Campbell, Escher national champions: Oles win titles, place highly at NCAA Championships

Four Oles competed in the Division III Indoor Track and Field National Championships on March 13 and 14 in Salem, N.C., with all four having success in their respective events. Paul Escher ’16 competed in the mile, Jake Campbell ’16 in both the 3000m and the 5000m, Grant Wintheiser ’15 in the 3000m and Danielle Larson ’15 in the pentathlon and high jump.

Escher won the individual title in the mile race with a time of 4:12.07, pulling away in the final 250 meters after sitting in the back of the pack for much of the race. Campbell won the 3000m with Wintheiser coming in as the runner-up, one second behind his fellow Ole Wintheiser. Campbell’s time of 8:10.55 was the fastest in Division III during the men’s indoor season this year. Wintheiser held the lead for the majority of the race, with Campbell surging in the final 50m to claim the national title from his teammate.

Along with the victory in the 3000m, Campbell also placed fourth in the 5000m with a time of 14:32.55. Campbell found himself in the second place position during part of the race, but managed to maintain a fourth place position by the end of the race.

The Ole men finished fourth in the team standing with 33 points, with University of Wisconsin- Eau Claire eventually taking the team title with 62 points. Considering that the Oles only had three athletes competing on the men’s side, it is very impressive that they finished so highly against many other teams that could sport greater attendance.

As the lone representative of the St. Olaf women’s track and field team, Larson was an All-American in the pentathlon as she finished seventh with 3,400 points. Larson won the high jump section of the pentathlon with a height of 1.64. She also had success in the 800m race, finishing second in 2:20.92. In the long jump, 60 meter hurdles and shot put, she placed 16th, 12th and 10th respectively.

In the high jump event, Larson cleared a height of 1.65 meters, enough to earn herself an 11th place finish.

The outdoor season begins for both the St. Olaf men’s and women’s track and field teams on April 11 at Hamline University.