The student weekly of St. Olaf | Tuesday, September 23, 2014 | Subscribe
ISSUE 117 VOL 19 PUBLISHED 5/14/2004

Teams enjoy home track edge

By Malcolm Richards
Contributing Writer

Friday, May 14, 2004

The St. Olaf womens track & field team performed impressively in front of a supportive home crowd at the MIAC Championships May 7-8, placing fourth with a score of 95 points, their best finish in five years.

Meanwhile, Concordia ended the University of St. Thomas four-year championship run, outscoring the Tommies 119.7 to 115. The Oles finished only 10 points short of third-place Gustavus and outdistanced their cross- river rivals, Carleton, who finished just behind the Oles in fifth place.

Although track is viewed predominantly as an individual sport, coaches and athletes emphasized the great team performance the Oles turned in this weekend.

We all worked hard at our individual events and came together for a great team effort, Becky Peterson 04 said.

Surprisingly, despite the strong team finish, the Oles had no individual conference champions.

Past St. Olaf track teams often relied on Megan Daymont 03 to score many of their points. This year, however, the Oles received contributions from all team members.

The mid-distance runners are still the strength of our program, first-year head coach Greg Binstock acknowledged. But, the throwers stepped up, and the sprinters got some points as well.

The Ole pole-vaulters, Liz Ghandour 06 and Marla Nelson 06, each turned in standout performances. Each provisionally qualified for the NCAA national meet (held May 27-29 in Decatur, Ill), with vaults of 3.32 meters, heights which also netted them a tie for fourth place at this weekends event.

Multi-eventer Peterson began her contributions a week earlier, finishing second in the heptathlon with a national provisional meet-qualifying score of 4486 points, and then went on to score points in the 100-meter hurdles, long jump and the 4 X 100 meter relay.

Erin Bengston 06 had possibly the gutsiest race of the day in the 1500 meters, placing second with a time of 4:45.89. She definitely inspired the team in the 1500, Binstock said.

St. Olaf came into the track season somewhat of an unknown. They finished in sixth place at the MIAC indoor championships back in March, and came into the outdoor championships predicted to once again finish in sixth place.

We had some unknown leaders who have stepped up in the MIAC conference, Binstock said. We definitely turned some heads.

Even after the first day, the Oles still had a lot of work to do to improve on their expected conference finish. I felt like our team came back and had a really great second day, Peterson said.

The Ole women have a great deal of confidence heading into next years season, but Binstock knows that the leadership provided by this years seniors will certainly be missed.

The senior leadership has just been huge for us, Binstock said. We [had] a very young team but one with great senior leadership.

Printer Friendly version of this page Printer friendly version | E-mail a Copy of the Article to a Friend Email this | Write the editors | More articles by Malcolm Richards

Related Links

More Stories

Page Load: 47 milliseconds