The Oles competed in the St. Olaf Open on Friday evening in Tostrud Fieldhouse, participating in an unscored meet with athletes from a host of other of other schools, including St. Benedicts, UW-Eau Claire, UW-Stout, UW-LaCrosse, UW-River Falls, UW-Superior, St.Catherines, St. Thomas, Augsburg and Concordia.
The Oles were led by a pair of field athletes, thrower Stacy Griffin 07 and pole vaulter Elizabeth Ghandour 06. Griffin, who has provisionally qualified for the 2006 NCAA Division III National Championships with a throw of 12.38 meters, finished second in the shot put preliminaries and third in the finals.
Ghandour, who earned MIAC Track and Field Athlete of the Week honors for Nationals at the St. Olaf Triangular Jan. 26, was the Oles lone first-place finisher at the meet, topping the field in the pole vault with a jump of 11 3 (3.43 meters).
Ghandour spoke about her ambitions for the remainder of the season.
For pole vaulting, you always shoot to jump higher, Ghandour said. Theres no real standout pole vaulter in the conference this year. All the vaulters in the MIAC are bunched together this year, so the competition will be tough.
In the track events, Jenny Ingebritsen 06 finished third in the 600-meter run, and Kezia Manlove 06 also took fourth in the 1000-meter run.
Head coach Chris Daymont is hopeful, yet realistic, about her teams chances heading into the championship season.
Were a good team, but without many standouts, Daymont said. Weve got a very good work ethic, but weve suffered quite a few losses due to sickness and people being abroad.
Stacy Griffin and Liz Ghandour will lead us in the throwing events and the pole vault, but were going to have to rely on our senior runners to step it up this weekend.
St. Olaf plays host to the MIAC Indoor Championships Friday and Saturday, and will also host the Division III Nationals March 10-11.