D3 Week - Megan Gaard, MIAC

April 6-12, 2015, is NCAA Division III Week. To continue the MIAC's celebration, MIAC Assistant Director Megan Gaard reflects on her experiences as a Division III student-athlete and administrator.


By Megan Gaard, MIAC

Megan Gaard
As I reflect back on my time as a student-athlete in the Minnesota Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (MIAC), I am reminded why I have such a strong passion for the Division III experience. While at Gustavus Adolphus College, the emphasis placed on the "well-rounded" experience afforded me the opportunity to compete as a two-sport student-athlete while participating in several other aspects of campus life including GACTV, Gustavus Ambassadors, a J-Term study abroad, and Student-Athlete Volunteer Educators (SAVE) while pursuing a Communication Studies Major. It is through these organizations and experiences that I was able to foster meaningful relationships and why I still feel so connected to my alma mater years later.

The MIAC is a special conference to be a part of because of the high level of athletics, strong emphasis on academics and overwhelming support of student-athlete well-being from campus athletic administrators, coaches and staff. Working as the Assistant Director for the MIAC over the past two years, has given me an even greater understanding of the hard work and efforts put forth by athletic coaches and administrators to provide a positive and impactful experience for all student-athletes. Those involved at this level participate for the love of the game and the positive experience it can provide and for that I am forever grateful.

Division III week is a time to celebrate the unique student-athletes that participate at this level and highlight their achievements in sport, in the classroom and in life. I am, and always will be, a proud advocate of Division III and I fully embrace the missions and values at the forefront of the MIAC. I want to thank Division III athletic administrators for making the positive student-athlete experience a reality, and thank the student-athletes for carrying out the missions of Division III with integrity and passion.

Happy Division III Week!

D3 Week - Nicholas Carlson, GAC

April 6-12, 2015, is NCAA Division III Week. To continue the MIAC's celebration, the MIAC Media Blog welcomes Gustavus student-athlete Nicholas Carlson to share his experience.

Four years, three sports, one great experience

By Nicholas Carlson, Gustavus Adolphus College

My involvement with Division three athletics has been a roller coaster ride of highs and lows. Coming into college I only had the desire to play football for Gustavus. But as the year went on I found myself not enjoying it as much and being at a D3 school this gave me the opportunity to explore different sports.

Nicholas Carlson
During my freshmen year I competed on both the football and the baseball teams, respectively. I met a lot of great people competing on these two separate teams. As my sophomore year came around I decided to retire from the football team and focus my energy and effort on baseball, being that it was my favorite sport. So then came my tryout sophomore year for baseball and after a few days of trying to prove myself I ended up being cut from the baseball team. I was crushed because I had put a lot of off-season work into my tryout but it just wasn't enough.

At this point I still wanted to compete because I felt like I had the drive to compete, so my best friend encouraged me to go out for the Track and Field team for Gustavus. Being that I had a strong background in running, lifting and a lot of athletic experience. Having the opportunity to compete for the track team at GAC was a blessing to say the least. So far I have made the conference meet every indoor and outdoor season as well as being on the top relay teams. Track also showed me I could still throw things and enjoy it. The track team introduced me to the javelin and I have found success in an event that I have never heard of before.

The best part of it all was that for my senior year I was elected as Captain of the GAC track team. I never would have thought I was going to have this great opportunity to lead my teammates and friends. My D3 experience has been a humbling and challenging experience to say the least. D3 has shown me that if you want to succeed all you have to do is keep trying and persevere through the adversity that comes your way.