The 2012-13 season started with an NCAA Division III champion, as the University of St. Thomas captured the MIAC's first-ever volleyball national championship. So it's only fitting that last week, the MIAC ended its season with another national title, as Hamline star thrower Becky Culp claimed the Division III crown in the javelin.
|D-III discus champ Becky Culp.|
(Photo courtesy of Hamline Sports Info)
Culp's title culminated an amazing career, and a record-setting senior year. She also added a top-five finish in the shot put at the 2013 NCAA Division III Women's Outdoor Track and Field Championships, which were held just outside MIAC country, at UW-La Crosse. The Piper star set MIAC meet records - both indoor and outdoor - in the shot put during a season full of individual accolades and All-Conference and All-American honors.
Though her title isn't the league's first-ever in her sport as it was for the Tommie volleyball team, it's still deserving of plenty of recognition and the two combine as a perfect way to bookend a tremendous 2012-13 season in the MIAC. The two will likely be included this summer as the MIAC Media Blog takes a look back at the Top 10 moments of 2012-13. If you have a suggestion for the top 10, feel free to send me an email.
In addition to the one team and one individual national champions, the year also included countless conference records - including Alex Kolquist of Gustavus shattering the men's golf championship scoring record - and some unforgettable games and moments. The final weekend of the MIAC men's hockey season determined the champion and all five seeds. Both soccer title games went deep into a shootout after 110 minutes couldn't decide a winner. And the spring was condensed to what felt like a few weeks by Mother Nature, though the league persevered and still delivered a season that won't be forgotten for years to come.
We'll have more time to reflect on 2012-13 over the coming months, so for now we'll just say congratulations to Becky one more time. The MIAC's most recent Profile of Excellence subject has represented her school and her conference in tremendous fashion, and we're happy she could close her career atop the podium.
-Culp wasn't the only senior star to shine at the NCAA OT&F meet. St. Thomas' Taylor Berg finished second in both the 1,500- and 5,000-meter runs to close about the best year a distance runner can have in the MIAC. She won the cross country title, Outstanding Track Athlete honors both for indoor and outdoor, and ended with two more All-American honors. Congrats on a great career with a riveting final chapter, Taylor!
-A St. Thomas men's athlete also closed a great career as Eyo Ekpo had a pair of top-seven national finishes in the jumping events at nationals. Ekpo was named MIAC Outstanding Field Athlete five times, including all four indoor honors during his career.
-The season also hit its end for the MIAC in the meeting rooms with the annual spring meeting of the MIAC Presidents' Council Wednesday on the Concordia-St. Paul campus. The MIAC Presidents are the very top of the governance pyramid, and now all legislation to impact future bylaws are set in stone after being discussed and voted on all the way up the ladder. Stay tuned to the MIAC web site this summer, as we'll be issuing a series of press releases to promote some of the bigger changes - there are some exciting new twists coming your way in 2013-14!
-Up next for the MIAC? Executive Director Dan McKane and myself are headed to NCAA headquarters in Indianapolis on Monday for four fun-filled days. Monday and Tuesday will be spent with the Division III Commissioners' Association (of which McKane is currently the vice chair) and I'll be presenting on a pair of topics including the MIAC Media venture, which includes the blog you're reading right now. Then NCAA Regional Rules will take place Wednesday, followed by a seminar thanks to NADIIIA Thursday, which is the National Association of Division III Athletic Administrators. It should be a great week with plenty of learning, and we're excited to see our colleagues and continue learning new things to improve going forward. I joined Host Mike Gallagher on today's MIAC Weekly podcast to talk further about our upcoming trip to the city Peyton Manning used to call home.
-If you have any blog ideas or questions for me about anything under the MIAC sun, don't hesitate to send me an email! We'd love to get more fan interaction on all our MIAC Media platforms, so let us know what you think, what you'd like to read/hear about or any ideas.
Thanks for reading, and hope your summer is getting off to a great start!