With many individuals from around the Upper Midwest trying for national qualifying times, Thornton instead loaded up his relays in hopes of scoring a few more points.
The strategy paid off somewhat, as St. Olaf placed ninth out of 18 teams with 44 points. Two Ole relays, the 4x1600-meter team and the sprint medley team, finished in second place, and the 4x800-meter squad finished fourth.
"[The strategy] worked well for us," said Thornton about his tactic. "The disappointing part was that we didn't win any relays. We had the lead in three of the five relays we entered, but couldn't quite finish it off.
"It was frustrating not to win at least one relay."
The top individuals for St. Olaf were David Swanson '08, who placed fourth in the 10,000-meter run and shot putter John Schantzen '10, who placed fifth with a throw of 47 feet, six and one-half inches.
St. Olaf also placed several runners amongst the leaders in the distance events, most notably the 10,000-meter run. After Swanson, Jacob Marotz '10 placed eighth, Andrew Petz 07 took '10th and Chris Rivers '10 placed 13th.
"With the wind and the elements the way they were, it was a tough day to post good times," said Thornton.
The Oles have three competitions remaining this year, including the MIAC Championships two weeks from now.
"I'm not sure if we'll have any [national] qualifiers, but it's certainly possible," said Thornton about the end of the track and field season.
Next week, the Oles will travel to Collegeville for the St. John's Invitational.