MORRIS, Minn. – Freshman Olivia Lacher has been tabbed the Liberal Arts Conference (LAC) Women’s Diver of the Month, as announced by the conference office Tuesday. This is the first career honor for Lacher.

Lacher has started strong on both boards in six dive lists at 1-Meter, winning three out of five competitions with a high score of 210.00, which is the top six dive score in the LAC. At 3-Meter, she has won all three competitions with a high score of 209.70, which is the top 6 dive score in the LAC, and she also has the top 5-dive score on 1-Meter in the LAC.

MORRIS, Minn. – The University of Minnesota Morris has hired Daniel Scheff as an assistant coach for the cross country/track & field programs. Scheff previously served as the head coach for track & field/cross country at Valley City State.

“I am very excited to have Coach Scheff join the UMN Morris family,” interim director of athletics Matt Johnson said. “Daniel has a tremendous background in recruiting high-quality student-athletes, and his coaching experience will make an immediate impact on our cross country and track and field programs. I can’t wait to watch him work with our student-athletes and help them to develop and grow.”

Scheff brings NCAA Division I, Division II, Division III and NAIA experience to the University of Minnesota Morris.

“I’m really excited to be a part of the Cougar family at the University of Minnesota Morris,” Scheff said. “Morris has a rich tradition of academic and athletic excellence and I’m really looking forward to working alongside the coaching staff and athletic department, faculty, and athletes and seeing what all we can achieve in the classroom and on the track in years to come!”

In his first year at Valley City State, his cross country teams both posted top-three finishes at the NSAA Conference Championships. VCSU’s women placed second at the NSAA Championships in 2018, and both Grace Miller (second) and Allyssa Weitkum (sixth) qualified for the NAIA National Meet. The Viking men took third at the NSAA Championships, and Riley Roy-Lagasse placed fourth overall and qualified for nationals.

During the 2018-19 track & field season, Valley City State recorded 17 all-conference performances at the indoor conference championships, which was then followed up with 21 all-conference honorees at the outdoor conference championships. The season was capped off with two All-America finishes at the NAIA Track and Field National Championships.

At the 2019 NSAA Cross Country Championships, the women’s team tied for third and the men’s team placed sixth.

“I am excited about the wealth of knowledge and experience that Daniel is going to bring the track & field/cross country teams,” head track & field coach Josh Kuusisto said. “His coaching and recruiting accomplishments speak for themselves and he will make an immediate positive impact on the team. It’s a great day to be a Cougar!”

Before taking over at Valley City State, Scheff was an assistant coach for both the cross country and track and field programs at UW-Stout. He also served as the recruiting coordinator, developing and implementing a nationally successful recruiting campaign. On the track, he specialized in coaching athletes in the sprints, hurdles, and relays. While at Stout he coached five national qualifiers and two All-Americans in those events.

Prior to his time at Stout, he was a graduate assistant coach for two years at the University of Northern Colorado, working with student-athletes in all events. From 2007-11, Scheff was the head coach of the cross country, track & field and Nordic skiing teams at Math and Science Academy in Minnesota. The track and field and skiing programs were brand new teams that Scheff was tasked with starting and building from scratch.

Scheff has a master of science degree in sport administration from the University of Northern Colorado. He received a bachelor’s degree in physical education from St. Cloud State University, where he was a student-athlete on the cross country and track and field teams. Scheff has continued to be an active runner, completing 50 marathons during his lifetime.


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