BLOOMINGTON, Minn. – The Minnesota Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (MIAC) recognized some of its best and brightest spring sport student-athletes on Monday with the announcement of the baseball, softball, tennis and outdoor track and field Elite 22 Awards.
Gustavus sophomore Carter Clemensen earned baseball honors, while Gustie junior Michael O'Neil received the award in men's tennis for the second year in a row. St. Thomas junior Jaylen Heller also earned a second consecutive Elite 22 honor in softball, with Bethel sophomore Maggie Riermann taking home the award in women's tennis. The Tommies swept the outdoor track and field honors, with senior Parker Rosenau winning on the men's side and junior Mariah Terhaar receiving the women's Elite 22 Award.
The MIAC Elite 22 Award recognizes the true essence of the term "student-athlete" by honoring the individual who has reached the pinnacle of competition at the Conference championship level in his or her sport, while also achieving the highest academic standard among his or her peers. Modeled after the NCAA Elite 90 Award, the MIAC Elite 22 Award is presented to the student-athlete with the highest grade-point average (GPA) in each sport who has also met similarly high sport-specific athletic requirements.
In all sports with MIAC team postseason tournaments, including baseball, softball, and tennis, the MIAC Elite 22 Award is presented to the individual with the highest GPA on the active roster at the MIAC Playoff championship contest. In outdoor track and field, the winner is the individual with the highest GPA who was named All-Conference. The recipient must be a sophomore, junior or senior and in at least his or her second season of competition with their current team.
Clemensen (So. | Cologne, Minn. | Central) was a 35-game starter in his sophomore campaign at Gustavus, playing a key role in helping the Gusties to their first conference championship in baseball since 1980. Clemensen batted 0.281 with a 0.355 on-base percentage while keeping a 0.951 fielding percentage at second base in 2019. Clemensen has maintained a 3.89 GPA while majoring in Exercise Physiology at Gustavus.
Heller (Jr. | Apple Valley, Minn. | Kilkenny) earned the Softball Elite 22 Award for the second year in a row after playing in 36 games for the World Series-bound Tommies. Heller batted .406 with eight runs scored to go along with a 0.947 fielding percentage in centerfield. Heller has a 3.97 GPA while working towards her degree in Middle/Secondary Education at St. Thomas.
O'Neil (Jr. | Edina, Minn.) also received his second straight Elite 22 honor. He was named All-MIAC for the first time in his career earlier this month after posting a 6-0 record in singles play and a 6-1 mark in doubles action while spending the majority of the season at No. 4 singles and No. 3 doubles. O'Neil continues to maintain a 4.0 GPA in Philosophy and Economics at Gustavus.
Riermann (So. | Stillwater, Minn. | Mahtomedi) was an All-Conference selection earlier this month after going 8-2 at both No. 2 singles and No. 1 doubles. While teaming with her sister, Grace, the Riermanns won 16 of their first 17 doubles matches, including 13 consecutive victories. Riermann has a 3.95 GPA while majoring in Communication Arts and Literature at Bethel.
Rosenau (Sr. | West Fargo, N.D.) was honored with the Elite 22 Award for the third time in his career, having been recognized in cross country last fall and outdoor track and field in 2017. Rosenau earned All-Conference honors after finishing second in the 3,000-meter steeplechase with a time of 09:21.81 at the MIAC Outdoor Championships earlier this month. A neuroscience major, Rosenau has maintained a 3.98 GPA at St. Thomas.
Terhaar (Jr. | Stewartville, Minn.) picked up her second Elite 22 honor of 2019, having also received the honor for indoor track and field back in March. An All-Conference performer and the MIAC runner-up in the pole vault, Terhaar cleared 11-02.25 (3.41 meters) at the 2019 Outdoor Championships. Terhaar has a 3.98 GPA while majoring in Biology at St. Thomas.
A physical award will be provided to the winners to commemorate their MIAC Elite 22 Award. The Conference also recognizes the honorees on the MIAC Elite 22 Award website, which has archived each of the 22 winners throughout the 2018-19 season.