The student weekly of St. Olaf College
Manitou Messenger: Home cooking

Home cooking

By Julie Gunderson
Executive Editor
Friday, May 7, 2004

While most spring sports are beginning to wind down their seasons, the womens track team is going stronger than ever. In the past week, the Oles have competed at four meets in the MIAC, and must now prepare for this weekends MIAC championship, hosted by St. Olaf.

The fury of competitions began at the Tommie Twilight Invitational last Wednesday. The team has also competed in the Macalester Invitational, the Macalester Bagpipe Invitational and the Heptahlon held last Thursday and Friday.

It was very difficult to run two to three meets in seven days, both emotionally and physically, Sarah Estill 06 said. While not everyone had their best showing at Macalester, they were able to make up for it in the following meets.

Kezia Manlove 06 placed first in the 3000 meter steeplechase, at the Tommie Twilight, while Meredith Fahrner 05 and April Graves 05 took third and fourth place respectively in the 5000 meter race.

Allison Erlander 07, who finished first at Macalester in the 400 m, had a strong showing and grabbed fourth place for the Oles.

Marit Grorud 04 ran a career best 2:18 in the 800 m, a time good enough for a third place seed in the MIAC rankings going into the conference meet. Erin Weier 07 also had a personal best in the event, finishing at 2:21.

At the Macalester Bagpipe Invitational on Saturday, pole-vaulter Liz Ghandour 06 claimed second place with a vault of 3.29 m. The mark is only an inch shy of a national provisional qualifying height.

In the Heptathlon Becky Peterson 04 was edged out of first place by Kristi Colbenson of Carleton. The heptathlon is the first event MIAC championship of the season, which is traditionally run a week before other MIAC championship events in order to allow the athletes recovery time.

In the final event, the 800 meters, Colbenson out leaned Peterson at the finish line to take the title with 4,499 points compared to Petersons 4,486. Kaia Knutson 07 also competed in the seven-part event and placed 9th in the event with 3,603 points.

With a fast paced week of competitions behind them, the Ole women now set their sites on getting ready for the MIAC championships.

Resting up and staying healthy have been the biggest challenges for the team so far this season.

Injury to key sprinters such as Norma Reynolds 07, Knutson, and Erlander, have caused individual and team set backs for the Oles this season.

Its frustrating to have talented runners who cant compete at their best, Melissa Mueller 06 said. At this point in the season we are trying to just stay healthy and fresh, focusing our practices on the quality of the workout rather than on the quantity of it.

The Oles will also be aided by home track advantage for the meet.

Well have our friends here to support us, and we get to sleep in our own beds, so its an ideal situation, Estill said.

Stirred by the home crowd and filled with urgency as the season winds down, the Oles have all the ingredients of a successful end of the year run.

There may still be a few more unexpected twists before the season ends.

Conference is a meet where anything can happen, Britt Carlson 04 said. Every year there are surprises. We hope to run the best that we can that day, and see what happens.

The Manitou Messenger is a student publication of St. Olaf College, Northfield, Minn. It is published weekly during the academic year except during vacations, exam periods and interim. The cost for one year's subscription is $45.00. Postage is paid in Northfield, Minnesota. Manitou Messenger
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