and Tierney Wolfgram did just that in winning the Minnesota State High School League Cross Country Championships on November 4th, earning them each the title of USATF Minnesota’s November Athlete of the Month.

Khalid Hussein from Wayzata High School had showed he was one of the best, if not the best, high school cross country runners in the state of Minnesota all season long, consistently being ranked in the top five throughout the fall. At this year’s MSHSL State Cross Country Championships, Hussein proved just that by winning the state title in the Class AA race in a time of 15:22.6. This performance, along with his 3rd place finish at the Nike Heartland Regional Championship race on November 12th that qualified him for the Nike Nationals Championship race in Portland, Oregon, earns him the title of USATF Minnesota’s November Athlete of the Month.

Before his success this fall, Hussein was runner-up in last spring’s 1600m race at the MSHSL Track & Field Championships as well as runner-up at the 2016 MSHSL Cross Country Championships.

Tierney Wolfgram, Math & Science Academy freshman, continued her dominance in Class A competition by defending her title with a convincing win at the MSHSL State Cross Country Championships in a blazing fast time of 17:31.6. She again showed her strength at the Nike Heartland Regional Championship race on November 12th where she claimed victory and qualified for the Nike National Championship meet over the best high school runners from Iowa, Kansas, Minnesota, Nebraska, North Dakota, South Dakota, and Wisconsin in an even faster time of 16:48.67. These performances have earned Wolfgram the honor of USATF Minnesota’s November Athlete of the Month.

Following her wins at the Minnesota State Championships and the Nike Heartland Regional Championships, Wolfgram went on to continue her hot streak with a 9th place finish in the Footlocker Cross Country Midwest Championship race, qualifying her for the prestigious Footlocker National Cross Country Championships in San Diego, California on December 9th.

Congratulations to both Khalid and Tierney on great cross-country seasons and good luck this Spring on the track!

Honorable Mention Worthy Performances in November
Men: 
  • Matt Welch of Proctor, Minnesota finished as the top Minnesotan at this year’s NCAA Division I Cross Country Championships with a 46th place finish and time of 30:09 while competing for the University of Portland Pilots.
  • Joe Klecker of the University of Colorado-Boulder and originally from Hopkins, won the NCAA Division I Mountain Regional Championship on November 10th in a time of 30:13. After being ranked in the top-25 consistently all season, Klecker later went on to place 67th at the NCAA Division I Cross Country Championships after struggling with some abdominal cramps during the race.
  • The Wayzata High School Boys Team added another Minnesota State Cross Country Championship to their trophy case with the AA title on November 4th, later going on to also win the Nike Heartland Regional Championship title on November 12th, earning them a spot on the starting line of the Nike National Championship race in Portland, Oregon on December 2nd .
  • Acer Iverson from Roseville High School claimed runner-up honors at this year’s Minnesota Class AA State Cross Country Championships, then went on to qualify for the Nike National Championship race with his 6th place 15:04.1 finish at the Nike Heartland Regional Championship race as well.
  • Matt Steiger from LaCresent, Minnesota won the Class A Minnesota State Cross Country title after his 15:44.8 run on November 4th.
  • Will Leer and Hassan Mead, from Minnetonka and Minneapolis respectively, finished in close quarters of each other with 8th and 9th place finishes at the USATF 5k National Championships on November 4th hosted by New York Road Runners and the Abbott Dash to the Finish Line 5k.
Women:
  • Bethany Hasz from Alexandria, Minnesota finished as the top Minnesota at the NCAA Division I Cross Country Championships on November 18th with a 70th place finish in 20:29 while competing for the University of Minnesota. Hasz was also 7th at the Midwest Regional on November 10th .
  • Emily Covert won the Class AA state title at this year’s Minnesota State Cross Country Championships in 17:30.1. Covert went on to earn a spot on both the Nike National Championships and the Footlocker National Championships start lines with a 2nd place finish at the Nike Heartland Regional Championships on November 12th in 16:55.71 and a 3rd place finish at the Footlocker Midwest Championships on November 25th in 17:17.4.
  • The University of Minnesota Gophers Women’s Team continued their history of qualifying for the NCAA Division I Championships after placing 3rd at the Midwest Regional race, making it 12 of the last 13 years the Gophers have qualified for the NCAA Championships, where they went on to place 19th .
  • The Carleton University Women’s Team showed their strength after dominating the NCAA DIII Central Region Championships and taking the win with just 48 points. The Knights went on to finish 5th at the NCAA Division III Cross Country Championships on November 18th, their highest finish ever.
  • The Wayzata High School Girls Team made their mark on the state and national scenes this fall, first with their 1st place victory at the Minnesota Class AA State Cross Country Championships, and then again with their Nike Heartland Regional Championships title where they earned a spot at the Nike National Championships.
  • The Edina High School Girls Team also had a great season, highlighted by a close runner-up finish at the Class AA Minnesota State Cross Country Championships as well as a 2nd place finish at the Nike Heartland Regional Championships where they too earned themselves a spot on the starting line of the Nike National Championships.
  • Anna Fenske, Lauren Ping, and Lauren Peterson also represented the state of Minnesota well when they qualified for the Nike National Championships with their 3rd, 4th, and 8th, place finishes respectively at the Nike Heartland Regional Championships in times of 17:05.1, 17:07.7, and 17:26.1 respectively.
We welcome your nominations!
To nominate an athlete for USATF Minnesota’s Athlete of the Month award, please send a detailed email about his/her performance to mskuzara@csbsju.edu with the subject line “Athlete of the Month Nomination”.

Fans can follow along with USATF Minnesota on Facebook, Twitter, and online at www.minnesota.usatf.org.

Maxwell Kuzara
Athlete of the Month Committee Chair
USATF Minnesota
e-mail