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June 01, 2021
April 2021 Athletes of the Month
USATF Minnesota Athlete of the Month awards return as track & field season also makes its comeback
After a long hiatus and challenging 14 months for everyone around the world, track & field is back. Most all high school and college track & field teams are back competing this Spring and professional track & field is underway as well in the lead-up to the hopeful execution of the Tokyo Olympic Games. With all that being said, April was a busy month for track & field athletes with several high quality competitions and a plethora of great performances from Minnesotans as a result. Taking the cake in our first Athlete of the Month awards since early 2020 is
from Andover, MN and Gustavus Adolphus College and
from Faribault, MN and the University of St. Thomas. Congratulations Taylor and Megan!
is no stranger to awards or recognition from the track & field world. The Gustavus senior has already accumulated several NCAA Championship appearances, an All-American finish at the 2018 Indoor National Championships in the 60m hurdles, as well as eight MIAC titles between the high jump, 60m hurdles indoors and 110m hurdles outdoors. His performances this April have been no different, highlighted by a win in the College division at the Drake Relays in the 110m hurdles with a wind-aided time of 13.98 seconds on Saturday, April 24th, earning him the title of USATF Minnesota Men’s Athlete of the Month. Rooney became the first Drake Relays champion in Gustavus Adolphus College history and has since then improved his 110m hurdles time to 13.72 seconds on May 1st, which is currently the top time in Division III as well as the all-time best in Division III history, beating the previous record of 13.79 from 2012. Congrats, Taylor!
Continuing the theme of Minnesota Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (MIAC) athletes,
earned the USATF Minnesota Women’s Athlete of the Month award after recording the best shot put mark by any woman in the MIAC in the last six years when she won the event on April 10th at the UW-River Falls Invite with a toss of 14.86 meters (48-09 ft). Gehrke’s throw ranks first in all of Division III this season and is the farthest throw by any woman in Division III since 2018, coming just 12 inches shy of a top-ten mark all-time for Division III. Gehrke’s toss also represents a new personal best for her by nearly three feet as well as a new St. Thomas outdoor program record. In addition to her fantastic shot put performance earlier in April, she also recorded a throw of 45.85m (150-0.5 ft) in the discus on April 17th at the St. John’s 4th Weekly Invitational, which ranks 2nd in all of Division III as well. Congrats, Megan!
Men’s Honorable Mention Performances — April 2021
(Shoreview, MN/Bethel University) ran 52.93 in the 400m hurdles at the UW-River Falls Falcon Invite on April 10th, which is currently ranked second in all of Division III and is the second fastest time in Bethel program history.
(Lakeville, MN/Hamline University) recorded the best shot put toss in Division III thus far this year with a throw of 17.20m (56-05.25ft) at the Kent Stahly Invite on April 17th, which now ranks third in Hamline program history in the event.
(Mahtomedi, MN/University of Minnesota) recorded a series of wins in the discus throw at the B1G Florida Invitational on April 2-3, the Husker B1G Invitational on April 16-17 and the M City Classic on April 30th, with the best throw of the three coming at the M City Classic where he recorded a toss of 57.08m (187-03ft). Siekmeier’s toss is 8th all-time in Minnesota program history and currently 29th in all of Division I.
(Minnesota Distance Elite) placed 7th in the Drake Relays 1500m on April 24th in a time of 3:41.73 after finishing 6th in the 2021 USATF Road Mile Championships, which was hosted by the Grand Blue Mile and also took place at Drake University in Des Moines just days earlier on April 21st, in a time of 4:00. Abert also won the 1500m at the Atlanta Track Club Invitational on April 3rd with a time of 3:43.24.
(Hopkins, MN/University of Florida) won both the 100m and 200m dash at the Pepsi Florida Relays on April 2-3 in personal best times of 10.23 and 20.10, respectively, and was also a member of the winning 4x100m relay team (38.89) and 3rd place 4x400m relay team (3:06.29). Fahnbulleh is currently ranked 6th in the 100m and 3rd in the 200m in all of Division I, while Florida’s 4x100m relay team currently ranks 6th as well.
(Willmar, MN/Moorhead State) won the 10,000 meters in the University division at the Drake Relays on April 22nd in a time of 29:12.04, which is an NCAA Division II automatic qualifying time. Yusuf also became the first Moorhead State athlete to win an individual event at the Drake Relays in program history and broke the program record by 46 seconds. Currently ranked 11th in Division II and 1st in the NSIC.
Women’s Honorable Mention Performances — April 2021
(Edina, MN/Gustavus Adolphus College) broke Gustavus program record in the 100m hurdles at the Maverick Spring Invite on April 2-3 with a time of 14.32 seconds. Later on in April she won the 100m dash and 100m hurdles at the Carleton Relays with times of 12.40 and 14.07, respectively, while also breaking her own 100m hurdles program record in the process and setting what was at-the-time the top mark in Division III this year (she is now 2nd).
(Alexandria, MN/University of Minnesota) improved on her own Gophers program record twice in the month of April, first at the Big Ten Indiana Invite #2 when she ran 15:43.58, then again at the M City Classic on April 30th running 15:41.98. Following the Big Ten Indiana Invite #2, her mark led the Big Ten and ranked sixth in Division I, but it is now 3rd in the Big Ten and 20th in Division I. Additionally, Hasz won the 1500m at the Fighting Illini B1G Relays on April 23rd in 4:18.41 to move up to 8th in Minnesota program history in the event.
(Minnesota Distance Elite) placed 8th in the Drake Relays 1500m on April 24th in a time of 4:15.72 after finishing 3rd in the 2021 USATF Road Mile Championships, which was hosted by the Grand Blue Mile and also took place at Drake University in Des Moines just days earlier on April 21st, in a time of 4:33.
(Champlin Park, MN/University of Minnesota) set a new Minnesota program record in the long jump with a PR jump of 6.45m (21-02ft) to win the event at the Big Ten Florida Invitational, breaking the Minnesota program record from 2011. Gerads is currently ranked 20th in Division I.
(Edina High School) currently has the top times in the state of Minnesota, regardless of MSHSL Class, in the 200m (25.48) and 400m (58.33), both from competitions in the month of April. Dahlien also had the top 100m dash time in state (12.30) until May 4th as well.
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
with the subject line
Athlete of the Month Nomination”.
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Athlete of the Month Committee
USA Track & Field Minnesota