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ISSUE 118 VOL 20 PUBLISHED 5/13/2005

Sundquist starts spark

By Marjorie Thirlby
Sports Editor

Friday, May 13, 2005

After several remarkable performances, the St. Olaf men’s track team will head into the MIAC championship meet this weekend, fired up to accomplish more.

Last Thursday and Friday, Evan Sundquist ‘05 participated in the MIAC Decathlon, held at Carleton College. Sundquist paced the talented field by finishing in first place overall, earning first place in four of the ten events and contributing ten points to his team’s overall MIAC championship score.

The decathlon is composed of the 100-meter dash, long jump, shot put, high jump, 400-meter dash, 110-meter high hurdles, discus throw, pole vault, javelin throw and 1500-meter run.

In the 100-meter dash, Sundquist took first with a time of 11.20, giving him 817 points. He also took first in the long jump and shot put, with distances of 20-9 (6.32m) and 38-11 (11.88m), respectively. Sundquist earned 716 points for his win in the 400-meter dash with a time of 52.19.

Sundquist finished fourth in the high jump, second in the 110-meter hurdles, third in the discus throw, third in the pole vault and sixth in the 1500-meter run. The only event that seemed “out of place” was the javelin, where Sundquist finished eleventh with a distance of 96-10 (29.52m), due to an elbow injury.

Sundquist’s performance was not a surprise to his fellow Oles. He had been working hard all season long and looking forward to this event, which undoubtedly remains his specialty.

“I have a lot of experience in the event, with almost four years under my belt,” Sundquist said. “The people who scored towards the bottom of the group were often younger athletes.”

A good part of Sundquist’s success is due to his dedication outside out of practice.

“Each meet during the regular season, I’d do about three to four events to get a good amount of variety,“ Sundquist said. “I also focused on weight training, nutrition and classes like individual fitness.”

In the MIAC championships, Sundquist will compete in the long jump, high jump, 100-meter dash and potentially a relay, hoping to continue his success despite minor injuries.

After Sundquist’s remarkable finish in the decathlon, the Oles seemed to carry on his spirit at the St. Thomas Invite, held last Saturday. Many contenders provided the team with impressive marks.

The top Ole finishers of the meet included Malcolm Richards ‘05 and Pete Cathcart ‘06. After recently placing third in the 10,000 meter dash at the Drake Relays, earning him an automatic NCAA Qualifying time and breaking the previous St. Olaf record, Richards placed fourth in the 1500-meter run with a time of 4:02.08.

In the shot put, Cathcart captured a first place distance of 16.50m. Last year, Cathcart had a strong enough performance in the shot put to qualify him for nationals. He hopes to continue the tradition by placing well in the upcoming MIAC championship meet.

“I just have to compete and always want more this coming weekend,” Cathcart said. “I want to improve my national shot put ranking [currently 12th] and win a conference championship in the shot put again.”

Also finishing strong on Saturday was David Stoy ‘05, who finished fifth in the 5000-meter run with a time of 15:52.35. The men will head to St. Paul to participate in the 2005 MIAC championships, held on May 13-14 at Macalester. The event will begin Friday at 4 p.m.

“We feel pretty strong heading into conference,” Cathcart said. “The team is coming together, and a lot of individuals have been running fast times and posting good marks in the field.”

After the championship, qualifiers for the Division III national meet will head to Waverly, Iowa on May 26. Currently, Richards remains the one athlete ensured of participating at the event. “I hope to go to nationals, but only the top fifteen can go,” Sundquist said. “Pete and Jason Roberts also have high prospects if they continue to post good marks.”

If Sundquist’s predictions are right, and the Oles will have a national impact in the Division III event.

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