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ISSUE 120 VOL 8 PUBLISHED 11/17/2006

Skoglund hosts Regionals

By Shoshanna Blank
Contributing Writer

Friday, November 17, 2006

The NCAA Central Regionals cross country meet ended the men’s and women’s teams’ seasons. Held at St. Olaf on Saturday, the meet featured 23 teams. Only the top five teams from each race qualified for nationals.

In a tough field of teams, the Ole women placed seventh, while the men’s team took 13th.

The women’s placing was no surprise, as they had been consistently ranked seventh in the region all season.

“Our team placed where we were expected to. As the final race of the season, our top runners packed up and helped each other perform well,” Brittney Schwager ’07 said. “While we had hopes of placing fifth and making nationals as a team, we are satisfied with our finish.”

Although neither team will be able to run at the NCAA championships meet this upcoming Saturday, Erin Weier ’07 qualified as an individual with a time of 23:05.37, finishing 12th place overall on Saturday.

“That was a great way for Erin to cap off her senior season,” said women’s head coach Chris Daymont. Weier was one of the team’s senior captains, along with Andrea Gelle ’07.

The women’s team will lose eight seniors to graduation this year, including top runners Schwager and Stephanie Block.

For the women, four of the top seven runners will return next season. Jennie Hedberg ‘08, Jennifer Carlson ’09, Michaela McLaughlin ’10 and Jackie Kelly ’08 all finished in the top 70 at Regionals, out of 160 runners total.

“This was one of our best seasons in recent memory,” Daymont said. “We never ran great all in the same day; however, we did not have a meet where we performed poorly.”

The men’s team, however, garnered a different reaction.

“We thought we raced pretty well. It’s just that everyone else ran a lot better,” head coach Bill Thornton said.

David Swanson ’08 and David Green ’09 led the men, finishing 28th and 52nd respectively.

The season as a whole wasn’t one of the most successful for the Oles in recent years, as they placed sixth in the region in 2005, and first just a year before that.

“Seasons are always successful in that we enjoy running together,” Swanson said. “Competition-wise, there have been better seasons for us as a team.”

The team looks towards a bright future, as only two of their top seven runners at Regionals were seniors (Andrew Petz and John Lammpa), and will build around Swanson, Green, and Cullen O’Neill ‘09 for next season.

“We have a great freshman class and seeing them all improve throughout the season was exciting,” Green said. “We're looking forward to a productive off-season and getting everyone healthy.”

At the Regional meet, Grinnell placed first in the women’s race while MIAC foe Hamline took home the men’s crown.

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