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ISSUE 120 VOL 1 PUBLISHED 9/22/2006

Highs, lows at Ole Invite

By Ryan Maus
Sports Editor

Friday, September 22, 2006

It was a day of mixed results and tempered expectations at Saturday’s Ole Invite cross country meet. The St. Olaf women turned in a solid third-place performance, but the men finished a distant seventh out of 23 teams.

Leading the charge on the women’s sidewere a pair of returning veterans, Britt Schwager ‘07 and Erin Weir ‘07. The seniors finished 13th and 15th overall, respectively, with team-leading times of 24:08 and 24:15.

Jennie Hedberg ‘08 was the third Ole woman to cross the finish line, coming in 27th, with Jenna Carlson ‘09 (29th) and Stephanie Block ‘07 (39th) rounding out the team’s top five.

Women’s head coach Chris Daymont was upbeat about her team’s prospects for the 2006 season following the team’s second meet of the fall.

“Although it was disappointing to finish behind Carleton [the Knights won the Invite on the strength of four top-15 performances], I thought we ran pretty well,” Daymont said. “We’ve had a tough meet schedule so far, but we have a solid core of returners who should lead us this season.”

The women will compete this Saturday at the Roy Griak Invitational in St. Paul.

For the men, Saturday marked the start of MIAC varstity competition, and the initial returns were not as positive. The men, who finished third at last year’s MIAC Championships and sixth at the NCAA Central Regionals, placed just one runner in the top 44. David Swanson ‘08 paced the team with an 18th place finish and overall time of 27:05.

Tony Hoff ‘08 was the team’s next best finisher, coming in 45th.

“We definitely have some room to improve,” said head coach Bill Thornton.

The men, who won their first MIAC Championship since 1979 two years ago, have lost a number of talented athletes from last year’s squad. Most notable amongst that group is 2005 MIAC Champion Sam Hauck, in addition to the losses of Marc Ellingson, Jason Havey and Will Mitchell.

“We will have to rely on some first-years this season, which is always tough to do,” said Thornton. “But we don’t race again for another two weeks, so I think we’ll see some better results next time out.”

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