January 2020 Athletes of the Month


MENDOTA HEIGHTS – 2020 is underway, and between the indoor track & field season getting underway and several road racing events taking place, there were many great performances to choose from for our January Athlete of the Month awards. Taylor Rooney of Gustavus Adolphus College and Katy Jermann of Minnesota Distance Elite came out on top, though, with Rooney leading the nation at the Division III level in the 60m hurdles, and Jermann throwing down a great half marathon in Houston.
Taylor Rooney, originally from Andover, Minnesota, is currently a junior at Gustavus Adolphus College in St. Peter, MN and on Jan. 19th he recorded an 8.10 second finish in the 60 meter hurdles at the Minnesota State University Invite, and the following week clocked an 8.03 in the same event at the St. Olaf Quad on Jan. 25th. His 8.03 performance at the St. Olaf Quad matched his own NCAA Division III-leading mark that he ran in early December 2019, and that combined with his performance earlier in January at the Minnesota State Invitational have earned him the honor of USATF Minnesota’s January Athlete of the Month for men. Rooney is a multiple time MIAC Champion, All-MIAC honoree and was 7th at last year’s NCAA Division III Indoor Championships in the 60m hurdles as well. Rooney was also honored with the MIAC Athlete of the Week honor twice in the month of January, as well as the U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association’s (USTFCCCA) National Athlete of the Week honor once in January.
No stranger to the USATF Minnesota Athlete of the Month awards, Katy Jermann finished 14th overall at the Houston Half Marathon on Jan. 19th in a new personal best time of 1:09:35, earning her the honor of USATF Minnesota’s January Athlete of the Month for women. Jermann, who was also the 4th American finisher at Houston, is a member of Minnesota Distance Elite (formerly Team USA Minnesota) and set her personal best by almost a full minute in Houston. An alumnus of Iowa State University where she was a multi-time All-American, Jermann also finished in the top-5 at three different USATF National Championship events in 2019: 3rd at the USATF 10 Mile Championships (hosted by the TC 10 Mile here in Minnesota), 5th at the USATF Half Marathon Championships in Pittsburgh, PA and 2nd at the USATF 20K Championships in New Haven, CT.
Honorable Mention Performances for January
·         Joel Reichow (Minnesota Distance Elite) was the top Minnesotan finisher for men at the Houston Half Marathon, finishing 32nd in 1:02:38 – a new personal best.
·         Matt Wilkinson (Minnetonka, MN/Carleton) ran 8:18.64 at the University of Wisconsin Stout Invite in the 3,000 meters, which at the time was the top time in the MIAC and the 2nd fastest time in all of Division III.
·         Steph Kretlow (Owatonna, MN/St. Thomas) started her 2020 season with a leap of 18-1 in the long jump at the Minnesota Open, which was good for third place at the meet behind two Division I athletes and ranked 5th in all of Division III at the time.
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