Michael Nielsen ’69 Inducted 1995
Basketball and Track & Field
An outstanding all-around athlete who competed in basketball and track and field at Gustavus, Mike Nielsen left his mark in track and field where he was a three-time conference champion in the hurdles. Nielsen's three titles included the 330 yard intermediate hurdles in 1966, the 120 yard high hurdles in 1967 (setting new school and conference records), and the 440 yard intermediate hurdles in 1968. He also added a conference title as a member of the mile relay team in 1967 and finished fourth in the 440 yard intermediate hurdles at the NAIA National Championships in 1967. His time of 51.78 in the 440 yard intermediate hurdles in 1967 still stands as the school and MIAC record. In basketball, Nielsen was a three-year letterwinner and starting guard on the 1968 MIAC Championship squad which advanced to the NAIA District Finals.
After graduating with a degree in biology in 1969, Nielsen immediately entered dental school at the University of Minnesota where he received his D.D.S. in 1973. While in dental school, Mike participated in the annual track and field day and broke the intramural 120 yard low hurdle record with a time of 13.0 seconds. This effort also established a national record that stood for many years. Mike and his wife, Darlene (Gustavson '69), reside in Grand Rapids, where he has a dental practice. They have three children, Jeff, Kirk, and Christy.