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ISSUE 118 VOL 9 PUBLISHED 11/19/2004

Men claim regional title

By Anna Harrison
Staff Writer
and Julia Midthun
Staff Writer

Friday, November 19, 2004

The St. Olaf men's cross country team had a magnificent showing at the 2004 NCAA Division III Central Regionals Saturday in Waverly, Iowa. The men battled against 22 teams and 147 participants to win the meet for the first time in Ole history. When all the runners had come in, the team had tallied a scant 81 points.

Kelly Fulton '05, who placed first at the conference meet, was the first Ole finisher with a time of 25:16, claiming third place. Malcolm Richards '05 was right on his heels, placing fifth with a time of 25:21. Led by these two great athletes, other Ole contributors in the team's historic win were Tony Hoff '07 (18th, 25:53), Sam Hauck '06 (23rd, 26:13), Marc Ellingson '06 (32nd 26:26), David Swanson '08 (54th, 27:03) and Jason Havey '06 (83rd, 27:36).

The Ole men now move on to run in the NCAA Division III National Championships in Colfax, Wis. this Saturday. They hope to extend their current winning streak after placing first at the MIAC conference meet two weeks ago.

Carleton came in a close second place on Saturday with 85 points and will join the Oles at nationals. These longtime rivals have been evenly matched all season long, with Carleton ranked ahead of St. Olaf in the national polls for much of the fall. Despite those rankings, the Ole's proved their superiority by overpowering the Knights for the third consecutive race, including both the conference meet and the Great Karhu Shoe Race.

Wartburg College came in third Saturday with 97 points and a strong contribution by first place finisher Josh Moen, who came in with a time of 24:53, just 23 seconds ahead of Fulton.

The St. Olaf team has earned a lot of recognition for their myriad of accomplishments this season, which include winning four of their five meets involving other conference opponents. Head coach Bill Thornton was also named the MIAC Coach of the Year earlier last week, and Fulton was named MIAC Athlete of the Meet at the MIAC championships. Four Ole men (Fulton, Richards, Hoff and Hauck) also received All-Conference honors.

Saturday's victory should give the men, now ranked seventh in the most recent national poll, some much-needed momentum going into the national championship race.

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