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ISSUE 117 VOL 19 PUBLISHED 5/14/2004

Teams enjoy home track edge

By Ken Foote
Executive Editor

Friday, May 14, 2004

On a picturesque weekend, undoubtedly the years finest to date, the MIAC Championship Meet drew hundreds of people to St. Olaf. The meet went off without a hitch, except for the fact that the host Oles did not leave with the coveted team championship. Instead, the honor went to St. Thomas for the 20th time in the last 22 years.

Where did the black and gold harriers finish at the year-end meet? The answer lies wrapped in a simple riddle. What do FOXs Malcolm, the St. Olaf mens track team, and the frosting of an Oreo cookie have in common? Thats right, they are all in the middle.

The Oles amassed 71 points over the course of the two-day event to finish sixth in 11-team meet. The Tommies racked up 221.5 points, easily outdistancing runner-up St. Johns and third place Carleton.

Several Oles finished in the top five in their respective events and two individuals came away with MIAC titles and NCAA provisional qualifying marks. One event winner was all but assured victory after dominating the event all year, the other delivered a season-best performance to emerge atop a talented field.

The sure thing was none other than All-American Peter Cathcart 06. The 61, 250-pound shot put specialist won his signature event with a heave of 51 feet 7 3/4 inches, nearly a foot and a half farther than any other participant. The throw easily eclipsed the NCAA provisional qualifying standard and leaves him with the 12th best distance in the nation this year.

Cathcart also made his presence felt in the other throwing events, finishing third in the discus, behind a Gustavus duo, and sixth in the hammer. His throw of 157 feet 5 inches in the hammer was a season best and his 143 foot 3 inch toss in the discus was two inches off his season high. All in all, Cathcart garnered 18 points for the Oles.

The teams other individual championship also came in the field, the long jump to be exact, courtesy of Jason Roberts 07. Roberts, whose best jump coming in was 21 feet 4 inches, snuck over the NCAA provisional qualifying standard by the slimmest of margins. His 22 foot 8 inch leap was 1D4 of an inch, .01 meters to the metric crowd, over the mark and left him with the nations 21st best jump.

The only second place finish for the Oles came from Malcolm Richards 05, who renewed his season-long battle with Carleton All-American Matt Hooley in the 5000 meter run. Hooley, who pulled off an astonishing sweep of the distance events  the 1500 meter, 500 meter and 10K races  beat Richards to the tape by slightly more than half a second. Richards time for the event was 15:18.73.

Peder Arneson 04 closed out his Ole running career with a fourth place finish in the 1500 meter run. Arneson finished in 4:00.67, his best time of the season. Also garnering fourth place for St. Olaf was the 4 X 400 meter relay team of Nathan Campbell 05, Aaron Schloer 07, Andrew Gastineau 06 and Tom Cruse 07. The quartet carried the stick around the track in 3:21.10.

Nic Reichenbach 04 continued his season-long improvement in the 3000-meter steeplechase, finishing fifth with a time of 9:37.06, 15 seconds faster than his previous best. The 4 X 800 meter relay of Campbell, Paul Sovik-Siemens 05, Marc Ellingson 06 and Cruse also earned fifth place, finishing in 8:01.54.

The year may be over for the Oles (both Cathcart and Roberts are on the bubble regarding qualifying for the national meet) but the St. Olaf track will be in use next weekend when the college hosts a last chance meet for individuals looking to take one more stab at qualifying for the NCAA National Championship Meet. The national meet will take place over Memorial Day weekend, May 27-29, at Milikin University in Decatur, Ill.

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