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ISSUE 117 VOL 16 PUBLISHED 4/23/2004

Ladies meet a Classic

By Ken Foote
Sports Editor

Friday, April 23, 2004

The St. Olaf womens track and field team invited nine MIAC opponents and staunch non-conference foes, such as Mankato and North Dakota, to the track Saturday for the Manitou Classic.

On a picturesque day the Oles pulled out three first-place finishes while competing against a deep and talented field.

Erin Weier 07 got the ball rolling with a resounding win in the 5000 meter run. Weier came home in 18:55.28, outdistancing her nearest competitor by nearly seven seconds.

Kezia Manlove 06 followed with a victory of her own in a distance event, dominating the 3000 meter steeplechase with a time of 11:49.53. Of the dozen participants in the race, only Manlove finished in less than 12 minutes.

Rounding out the Ole triumphs was the 4 X 800 relay team, who ran well ahead of the pack nearly the whole race, beating Hamline by more than 20 seconds.

Becky Peterson 04, the teams lone indoor All-American, continued her solid farewell campaign, breezing through the qualifying heat of the 100 meter hurdles, before settling for third place, just behind St. Thomas Rachelle Dosch, in the finals.

Peterson posted a time of 15.63 in the preliminary heat to earn the second seed, but managed only a 15.89 in the finals.

The senior hurdler still owns the top time in the MIAC this spring thanks to her efforts at the Wartburg Select meet where she posted a time of 15.29.

Team scores were not kept, as the meet was more about fine-tuning techniques, facing top-notch competition and preparing for the conference meet, which St. Olaf will host May 7-8.

There were a lot of great teams out there, no question about it, said sprinter Melissa Botzet, who shrugged off a stress fracture in her foot to run a personal best in the 400 meter race. But facing tough competition on this track will help us gear up for conference.

Next up for the Oles is the 28th annual Macalester Invitational on Saturday. The meet will again feature a slew of MIAC teams as well as challenging non-conference opponents.

The starting gun goes off at 11:00 a.m. from Macalester Stadium in St. Paul.

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