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ISSUE 118 VOL 5 PUBLISHED 10/15/2004

Packing it in: Group running leads ladies to victory

By Dane Hamann
Contributing Writer

Friday, October 15, 2004

The St. Olaf women's cross country team journeyed to Waverly, Iowa, on Saturday to compete in the seventh annual Dan Huston Invitational, achieving what they had set out to do since the beginning weeks of training. The Ole women managed to win the invitational with a combined score of 140.

The meet included two races, the six-kilometer and the four-kilometer race. The separate Ole teams that ran duplicated each other's success, both taking second in their respective races.

By winning the overall meet, the Oles proved they are a legitimate national force to the talented field, which included three other of the nation's top teams. Luther, the sixth-ranked team in the nation, outpaced the Oles to win the 6K but had a poor showing from their 4K racers to finish fourth overall. Wartburg, ranked 13th in the nation, took second place overall by taking fourth in the 6K and third in the 4K. Meanwhile, 22nd- ranked conference foe Macalester managed to tie Luther in the overall scoring.

Part of the Oles' success in the 4K was the result of outstanding performances from their younger runners. Five of the top seven Oles in that race were first years. Siri Lohmann '08 led the charge, taking fifth place with a time of 15:29. Following her closely was Lisa Skildum '08, who finished seventh in 15:32. Casey Baustian '08, Jennie Hedburg '08 and Virginia Parrish '08 were the other scoring freshmen Oles in the 4K. They finished 15th, 23rd and 36th, respectively. Jenny Ingebritsen '06 and Andrea Gelle 07 were the two veterans helping to round out the top seven by placing 14th and 29th.

It was great that Chris [Daymont] could randomly select members from the team to be leaders for each race and that we could race well enough to win, said Ingebritsen '06.

The ever-consistent Stephanie Block '07 once again proved to be the Oles' top runner in the 6K by placing fifth overall with a time of 23:27. Shortly after finishing, she was joined by Kezia Manlove '06, who finished ninth with a time of 23:54. The rest of the Ole top seven in the 6K included April Graves '05, Erin Weier '07, Sarah Estill '06, Larisa Nordstrom '06 and Lindsay Boetcher '06.They finished 16th, 19th, 27th, 37th and 44th, respectively, in the talented field.

Once again, the Oles' ability to run in a pack brought them out of the fray to place well collectively. In the 4K, the spread between all seven runners was 35 seconds. The 6K spread was a little larger at 1:12, but still very impressive considering the extra mile those runners covered.

The Oles' statement at Waverly will be remembered on Nov. 13, when many of the teams they competed against will travel to Wartburg, Iowa and compete in the NCAA Division III Central Regional.

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