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ISSUE 120 VOL 13 PUBLISHED 3/2/2007

Track rolls into MIACs

By Matt Tiano
Sports Editor

Friday, March 2, 2007

St. Olaf's Tostrud will play host to the 2007 Indoor Track and Field Championships Saturday.

Both teams have had top individual performers at various meets. However, because a majority of indoor meets are not team-scored, the meet will be a chance for St. Olaf to measure itself against MIAC foes.

The Ole men participated in two home triangular meets this winter. On Feb. 20, Carleton and Hamline visited the Tostrud track and St. Olaf escaped with the win. Gustavus and St. Thomas, perennial top-MIAC finishers, finished in front of the Oles. However, St. Olaf did have 10 individual winners over the course of the two meets.

If the men are to improve or repeat their fourth-place finish a season ago, their most consistent runners will have to finish in the top tier. Dan Monroe '09 has consistently finished in the top five of short distance races and picked up a win in the 55-meter dash during St. Olaf's triangular win Feb. 20. Monroe's time of 6.54 seconds currently ranks second in the MIAC.

Tom Cruse '07 has been steady in the 600-meter run and other mid-distance contests, adding two wins to his 2007 resume. Reid Johnson '09 has accompanied Cruse and has placed well in the 800-meter run. Both Cullen O'Neill '09 and David Green '09, if healthy, will provide depth in the mile run.

St. Olaf's teams in the 800-relay and 4 x 400-relay currently rank one and two in the conference, respectively. Individual runners for these events have yet to be determined.

Field-wise, the men are in good hands. Jason Roberts '09 will lead the charge in the long jump, as he currently rests second in the MIAC with a 6.73-meter jump. John Schantzen '10 is fourth in the conference in the shot put.

The women, conversely, hope to avenge a disappointing seventh-place 2006 conference season.

Pacing the Oles will be distance runner Andrea Gelle '07. Gelle has secured several top-three finishes in the 800-meter and mile run events. Following in close proximity is Jenna Carlson '09, who currently sits fourth in the conference in the 3000-meter run with a time of 10:46:00. Carlson also ranks second in the MIAC, ahead of teammate Britt Schwager '07 (who ranks third), in the 5000-meter run. Erin Weier '07, coming off a win in the mile at last weekend's Ole Open, also will contribute.

Stacy Griffin ‘07 will lead a group of field athletes. Griffin's throw of 15.89 meters (52-1 3/4) in the weight throw at the MSU-Mankato Open Jan. 13 set a school record and also qualified her for the NCAA Division III Indoor Track and Field Championships in March. At the time, Griffin's throw was the second-best in the nation. Amie Fillmore '10 currently ranks second in the conference in the pole-vault, providing an opportunity to measure up against the conference's best.

Historically, St. Thomas, Hamline and St. John's have been very solid on the men's side, while St. Thomas and Gustavus have proven to be annual MIAC title contenders for the women. Both teams have seen this competition sporadically over the winter, but this weekend's MIAC meet will be an opportunity for both teams to examine strengths and weaknesses in relation to the rest of the conference in preparation for the spring outdoor season.

Officially, the meet begins Thursday with the men's heptathlon and the pentathlon on the women's side.

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