In the winter the field served as a brief host to intramural winter kickball. As winter gave way to fall, it was the sight of four lacrosse games in two days. Needless to say, 20 men in spikes did a number on the field with the help of some significant rainfall.
After that debacle the field was re-seeded and given a much-needed rest. On Sept. 20 the field returned to its primary role of hosting the fleet-footed runners of Ole cross country.
The mens squad welcomed 13 teams to the hallowed cross country course for the St. Olaf Invite. The Oles came away with a fourth place finish as a team and placed three runners among the top 20.
Junior Malcolm Richards led the way with a ninth place finish in a fantastic time of 26:26. Fellow junior Kelly Fulton crossed the line less than 10 seconds later to garner 12th place in 26:35. Sophomore Sam Hauck was the next Ole to demolish the eight-kilometer course, finishing in the 18th position with a solid time of 27:08.
Rounding out the scoring for the gold and black were first year Anthony Hoff, who finished 34th, and senior captain Nic Reichenbach, who claimed 39th. Hoff and Reichenbach complete the course in 28:04 and 28:10 respectively.
The meet proved to be a great chance for the team to compare their progress against some powerful non-conference foes as well as four MIAC titans.
Mankato State University easily took top honors with 32 points. The Mavericks placed four runners in the top ten and their fifth runner, and final scorer, was not far behind, finishing in 13th place.
A pair of MIAC schools occupied the next two spots as St. Thomas accumulated 53 points to garner second while Carleton totaled 63 points and finished third. Carletons Matt Hooley won the individual title in 25:45, out dueling Mankato States Quinn Dauer who finished one second behind Hooley.
The Oles five runners tallied 109 points to firmly cement their fourth place finish. Fellow MIAC squad St. Johns rounded out the top five with 139 points.
With this early season test behind them, the team will turn its attention to the Roy Griak Invitational, which will be held this Saturday at the University of Minnesota starting at noon. The meet will be sure to bring intense competition from around the Twin Cities Metro Area and provide a valuable stepping stone on the teams march to MIAC Championship meet.
The Ole men are off and running and it will be up to the rest of the MIAC, and any other challengers, to stop them.