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ISSUE 117 VOL 12 PUBLISHED 3/5/2004

Fast times abound at MIAC tune-up

By Jesse Horst
Staff Writer

Friday, March 5, 2004

Friday night featured many standout performances in womens track and field as teams from around the region converged on the Tostrud Center track.

A deep and talented field makes for an exciting meet under normal circumstances, but the competitors at the Ole Open were also running to secure last-minute positions in the fast-approaching MIAC Champion-ship meet, giving all the more meaning to this end-of-February gathering.

For runners not yet qualified for the upcoming competition, Friday provided a final chance to gain spots in their event; for runners already qualified, the meet was an opportunity to fine-tune tactics and gain better positions in faster heats.

Among the highlights of the night was the Ole sweep of the 600 meter run. Marit Grorud 04 led fellow Oles Andrea Gelle 07, Martha Lanager 06, Larissa Nordstrom 06 and Jenna Barke 06 to take first through fifth place in the event. Groruds time of 1:39.83 was good enough for the second seed in next weeks meet, where Gelle and Nordstrom will also line up alongside her.

Erin Weier 07 won the 3000 meter run with a blistering dash in the final 200 meters, besting Ariel Perkins of UW-La Crosse with a time of 10:54. Weiers time gives her the eighth seed for this weekend as she attempts a tough combination of 1500 and 3000 meter races.

In a tactical 1000 meter run, Kelsey Watt 07 and Erin Bengston 06 took second and third places respectively, finishing just behind Concordias Lisa Owen. The race came down to the final stretch with all three runners posting times within a second of each other.

In the 800, Jenny Ingebritsen 06 aggressively attacked a strong field, posting a fifth place time of 2:24.35.

The story of the evening, however, was Becky Petersons 04 utter dominance in the 55 meter hurdles. Her winning time of 8.41 was good enough to rank her fourth in the nation.

She is favored to win the hurdles in next weeks conference meet, after which she will compete in the Division III National Championship meet by virtue of eclipsing the provisional qualifying standard. Peterson also competed in the 55 and 200 meter dashes, the 4x200 meter relay, and the long jump.

The excitement coming off of this meet and into conference is palpable, Sarah Estill 06 said. When you see so many teammates setting personal records a week before conference, it adds to the momentum of the team. This is a team coming into its own.

The team travels to St. Johns Friday and Saturday for the MIAC Championship Meet with every indication that they are ready for a strong showing.

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