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ISSUE 119 VOL 15 PUBLISHED 3/24/2006

Spring Preview, Women's Track and Field: Overcoming obstacles

By Matt Tiano
Sports Editor

Friday, March 24, 2006

Just one week after the conclusion of their winter season, the women’'s track team reloaded for their outdoor season, resuming practice in Tostrud Center until weather permits outdoor workouts. The team finished eighth in MIAC competition during the indoor season, and will be looking to improve upon that result this spring.

The Oles return a number of talented athletes who should contribute substantially to the team'’s outdoor success. Elizabeth Ghandour ’'06 finished first in the MIAC pole vaulting competition for the indoor season, and nearly qualified for the national tournament. Stacy Griffin '’07, who won the MIAC indoor weight-throw title, finished tenth at the NCAA tournament, positioning herself well for a standout spring season.

Additionally, the team returns strong leadership in athletes Kezia Manlove '’06, Jenny Ingebritsen '’06 and Melissa Mueller '’06.

Though MIAC competition was challenging during the indoor season, outdoor competition promises to be even more ferocious. St. Thomas garnered the indoor MIAC title by 29 points, finishing almost 73 points in front of the Oles, and setting the stage for a repeat Tommy title run.

Gustavus and Concordia will also challenge the Oles, having tied for second-place honors during the indoor season.

Despite the stiff competition, the Oles remain focused on improving their conference standing.

"“Gustavus and Concordia will be tough competitors,”" Andrea Gelle '’07 said, sizing up St. Olaf'’s top MIAC rivals. "Carleton, St. Ben's, and Macalester are the teams we need to focus on beating in order to move up from our eighth-place finish in indoor."”

Though the challenges in front of them are daunting, the Oles maintain a unique camaraderie that should aid them in their run at the outdoor MIAC title.

"“Running for St. Olaf allows me to train and compete with over 50 talented and dedicated athletes who are also my best friends,"” Gelle said. "“Ole track and field athletes make teamwork the heart of this individual sport."”

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