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Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Still Competing, Still Pursuing

Minnesota State junior Chris Reed capped off the 2012-13 year
with a 13th-place finish in the shot put at the USU Track & Field

by Nick Burns, interim Asst. Director, Minnesota State Athletic Communications


The 2012-13 Minnesota State athletic season will go down as one of the most successful and memorable seasons in the history of MSU athletics. Several teams made trips to the NCAA Tournament, including several athletes made their mark in individual competition.
One such individual was junior Chris Reed (Omaha, Neb.) of the Minnesota State men’s track and field team. Reed would go on to claim four All-American awards this past season, en route to a national championship in the shot put event in the 2013 NCAA Outdoor Track and Field Championships.
Recently, Reed competed in the 2013 USA Track and Field Championships in Des Moines, Iowa, where he finished in 13th place in the shot put event with a heave of 62’ 0.25” against the best completion in the country.
“It was such a high level of competition,” Reed said. “All of the best throwers from the United States were there so it was a great feeling to compete against them.”
More than 800 athletes competed at the 2013 USA Track and Field Championships, with the hope of being selected to compete at the IAAF World Championships in Moscow, Russia.
“Right after I won the national championship I was selected to compete at the USA Track and Field Championships,” Reed said. “It was just a great feeling to compete against and talk with guys that I have only been able to watch on TV.
“Being able to shake Adam Nelson’s hand and talk with him after he received his Olympic gold medal was really cool,” Reed said. “Overall, it was a fun experience and it also showed me that I’ve got more in me and this competition brought it out of me.”
His performance at the USA Track and Field Championships is another feather in the cap of Reed, who has had one of the most successful seasons a Maverick has ever had.
Reed began his year with an All-American honor at the 2013 NCAA Indoor Championships, where he finished second in the shot put. Reed, who was named the NSIC Indoor Field Athlete of the Year, kept his momentum going into the outdoor schedule where he earned the USTFCCCA Central Region Field Athlete of the Year award.
During the 2013 NCAA Outdoor Track and Field Championships, Reed would find himself competing in three events including the hammer throw, the discus and the shot put.
Competing in the hammer throw event, Reed set an MSU record with a throw of 194’-8” for a seventh-place finish, en route to becoming the first Maverick to secure an All-American award in the event.
He earned his second All-American honor with a seventh-place finish in the discus with a toss of 175’-5” on the second day of competition, but Reed saved his best performance for last.
On the final day of the NCAA Outdoor Championships, Reed capped off his season with a national championship in the shot put event, shattering the MSU school record with a mark of 65’-7”. He became just the fifth Maverick to win a national championship and the first since Jim Dilling won the high jump event back in 2007. He is the only Maverick to win a national championship in the shot put.
Reed is the first Maverick to claim three All-American honors in the same championship since Moo Muhammad accomplished that feat back in 1989.
Definitely not a bad season, but rather, a season that will be remembered just like MSU’s whole 2012-13 season.

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

And That's a Wrap

Minnesota State claimed seven conference titles in 2012-13

The Boys of Summer officially concluded the 2012-13 school year of competition for Minnesota State Athletics last weekend with their second-place finish at the NCAA Division II Baseball Championship tournament.

What a run for head coach Matt Magers and the Mavericks as they rolled to a Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference tournament title and captured the NCAA DII Central Region tournament championship en route to a 42-9 record. Magers, who owns a 215-66 record in his five seasons at the helm for the Mavericks, was named National Coach of the Year by the National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association.  Senior right-handed pitcher Harvey Martin was named National Pitcher of the Year by the NCBWA, Daktronics and the American Baseball Coaches Association. Like Martin, junior pitcher Jason Hoppe was named an All American (Hoppe by the NCBWA, Martin by the other three organizations already mentioned). Hoppe also established a NCAA record for consecutive scoreless innings pitched at an incredible 55.1. Senior catcher Ben Keller, an Academic All-American, earned his second career Elite 89 Award, which goes to the student-athlete with the highest grade point average at NCAA championship events for their sport.

Today we announced that senior tennis player Brandi Dohmen has been named an Academic All-American. In doing so she becomes the eighth Minnesota State student-athlete to accomplish the feat this year. Since we began keeping track of such things, the most Academic All-Americans we've ever had in a season was four in 2004-05.

Back in December I did a blog post relative to the start of the year because it was a great beginning for our teams with football finishing third in the country, women's soccer claiming a NCAA regional crown and men's cross country placing 20th.

The success achieved in the fall continued on into the winter with men's hockey making the national tourney for the first time in ten seasons, men's basketball won the NSIC regular-season and post-season titles and hosted the regional tournament, women's basketball advanced to the NCAA regional tournament for the second consecutive year, men's indoor track won the NSIC title and placed fifth at NCAAs and wrestling placed eighth at the NCAA tournament.

And then onto the spring where the softball team claimed the NSIC title and hosted the NCAA subregional and men's track and field won the NSIC title and finished 12th at the NCAA championship meet. Baseball finished things up by playing in the national championship game June 1.

We'll wait until NACDA's announcement comes out, but it's expected that we'll have a top-five finish in the Directors' Cup final standings.  Not bad considering that there are more than 300 schools at the DII level and a healthy improvement on last year's 21st-place finish.

It should also be pointed out that it was a banner year academically with the aforementioned eight Academic All-Americans, six Myles Brand Award recipients (NSIC Award for student-athletes with cumulative 3.75 or better GPA), nine WCHA Scholar-Athletes (SAs with at least 3.50 GPA), 195 student-athletes named academic all-conference and 57 Maverick Achievement Award recipients (senior scholar-athletes).

By any measure, a tremendous year for Minnesota State Athletics.

Only 61 days until the first day our football team can officially start practicing!

It's great to be a Maverick.