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ISSUE 117 VOL 15 PUBLISHED 4/9/2004

Men battle wind, grab third at Luther

By Ken Foote
Executive Editor

Friday, April 9, 2004

Spring is a time of change. New plant life, warmer temperatures and, of course, outdoor track.

No longer confined to the Tostrud Center's 200 meter oval, the St. Olaf men's track team opened up the outdoor season at the Norse Relays, hosted by Luther College on April 3.

The differences of indoor versus outdoor track extend far beyond the different track size and addition and subtraction of events. The most important change is the introduction of environmental factors, which rarely serve to help the athletes but can often hinder their endeavors.

That latter won out on Saturday as the competitors faced a brutal headwind of roughly 20 to 25 miles per hour. Two individual athletes and one relay ensemble took first place in their respective events, powering the Oles to a third place finish, only 15 points behind winner UW-Eau Claire.

Dan Grindstaff '05, feeding off an indoor season in which he set personal bests in the 55 meter hurdles, handily won the 110 hurdles with a time of 16.51.

"Running into the wind is really tough, especially in a hurdling event since you are really tired by the time you get to the last few hurdles," Grindstaff said. "I started running away from people at about the half way point and knew if I kept my form I could power through and win."

Nic Reichenbach '04 tore up the 3000 meter steeplechase in a time of 10:07.65. The steeplechase is a particularly grueling event in which a runner must complete a long distance race and clear several walls in route to the finish line.

The 4 X 100 team also rolled to victory in style, carrying the baton around the track in 43.61.

The Oles showed off some of their distance depth in placing third in the 4 X 1600 meter relay and placing three participants in the top six in the 10,000 meter run. Tony Hoff '07 crossed the line in third place with a time of 33:33.91 and Jason Havey '06 and Caleb Buecksler '05 followed shortly thereafter, to take fifth and sixth respectively.

Peter Cathcart '06, fresh off his All-American indoor performance in the shot put, took second in that event Saturday as well as finished fourth in the hammer throw.

Long jumpers Jason Roberts '07 and Evan Sundquist '05 also found success in the field portion of the meet. Roberts did so in the long jump, placing second. Sundquist stayed out of the sand pit and threw the javelin 130 feet, six inches to garner fifth place.

On tap for the Oles is the Kansas Relays April 15-17

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