The second-annual NCAA Division III Week runs from Monday, April 8, to Sunday, April 14. To help in this week-long celebration of all the attributes that makes Division III great, the MIAC Media Blog is highlighting some of the members of the conference's Student-Athlete Advisory Committee.
The MIAC Student-Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC) supports student-athletes by providing the communication of ideas and concerns between student-athletes and the MIAC within a structure that will promote active involvement. MIAC SAAC is also committed to engaging in campus and community service projects and to serving as positive role models for their peers and younger student-athletes.
Join us in celebrating Division III athletics throughout the week, and get to know some of the MIAC SAAC student-athletes. Happy Division III Week!
MIAC Media Blog - Division III Week SAAC Q&A
Leeanna Manthe, Hamline University
Name: Leeanna Manthe (Bio)
School: Hamline University
Sport: Women’s Tennis
Hometown: Elko-New Market, Minn.
MIAC: What do you think is the most important aspect of NCAA Division III that should be celebrated during Division III Week?
MANTHE: I think it’s important that we take a step back and realize the accomplishments we as student-athletes have made. We’re given this amazing opportunity to compete at a varsity level, go to school and not get any sort of reimbursement for it. D-III student-athletes compete because they love just that: competing.
MIAC: What is your favorite aspect of being a Division III and MIAC student-athlete?
MANTHE: I feel it’s really preparing me for the future. Balancing school, work, and my sport is not an easy task, but it’s helped me learn how to stay on track in class and manage my time well.
MIAC: Name someone at your school who has made a huge impact on either your athletic or academic career. How has their guidance influenced you?
MANTHE: Someone who has really had an impact on me would be my coach and half-brother, Jon Henning. I grew up watching him compete and play tennis here at Hamline. He was also a Biology major. He showed me that the road doesn’t end after high school when it comes to competitive sports. He also showed me that playing a sport and being a full-time student is doable. He’s helped guide me through my course selection and given me advice that’s helped me and will continue to do so.
MIAC: What's your favorite athletic moment of your college career so far?
MANTHE: Every spring break the men and women tennis teams go to Orlando to compete against teams from across the nation. This past break I achieved my first Orlando win at No. 3 doubles. It really felt good to compete and win against a team outside our conference.
MIAC: What's your favorite non-athletic moment of your college career so far?
MANTHE: I would have to say when I finally figured out what my major was. I started out as a Biology major, but after my freshman year I found out it really wasn’t for me. It took some time but I found a major that I was interested in and I could use in everyday life and in the future. It definitely took a huge load off my shoulders.
MIAC: What are your future plans, and how has your experience as a Division III student-athlete shaped you for success beyond college?
MANTHE: After graduation, I plan on continuing my education at the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities. There I plan on acquiring my master's degree in Nursing. From there I would like to enter the Navy as a nurse for several years. I think that being a D-III athlete has helped build my self confidence in knowing that things can start out not as you’d expected, but with the right attitude, hard work, and dedication you can achieve your goals.
MIAC: Thanks to Leeanna for joining the MIAC Media Blog's Q&A Series! Stay tuned to the blog throughout the week to get to know some of the conference's outstanding student-athletes, and visit the MIAC's Division III Week Home Page to see all the events and content throughout the conference through this very special week!