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ISSUE 117 VOL 13 PUBLISHED 3/12/2004

Men second at MIAC

By Ken Foote
Sports Editor

Friday, March 12, 2004

The St. Olaf mens indoor track team used what coach Bill Thornton called a perfect Friday night and solid Saturday performance to capture second place at the MIAC Indoor Championships.

Friday night began with Dan Grindstaff 05 barely qualifying for the finals of the 55-meter hurdles before rebounding to claim fifth in the race and earn four of the teams 126 points.

I really focused hard after the prelims and tried to run my best race in the finals, Grindstaff said. It felt great to run a personal best and score points for the team.

Fridays outstanding performance also included a strong showing by the distance squad as Malcolm Richards 05 claimed the 5000 meter title, while Peder Arneson 04 garnered third and Nic Reichenbach 04 finished eighth. Reichenbach was the last man to qualify for the race, but finished seven spots above his projected finish to earn a point for the Oles.

John Lamppa 07, Nathan Campbell 05, Paul Sovik-Siemens 05 and Sam Hauck 06 teamed up to win the distance medley with a time of 10:37.08. Hauck also posted a strong individual performance in the 1500, finishing second behind Carleton senior Matt Hooley.

The long jump pit was also a place of success Friday night. Jason Roberts 07 placed second with a jump of 22 feet, 1 and 3/4 inches, and Evan Sundquist 05 finished third with a leap of 21 feet, 4 and 3/4 inches.

Earlier in the week, Sundquist won the MIAC heptathlon with an overall score of 4581. The heptathlon is a particularly grueling contest in which the participants run the 55 meter dash, participate in the long jump, throw the shot put, partake in the long jump, run the 55 meter hurdles, pole vault, and finish with the 1000 meter run.

Tom Cruse 07 continued his impressive rookie campaign by winning the 600 yard dash, nipping St. Johns Michael Marschel thanks to a late-race kick that allowed him to make up a sizable deficit.

What happened Friday night was remarkable, Thornton said. It was more than I could have possibly expected. It sure made an old coach proud.

Saturday, the team did everything they were supposed to do, according to Thornton.

Cruse got the ball rolling with a runner-up finish in the 800 meter run with a NCAA provisional qualifying time of 1:54.89.

In what may have been the race of the day, Grindstaff ran down the Gustie anchor in the final straightaway of the 4 X 200 meter relay to garner second place. Trey Williams 07, Aaron Schloer 07, and Campbell rounded out the relay quartet.

Continuing his fantastic sophomore season, Peter Cathcart 06 finished fourth in the weight throw and dominated the shot put posting a winning throw of 52 feet, 3 1/4 inches. The distance left Cathcart off the list of national meet qualifiers until Tuesday morning when Thorton got a call from an NCAA official.

They informed me that one qualifier had withdrew and Pete was next on the list, Thorton said. I am very happy for him.

The future looks bright for mens indoor track, as well as the upcoming outdoor season.

We do not lose many people to graduation and we will get [All-American Kelly] Fulton back next year, Thornton said. Also, our young athletes will have another years worth of experience.

The prospect of success during the outdoor season is more ambiguous as many of the middle distance events the Oles thrive in are specific to indoor track. Nevertheless, Thornton knows his team will not go down without a fight.

They always go out and compete, Thornton said. And that is all you can ask for.

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