Mines’ Teams Continue to Shine
Coming off what was arguably the best year in its history,Â Colorado School of Mines Athletics had big shoes to fillÂ entering the 2016 fall season. So how did the OrediggersÂ respond? With four RMAC championships, an RMACÂ Tournament title and five NCAA Championships appearances.Â Here is a closer look at another historic fall season for MinesÂ Athletics:
The rise of Mines cross country continued as the menâ€™s teamâ€”Â the 2015 national championsâ€”again made history with theÂ programâ€™s first-ever RMAC and NCAA South Central regionalÂ championships. Mines had one of the most dominant RMACÂ Championships runs ever with five of the top six finishers. TheÂ womenâ€™s team continued its development to qualify for NCAAÂ Championships for the third straight season, finishing fourth atÂ regionals in Denver. Both teams were nationally ranked, with theÂ men spending much of the season at number one in the nation.
Mines football won the 21st conference championship in programÂ history, earning a trip to the NCAA Championship. Led by record-shatteringÂ quarterback Justin Dvorak, the RMAC Offensive PlayerÂ of the Year, and national receiving touchdowns leader BrodyÂ Oliver, the Orediggers recovered from two early losses to rattleÂ off seven straight wins to end the regular season. Their rewardÂ was the programâ€™s fourth NCAA Championship tournamentÂ selection. Mines compiled 20 all-RMAC players as it led the nationÂ in total offense and passing offense.
Mines golf captured the RMAC regular-season championship,Â winning the RMAC #1 tournament and placing second at theÂ RMAC #2 to win the programâ€™s fifth RMAC title overall. A youngÂ Oredigger squad led by freshmen Tim Amundson and Nic BenoÂ and sophomore George Markham, with only one senior, TaylorÂ MacKay, in the line-up shows that the spring season will be one toÂ look forward to.
Mines womenâ€™s soccer has been a veritable dynasty in theÂ RMAC over the past decade, and that didnâ€™t change in 2016. TheÂ Orediggers finished the regular season as the RMAC championsÂ and went on to host and win their sixth consecutive conferenceÂ tournament, earning them the regionâ€™s top seed and the right toÂ host the first four rounds of NCAA Championships play. DefenderÂ Emily Garnier became only the second player in conferenceÂ history to be named both the RMAC Player of the Year and theÂ Defender of the Year, while Sam Zumbro earned the GoalkeeperÂ of the Year honor.
After their historic 2015 season, menâ€™s soccer was bitten by theÂ injury bug as they went 10-6-3 in 2016. There were plenty ofÂ positives, however, as Mines qualified for the RMAC TournamentÂ behind all-region selections Niki Grotz, Trevor Amann and JohnÂ Haist. Amann was selected as the RMAC Freshman of the YearÂ with his 13 goals. And the best news? Menâ€™s soccer returns everyÂ player on its roster for 2017.
Despite graduating a celebrated core of seniors from the 2015Â team, Mines volleyball reloaded and spent the entire seasonÂ ranked in the AVCA Top 25. The Orediggers earned the RMACâ€™sÂ #2 seed in the tournament and qualified for their eighthÂ consecutive NCAA Championships. Individually, Mines was ledÂ by RMAC Academic Player of the Year and Co-Defensive PlayerÂ of the Year Taryn Huber and all-time kills record-setter AlannaÂ Winfield.