Thursday evening, in near dreamlike conditions bright lights, full stadium, drum corps beating at a fervent pulse Richards hammered out a 10,000 meter run time of 30:17.21, shattering the previous St. Olaf record by over a minute and earning an automatic berth in the National Championships. He placed third in the race, only three seconds behind the reigning mens Division III national cross country champion, Josh Moen of Wartburg. Jesse Horst 06 called the event one of the most inspirational races Ive ever seen.
Richards has a history of strong performances at the Drake Relays.
Really, it didnt come as a surprise, Dane Hamann 06 said. Everything came together for him. While it was an amazing race, we always believed he could run with this caliber of athletes he has beaten Division I runners.
The rest of the Oles performed well in Des Moines, placing 29th in the 4 x 400 meter relay, 10th in the 4 x 1600 meter relay and 19th in the sprint medley.
Unfortunately, the men were disqualified in the 4 x 200 meter relay, despite solid performances by Trey Williams 06 and Aaron Schloer 07.
On Saturday, the team participated in the Saint Johns Invite in Collegeville, Minn. Conditions were cold with little wind, and snow fell briefly during the 5K.
Dave Stoy 05 qualified for the conference championships in the steeplechase with a third-place finish in a time of 9:57.1. The Oles also put in a strong showing in the 800 meter run. Sam Hauck 06 raced to a time of 1:57.9 and beat perennial 800 meter favorite Jesse Horst 06 by one tenth of a second. John Lamppa 07 trailed closely behind with a time of 1:58.97. These times earned Hauck, Horst and Lamppa third, fourth and fifth places, respectively.
In the discus, Pete Cathcart 06 threw a personal best (44.43 meters) to finish sixth. Cathcart also placed first in the shot put with a throw of 15.50 m. Jason Roberts 07 won the long jump with a distance of 6.53 m.
Tuesday afternoon, the mens team also participated in the Rolex Classic, an annual competition between St. Olaf and Carleton. The Oles won 16 of the meets 18 events, but the highlight of the day was turned in by David Swanson 08 in the 5000 meter run. A hard-charging Swanson managed to overtake Carleton All-American David Bucy in the races final lap, winning the race with a dramatic push across the finish line.
This Saturday, the team will participate in the St. Thomas Invitational, where the Oles will have a final tune-up to prepare for the conference championships May 13. St. Thomas and St. Johns will likely be the Oles toughest competitors at the meet.