On Friday afternoon, the normally quiet Skoglund pool was buzzing with anticipation. In a tense and thrilling matchup, St. Olaf swimming and diving beat Gustavus, the men by a score of 145-98 and the women 148-95.
St. Olaf football fans this year may have noticed two deviations from previous seasons: The team finished 7-3 and, more than in years past, players from outside the Midwest were part of the effort. Messenger Sports Editor Matt Stortz interviewed two such recruits, Horace Gant '08 and Deontae Hutchins '08 of Pensacola, Fla., to get the scoop.
Oh, how sweet it is.
For two years, head coach Chris Meidt and the St. Olaf football program languished in mediocrity. After a seven-year stint as offensive coordinator at Bethel University, Meidt was given the chance to run his own program at St. Olaf in 2002. Yet, the initial results were less-than-stellar: The Oles went a combined 9-11 in 2002 and 2003, each time finishing in the bottom half of the MIAC standings.
It may not be all that apparent inside the Hill's societally insulated bubble, but in case you haven't noticed, the rest of the country is crazy about sports. Professional sports are a multi-billion dollar industry. Millions of people attend or watch Division I sporting events each year. High school sports garner statewide and sometimes nationwide attention.
The St. Olaf women's cross country team finished up a long season Saturday in Waverly, Iowa. They rounded out the season on a positive note, placing sixth at the NCAA Division III Central Region Championships. The Oles needed a fourth place finish or higher in order to qualify the whole team for the national championships but were unable to do so.
The St. Olaf men's cross country team had a magnificent showing at the 2004 NCAA Division III Central Regionals Saturday in Waverly, Iowa. The men battled against 22 teams and 147 participants to win the meet for the first time in Ole history. When all the runners had come in, the team had tallied a scant 81 points.
Both Ole hockey squads came away with mixed results last weekend. The women split their series with UW-Superior, while the men claimed a victory over UW-Stevens Point on Friday before falling to UW-Eau Claire in a heartbreaker on Saturday.