NEW ORLEANS – The USTFCCCA announced its All-America awards for the 2020 indoor season on Tuesday and four Gustavus student-athletes received the honor – Steven Orzolek (So., Darwin), Taylor Rooney (Jr., Andover), Birgen Nelson (Fy., Edina), and Tierney Winter (Sr., Waterville). With the cancellation of the NCAA Championships, the criteria for the award was changed with all selected participants for the NCAA Indoor Championships receiving All-America honors.
Orzolek earns the honor in the shot put after taking second at the MIAC Championships with a toss of 16.31 meters. The sophomore’s throw was the 20th best throw in the nation and he was just one of 28 athletes to break the 16-meter mark this season, which he did twice.
Rooney gains All-America honors in the 60-meter hurdles for the third straight year. The junior held the fastest 60m hurdle time in the nation this year with a school record mark of 8.00 seconds, although he ranks second nationally, as an athlete ran a 7.40 in the 55m hurdles which converts to 7.97 in the 60. Rooney brought in three MIAC Athlete of the Week awards this season to go along with two National Athlete of the Week honors.
Nelson kicked off her first season in Black and Gold with All-America honors in the 60-meter hurdles. The first-year ran the eighth fastest time in the NCAA this year with an 8.81 at the MIAC Championships to take second in the event. Nelson broke the school record in her first meet of the season at the St. Olaf quad, before breaking her own record four more times and setting the new bar at 8.81
Following All-America honors during the 2019 cross country season, Winter earns her first All-America award on the track in 2020 in the mile. The senior set a new school record at the Mark Schuck Open on Feb. 1 with a time of 5:03.48 before taking first place in the MIAC Championships with a time of 5:00.83 for the 16th fastest time in Division III.