Former Waterville-Elysian-Morristown/Janesville-Waldorf-Pemberton standout cross-country runner Tierney Winter was named Gustavus Adolphus College’s Athlete of the Year.
Winter earned All-American honors in November when she finished 18th at the NCAA Championships in her senior season.
Winter also captured second place at the MIAC Championships and sixth at the NCAA Center Region meet. She picked up all-conference and all-region awards along the way.
Winter also had the fastest 6-kilometer time since Hailey Harren more than 13 years ago.
Winter leaves Gustavus as a six-time MIAC champion between the indoor and outdoor seasons. She won her first conference title in 2018 during the indoor season when she ran a leg of the distance medley relay. The relay went on to win the 2019 and 2020 MIAC championships. Winter also won conference titles in 2019 and 2020 in the indoor mile and in 2019 as part of the outdoor 4x800-meter relay. Winter also holds school records in the distance medley relay, 4x800 relay and indoor mile.
“It’s been great being a part of Tierney’s journey and watching her grow over these past few years,” said Gustavus Head Cross-Country Coach Brenden Huber in a press release. “From fighting to earn a varsity spot early in her career to leaving as our top runner and one of the most decorated we’ve had in recent years for both cross country and track and field. You love seeing an athlete being rewarded with so much success having watched how hard Tierney worked paired with her toughness and competitiveness. That being said, the most rewarding thing is seeing how much she has grown as a leader and a person at Gustavus. She cares immensely about her teammates and appreciated everything she has had around her during her Gustavus experience.”
Winter became the first cross-country runner to become an athlete of the year since Harren in 2006. She’s also the first track athlete to earn the award since Janey Helland in 2011.
Brice Panning, a football and baseball player for Gustavus, earned the male athlete of the year award for the college.
Winter took eighth and seventh in the 1,600 and 800 respectively in 2016 at the Class A state track and field meet for Waterville-Elysian-Morristown.
In cross-country, Winter qualified for the state meet five times. She finished 35th in her senior year and placed seventh as a sophomore to earn all-state honors. She earned all-state honors twice in her high school career but made a name for herself during her junior year at the state meet when she was disqualified for helping a runner near the finish line after they’d collapsed.
Winter was also a standout basketball player for the Buccaneers and left the school as the program’s second leading scorer.