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ISSUE 118 VOL 2 PUBLISHED 9/24/2004

Theres no place like home: Men victorious at Ole Invite

By Jesse Horst
Staff Writer

Friday, September 24, 2004

Hardly breaking a sweat as he devoured the eight-kilometer course behind Tostrud Fieldhouse, captain Malcolm Richards 05 set the tone for the 2004 season by leading the St. Olaf menscross country team to victory in Saturdays 34th annual St. Olaf Invitational.

Handily defeating Macalesters Bo Rydze, who was in close pursuit for much of the race, Richards finished with a time of 26:46 to become the first Ole runner to win the meets individual competition since All-American Mike Palmquist in 1979.

After the race, Richards emphasized the teams victory over his own.

Weve all had some good training this summer. Once we get used to competition there will be some other guys up here with me, Richards said. Im just happy we could take home the team trophy.

In team competition, St. Olafs harriers emerged on top, though not by a decisive margin, gathering 34 points overall. That number proved barely enough to push past Macalester, whose lead group provided a serious challenge to the Oles. The Scots finished a scant two points off the Oles mark.

All-American Kelly Fulton 05 also finished strong with a time of 27:06, good enough for a third place finish. Next for the Oles was eighth place finisher and All-Region runner Sam Hauck 06 (27:47) followed closely by Marc Ellingson 06. Ellingsons time of 27:47 placed him solidly among the ranks of St. Olafs varsity, providing an unexpected but long-overdue contribution to this years team. Coming off a solid summer of training, Ellingsons talent promises to be an important element of the teams anticipated success in November.

Rounding out the tight pack of finishers was Jason Havey 06, Tony Hoff 07 and captain Paul Sovik-Siemens 05, running 27:55, 28:22 and 28:26 respectively.

Despite the tough challenge Macalester posed for the Oles, head coach Bill Thornton was pleased with his teams performance.

A win is a win and I wouldnt trade it, Thornton said. The race really became nothing more than a dual meet between Macalester and us.

Thorntons commentary on the meet is difficult to dispute; with a partially depleted roster, the University of Minnesota-Duluth team was the next closest finisher with 80 points. The absence of conference foes St. Thomas and Carleton contributed to the less competitive field.

It was something of a lackluster victory, Hoff said, summing up the competition.

Still, the Oles were encouraged by their performance.

It was a good race, Fulton said. Now we know what we have to do to get better.

The St. Olaf junior varsity team will compete Friday at Carleton in the Junior Varsity Classic, while the varsity squad now looks ahead to next weekends pre-national meet in Colfax, Wisc.

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