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ISSUE 117 VOL 18 PUBLISHED 5/7/2004

Meet looms, track set

By Ken Foote
Sports Editor


Friday, May 7, 2004

After a strong showing at the St. Thomas Invitational Saturday, where several Oles posted season-best times, the St. Olaf mens track team is peaking at exactly the right time as the MIAC Outdoor Track Championship Meet is set for Friday and Saturday.

There were no team scores kept at the Tommie Invite, so the athletes were able to focus entirely on working out any glitches in their stride before taking to St. Olaf track for the conference meet this weekend.

Dan Grindstaff 05 was one of many Oles who improved his conference seeding with a strong showing Saturday. Despite battling a tender hamstring, Grindstaff shaved .7 seconds off his time in the 110 meter hurdles, rocketing into sixth position heading into the year-end meet.

It felt good to get out there and run a good time, Grindstaff said. Even though my hamstring tightened up on me about halfway through, my stride felt as well as it has all year.

Despite tearing up the track both indoor and outdoor in his first season suiting up for the gold and black, Tom Cruse 07 proved he still has room to improve, posting a season best time in the 800 meter run. Cruse came home with a time of 1:55.84, good for fourth on the MIAC honor roll.

The 1500 meter race featured two Oles improving their conference season, as Malcolm Richards 05 and Peder Arneson 04 raced to third and fourth place finishes respectively. Richards just missed breaking the elusive four-minute barrier, finishing in 4:00.52, and Arneson crossed the line just under a second later. The pair is sixth and seventh in the MIAC respectively.

Nic Reichenbach 05 rounded out the list of Oles posting season-best times in continuing his impressive string of 3000 meter steeplechase performances. Reichenbach posted a time of 9:53.82 in route to finishing fourth at the Tommie Invite and securing the number ten spot on the list of the MIACs top steeplechase times.

In addition to the outstanding times posted on Saturday, there are a host of Ole harriers primed for MIAC Championship Meet successes.

In addition to his strong showing in the 1500 meter race, his best time is roughly four seconds off the NCAA provisional qualifying time, Richards is fourth in the MIAC in the 5000 meter run and second in the 10000 meter run.

The only obstacle keeping Richards for the MIACs top spot is Carletons talented trio of distance runners, who have monopolized the top three spots in the 5000 meter run and the top spot in the 10000 meter run and two of the top three positions in the 1500 meter run.

After posting a stellar time of 3:20.08 at the Kansas relay in early April, the 4 X 400 meter relay team currently holds the conferences number two slot. The Oles trail only the St. Thomas squad, which has already posted an NCAA automatic qualifying time and is coming off national runner up finish in the indoor season.

All-American Peter Cathcart 06 is the odds-on favorite to win the shot put but should fair well in both the discus and hammer throws. He is sixth in the conference for the discus and seventh for the hammer.

The 11 MIAC teams will roll into campus early Friday morning as the Championship meet begins at 11:30 a.m. The last race will conclude in the evening on Saturday.





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