Theisen earns Academic All-American honors in track for St. Thomas

St. Thomas' two-time 2006 hurdles All-American P.J. Theisen, a junior from Elko and graduate of New Prague High School, has received another elite award. Theisen was voted to the 2006 ESPN The Magazine College Division Academic All-America first team for men's track and field/cross country.

Theisen, who has a 3.91 grade-point average in accounting, was among 16 first-team honorees. He received a similar Academic All-America honor in football last December.

The College Division's 46-man track and field/CC honor squad includes 32 Division III student athletes as well as others from Division II and NAIA institutions.

Theisen's two AAA awards in 2005-2006 helped St. Thomas tie its own conference record with seven CoSIDA Academic All-Americans this school year.

Theisen earned his fifth career All-America honor this spring as he placed third in the 400-meter hurdles at the NCAA Division III Track & Field Championships in Lisle, IL.

Theisen matched his career best as he ran 52.25 in the finals -- the same time he logged in Thursday's prelims. He was an All-American last March at indoor nationals with a sixth-place finish in the 55 hurdles. He also has had three All-America placings (indoors and outdoors) in the 4 x 400 relay. He's contributed to five MIAC championship teams indoors and outdoors, qualified for nationals three times in the 400 hurdles, and has run on two NCAA runner-up 4x400 relays.

In six career MIAC championship meets, Theisen has scored 163 individual points and contributed to 48 relay points -- an average of 27 individual and eight relay points per competition. He has 23 career top-5 MIAC meet finishes (12 relay or individuals firsts).

Last March at the conference indoor meet, he scored an unprecedented 46 individual points and had a hand in five victories, including the long jump and triple jump, and was named Outstanding Male Field Athlete. At the May outdoor conference meet, his winning triple jump of 47-6 1-4 was third-best in school history behind Leonard Jones' MIAC record leap of 51-7 3-4 in 1993 and Steve Luzum's 48-8 recorded in 1990.

In football, the three-year starting wide receiver led the conference with 63 catches for 998 yards last fall, including five consecutive 100-plus yard receiving games. He was named honorable mention All-America by Football Gazette. In Division III national stats, he finished 12th in receiving yards per game and 13th in all-purpose yards. He tied a 19-year-old school record Nov. 12 at Hamline with four touchdown receptions -- all in the first half -- to lead a 35-13 victory. His four TD catches doubled his career total and matched the UST single-game record set by Brian Biehn – also a New Prague graduate - vs. St. John's in 1986. Playing just three quarters, Theisen had 12 receptions for 224 yards -- believed to rank in the top-10 all-time in the MIAC for receiving yards in one game. Theisen has 118 career catches for 1,829 yards in 28 games and is on pace to finish in the top five of both UST career charts.

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