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2011-12 TMC Male Athlete of the Year: John Gilbertson

Posted: July 3, 2012 1:55 a.m.
Updated: July 3, 2012 1:55 a.m.

The Master's College named cross country/track and field runner John Gilbertson its 2011-12 Male Athlete of the Year.

 

Ironically, the best example of John Gilbertson’s desire as an athlete can be summed up by what he might consider to be a failure.

It was the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics Outdoor Track and Field National Championships.

This was it for Gilbertson. The big show and the big stage.

In the 5,000 prelim on May 25, Gilbertson lost a shoe when a fellow runner accidentally stepped on it from behind.
The result was a bloody, mangled foot by the end of the race. He could hardly walk on it.

But he did enough to qualify for the next day’s final, and he opted to tape up the injured foot and race anyway.

Though Gilbertson had expectations of a top-three finish, he had to settle for 14th with the injury.

“It’s a testament not only to his great athletic ability, but that can only happen to individuals that are very dedicated and devoted in every part of their life,” said TMC track and field coach Zach Schroeder.

By his standards, 14th place was a disappointment.

Coming into the race, Gilbertson had already clocked one of the best times in the country in the event, running it in a TMC record 13 minutes, 56.56 seconds a month earlier.

He and fellow TMC junior Anthony Pizzo elevated the cross country and track and field programs to new heights.

Gilbertson was also an All-American cross country selection after finishing third at the NAIA Cross Country National Championships in the fall.

It helped the Mustangs take 10th place as a team.

“Gilbertson isn’t just a guy that showed up and got lucky with some great performances,” Schroeder said. “He really worked hard to get where he was.”

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