October 2017 Athletes of the Month

11/7/2017
 
 
MENDOTA HEIGHTS— A pair of Team USA Minnesota athletes, Ryan Rutherford and Meghan Peyton, took home top Minnesotan honors at this year’s Medtronic TC 10 Mile on October 1, 2017. As this year’s race once again served as the USATF 10 Mile National Championship as well as the USATF Minnesota 10 Mile Championship, the race attracted a very deep field. Rutherford and Peyton were both able to finish in the top 20 and each capture USATF Minnesota 10 Mile titles, thereby earning them each the honor of USATF Minnesota’s October Athlete of the Month.
 
Ryan Rutherford, originally from Bloomington, Illinois and a 2016 graduate of Illinois State University, placed 18th in a time of 49:12, claiming the honor of USATF Minnesota’s 10 Mile Champion and October Athlete of the Month. Rutherford is a member of Team USA Minnesota, an elite distance training center based in Minneapolis, and has been a member of the team since January 2017.
 
Before moving to Minneapolis earlier this year, Rutherford was a two-time Missouri Valley Conference Champion (once in the indoor 5000m and once in the outdoor 10,000m) in addition to qualifying for the 2016 NCAA Outdoor Track & Field Championships in Eugene, Oregon in the 10,000m where he placed 22nd overall. He concluded his career with four Illinois State track & field and cross country records, and was a 10-time All-Conference performer.
 
Meghan Peyton, a long-time Minnesota resident and another Team USA Minnesota team member, also ran extremely well at this year’s Medtronic TC 10 Mile placing 12th in 57:45, also giving her the title of USATF Minnesota’s 10 Mile Champion and October Athlete of the Month along with her teammate Rutherford. This year’s USATF 10 Mile Championship was Peyton’s fifth time competing in the event, placing 8th in 2014, 9th in 2012, 6th in 2011, and 4th in 2010. Peyton has a long list of top finishes and major accomplishments on both the track and the roads, and her performance last month just adds to that list.
 
Since 2009, Peyton has finished in the top 10 at twenty-one different USATF National Championship races in distances ranging from the one mile to the marathon, making her one of the most accomplished and consistent athletes in Minnesota. Originally from Tualatin, Oregon, Peyton competed on the cross country and track & field teams at the University of Iowa, eventually becoming a four-time All American. Peyton was the 2008 Big Ten Champion in both the indoor 3,000m and the outdoor 10,000m, later going on to finish 6th in the 10,000m that same year at the NCAA Outdoor Track & Field Championships. Peyton has also been a part of three different international Team USA teams, including the 2013 U.S. team that competed at the Edinburgh International Cross Country Championships in Scotland. In addition to competing as a professional runner, Peyton is the Head Men’s and Women’s Cross Country Coach and Assistant Track & Field Coach at Augsburg University in Minneapolis.
 
Congratulations to Ryan and Meghan! 
 
Honorable Mention Worthy Performances in October
·         Emma Bates, originally from Elk River, Minnesota and current Boston, Massachusetts resident, placed 6th at the USATF 10 Mile National Championships and TC 10 Mile in a time of 55:36.
·         Joe Klecker, a native of Hopkins, Minnesota and current redshirt sophomore for the University of Colorado at Boulder Buffaloes, placed 2nd at the Pac-12 Cross Country Championships on October 27th.
·         Madeline Strandemo, originally from Fargo, North Dakota and current redshirt senior at the University of Minnesota, placed 2nd at the Big Ten Cross Country Championships on October 29th to claim the second All-Big Ten honor of her career in cross country.
·         Sisters Megan and Bethany Hasz, from Alexandria, Minnesota, also earned the second and first All-Big Ten honors of their careers by placing fifth and 10th respectively at the Big Ten Cross Country Championships.
·         Obsa Ali, from Richfield, Minnesota and current senior at the University of Minnesota, placed 8th at the Big Ten Cross Country Championships, earning the second All-Big Ten honor of his career in cross country. 
 
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 FacebookTwitter, and online at www.minnesota.usatf.org.
  
Maxwell Kuzara
Athlete of the Month Committee Chair
USA Track & Field Minnesota
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