December 2019 Athletes of the Month

1/16/2020
 
 

January 16, 2020

While cross country athletes were finishing up their championship seasons of racing, track & field season was just getting underway for others – and all in the month of December. Various Minnesotan athletes put on impressive performances, but most impressive of all was the 60+ Men’s Team from Run N Fun at the USATF National Club Cross Country Championships and Bethany & Megan Hasz from the University of Minnesota.
 
The Run N Fun team competing in the 60+ race of the USATF National Club Cross Country Championships, consisting of Daniel Johnson (4th place overall - 29:49), Doug Keller (7th place - 30:22), Paul Brown (25th place - 31:51), and Bobby Paxton (45th place - 32:54), finished 2nd overall out of 41 other teams from all over the United States with 33 points. This outstanding performance highlights just one of the great Masters teams that calls Minnesota home and earns all four of the Run N Fun team members the honor of being USATF Minnesota’s Men’s Athletes of the Month for December 2019. The race, hosted by Lehigh University in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania on December 14th, consistently fields some of the best individuals and teams in the U.S., so for the Run N Fun team to finish on the podium is a great representation of the Minnesota running community.
 
Bethany & Megan Hasz (Alexandria, MN/University of Minnesota) added to their already long list of accomplishments on December 7th at the Boston University Season Opener indoor track meet where Bethany ran the 14th fastest indoor 5,000 meter race in the history of the NCAA, and her twin sister Megan followed close behind her with the 41st best performance in the NCAA all-time. Both athletes eclipsed the previous University of Minnesota school record mark, set by Megan last indoor track season, of 15:51.55 with Bethany finishing the race in a time of 15:25.33 and Megan running 15:39.03. With both Hasz sisters also setting overall personal best 5,000 meter times (indoors or out) with their performance, they have earned the USATF Minnesota Women’s Athletes of the Month award for December 2019 for their performance. After redshirting this past cross country season, we are certainly in store for an exciting Spring of Gophers track & field with these two leading the charge on a very talented Gophers team.
 
Men’s Honorable Mention Performances – December 2019
·         Nick Scheller (Chanhassen HS) finished as the top male Minnesotan finisher at Nike Cross Nationals (NXN) on December 7th in 31st place with a time of 15:38.
·         Taylor Rooney (Andover, MN/Gustavus Adolphus) ran the 22nd fastest indoor 60 meter hurdles time in NCAA DIII history at the Chuck Petersen Open on December 7th with a time of 8.03 - a new Gustavus school record and the current top time in Division III.
·         Eric Loeffler (Minneapolis, MN/Run MN) Finished 3rd in the 40+ race at the USATF National Club Cross Country Championships on December 14th with a time of 33:08.
·         The Run N Fun Men’s Open Team finished 6th overall at the USATF National Club Cross Country Championships. Team consisted of Brendan Sage (44th place - 32:08), Calvin Lehn (71st place - 32:43), Zach Kughn (74th - 32:46), Trevor Capra (80th - 32:48), Christian Leitner (171st - 33:53) and David Nogle (282nd - 35:03).
 
Women’s Honorable Mention Performances – December 2019
·         Analee Weaver (Stillwater HS) finished as the top female Minnesotan finisher at Nike Cross Nationals in 29th place with a time of 18:19, and also as the top Minnesotan (and only qualifier from Minnesota) at the Foot Locker National Cross Country Championships on December 14th with a 14th place finish and time of 17:49.
·         Margaret Ludick (Roseville, MN) was the top women’s Minnesotan finisher at the California International Marathon (CIM) on December 8th with a time of 2:41:31, good for 17th place.
 
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 maxwellkuzara@gmail.com with the subject line “Athlete of the Month Nomination”.

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Maxwell Kuzara
Athlete of the Month Committee Chair
USA Track & Field Minnesota
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