The St. Olaf men’s and women’s track and field teams hosted the Ole Qualifier at Tostrud Center on Feb. 22. Individuals from around the conference competed for entry into the MIAC indoor track and field championships, which take place Feb. 28-March 2 at Tostrud Center.
The meet was the Oles’ first home meet since Jan. 25 and second of the indoor season.
“Running at home is awesome,” said Moriah Novacinski ’14, women’s team captain. “It is so nice to run on a track we are comfortable on and get to practice on every day. Plus to have Ole fans cheering for us makes everyone perform better than ever.”
Several Oles performed commendably, placing in their individual events. Reggie Woods ’13 sprinted the 60-meter dash in 6.97 seconds, earning first place by a margin of 0.18 seconds. Aaron Dunphy ’15 finished second in the 60-meter hurdles with a time of 8.71 seconds. Ole men also dominated longer distances: Snatching places first through fourth in the mile run were Tim Lillehaugen ’13 4:20.53, Paul Escher ’16 4:21.72, Calvin Lehn ’16 4:22.48 and John Christian ’14 4:22.79. In the field, shot-putter Ethan Lunning ’16 threw 15.43 meters, earning second place.
On the women’s side, Sophie Pietrick ’13 finished first in the 3,000 meter run with a time of 10:39.68. Meanwhile, Emily Stets ’15, Shaina Rud ’14, Dani Larson ’15 and Novacinski raced to a 4:06.33, second-place finish in the 4×400-meter relay.
“Placing second in the 4×400-meter relay really lit a fire under us,” Rud said. “It definitely lets us know where we stand against other MIAC teams before Conference next weekend. Moving forward, that race will motivate us to cut even more time.”
Several Oles will compete at the MIAC indoor championships. Athletes’ performances at this meet will determine admittance to the NCAA D-III indoor championships, which take place in Naperville, Ill. on March 8-9.
“I think we proved we are ready,” Novacinski said. “We have been competing well, and if everyone performs, we will be great. I can’t wait to see how we do.”