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ISSUE 117 VOL 12 PUBLISHED 3/5/2004

Qualifier serves men well

By Ken Foote
Sports Editor

Friday, March 5, 2004

The Qualifier lived up to its name as several St. Olaf mens track athletes posted times that solidified their seeds for the MIAC Indoor Championships held at St. Johns Friday and Saturday.

Dan Grindstaff 05 got the Oles off to a great start on Saturday by posting a season best 8.23 seconds in the 55 meter high hurdles. That time is the seventh-fastest in the MIAC this season and less than a half-second off of the provisional qualifying time for the NCAA Indoor National Champion-ships.

The 400 meter dash featured first year Tom Cruse calmly dispatching all competition and running to a national provisional qualifying time of 49.71. Cruse owns the fourth best-400 meter dash time in the MIAC, in addition to his second fastest time in the 600 yard dash and third-quickest finish in the 800 meter dash. Cruses personal best in the 800 is 1:57.68, less than two seconds shy of the national provisional qualifying standard.

Cruse is not alone, however, in performing well at the longer sprint events. Dane Hamann 05 owns the third-fastest 600 yard dash time in the MIAC and boasts a personal best only .47 seconds behind Cruse. Jesse Horst 06 trails Cruse by less than a second in the 800 meter dash and currently holds the sixth-fastest time in the conference this season. Paul Sovik-Siemens 05 placed third in the 800 meter dash at The Qualifier with a time of 2:01.57, good enough for 12th overall in the MIAC.

As impressive as the team has been in the longer sprint races, their deepest unit may very well be the middle distance team. Six runners occupy nine places among the top ten MIAC performances in the 1000, 1500, 3000 and 5000 meter races. Their talent and depth were on display at Saturdays meet as John Lamppa 07 and Tony Hoff 07 dominated the 1000 and 3000 meter races respectively, and Sam Hauck 06 led a tight pack containing Horst, Peder Arneson 04 and Malcolm Richards 05 that finished second, fourth, fifth and sixth, respectively, in the 1500 meter race.

In addition to finishing second in the 1500, Haucks time of 4:01.18 trails only Carleton senior Matt Hooleys national provisional qualifying time for top conference honors. Hauck also holds the fourth-best time, 2:33.38, in the 1000 meter race. Horst currently clings to the fourth spot in MIAC contention after his effort Saturday, while Arneson and Richards possess the seventh and eighth-best conference postings, respectively.

Far from being a one-event wonder, Richards is also the runner-up to Hooley in the 3000 meter honors list and is fifth on the list in the 5000 meter race.

Arneson has been narrowly in front of Richards all season in the 5000 meters and is in fourth place on the MIAC honor roll heading to the conference championships.

In the throwing events, Peter Cathcart 06 had another solid meet. Cathcart breezed to victory in the shot put, out-throwing his nearest competitor by almost five feet, before settling for third place in the weight throw.

Cathcart is the MIAC frontrunner in the shot put and has already eclipsed the national provisional qualifying standard. His 50 feet 8-inch toss of the weight apparatus is over two feet shy of the provisional mark, but Cathcart is second in the MIAC to St. Thomas nationally qualified Matt McLaughlin.

The Oles have the depth and the talent to make a push for the conference indoor title. All that is left is to run the races one more time.

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