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ISSUE 119 VOL 17 PUBLISHED 4/21/2006

Women second, show prowess

By Joel Stjernholm
Contributing Writer

Friday, April 21, 2006

In their first taste of MIAC outdoor competition this season, the St. Olaf women'’s track team finished second at the Carleton Invitational last Thursday. The Oles amassed an impressive 85 points, soundly defeating Carleton, St. Kate’'s and St. Ben'’s and falling only to annual MIAC powerhouse St. Thomas.

Led by Becca Trombly ’'06 and Katja Andresen ‘'08, the Oles earned several of their 85 points in sprint and hurdle events.

Trombly placed second in the 400-meter dash, with teammate Erin Lowe '’06 on her heels in third. Trombley also finished third in the 200-meter dash, less than one second behind the first place finisher.

Andresen and Kaia Knutson '’06 placed second and third, respectively, in the 100-meter hurdles, with Andresen placing third in the 400-meter hurdle event.

In addition to their success in the shorter events, the Oles picked up a number of points in the distance events. Eight Oles finished in the top 10 in the 1,500-meter run, with Jenny Ingebritsen ’'06, Erin Weier ’'07 and Andrea Gelle ‘'07 taking first, second and fourth, respectively.

Audrey Weber '’09 finished second in the 800-meter run with a time of 2:16.51. Weber’'s time is just one second slower than the NCAA Division III provisional time.

After the meet, Gelle praised Weber as well as the rest of the Oles'’ middle and long-distance runners.

"“Audrey'’s been a great addition to our team,"” said Gelle about the Ole first-year, who was on the Nordic ski team this winter. "“So many people on our team have cut a lot of time since the indoor season, and we’'ve really seen a lot of improvement overall.”"

The Oles'’ success extended to field and jumping events as well. Indoor national qualifier Stacy Griffin '’07 finished first in the discus and fourth in the hammer throw. Andresen placed third in the javelin competition and fourth in the high jump. Marla Nelson ’'06, Amanda Shuck ’'09 and Laura Olson ’'08 nearly swept the pole vault competition, finishing first, third and fourth, respectively.

The team'’s success in MIAC competition is hardly surprising, given their rigorous early-season schedule. The Ole runners sacrificed spring break vacation to travel to Atlanta, where they opened the outdoor season against tough national competition at the Emory Invitational and the Emory Classic.

One week after returning from Atlanta, the Oles entered the Wartburg Invitational, once more running against top national teams. While such a demanding schedule will not necessarily inflate the team’'s total in the win column, stiff competition has prepared the Oles well to keep pace with other MIAC teams, including the Tommies.

Gelle has high hopes for the women'’s team this spring.

“"We definitely want to finish higher than eighth place at conference, which is what we were during the indoor season," the junior captain” said. "“We also make it a team goal each year to finish ahead of Carleton and to keep that cross-town rivalry alive."” Gelle is optimistic about the future.

“"Overall, we just want to keep improving with every meet and see where that leaves us at the end of the year,”" Gelle said.

The Oles’ will enjoy home-field advantage for their next meet, the Manitou Classic, which will be held this Saturday at St. Olaf.

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