St. Olaf races at MIAC Indoor Championship: Oles win several events, send athletes to nationals

The St. Olaf men’s and women’s track and field teams headed to Moorhead, Minn. on March 6-7 to compete in the MIAC Indoor Championships. Both teams performed strongly, with the Ole men finishing in second place and the women in fifth. Both teams qualified several athletes for the NCAA Division III Indoor Championships in Winston-Salem, N.C. on March 13-14.

The St. Olaf men’s team had several champions at the event on day one. Aaron Dunphy ’15 was victorious in the 60-meter hurdles with a time of 8.48. Jake Campbell ’16 defended his 5,000-meter race title with a winning time of 14:40.93 – a new facility record.

Just under a second behind Campbell was runner-up Phil Meyer ’15, with a time of 14:41.85. Finally, Paul Escher ’16 won the mile event in a time of 4:18.05, with teammate Joe Coffey ’17 second in a time of 4:19.45.

The second and final day was also successful for the Ole men, though they were unable to close a four point deficit to the University of St. Thomas to win the event. Grant Wintheiser ’15 won the 3,000-meter event in a new meet record time of 8:25.51. Meyer found himself in second place again with a time of 8:27.68. Kevin Skrip ’16 won the 600-meter race with a time of 1:22.10.

Unfortunately for St. Olaf, the Tommies proved to be too strong once again, winning their 31st consecutive title by a margin of 20 points over the Oles. It was a repeat of last season’s result, when St. Olaf finished behind the Tommies.

Wintheiser, Escher and Campbell will represent the Oles at nationals. The rest of the team will begin preparing for the outdoor season, which will be kicked off on April 11 at the first meet of the season at Hamline University.

The St. Olaf women’s team also had several champions at the MIAC Championships. Dani Larson ’15 won three of five events to win the pentathlon, winning the 60-meter hurdles 9.43, the high jump 5-5.75 and the 800-meter race 2:23.93 to win her second MIAC pentathlon.

Larson won another individual MIAC title in the high jump, clearing 1.66 meters to win the event. She was also a part of the Ole 4×200 meter relay team that took victory in a time of 1:46.88. Larson, Abby Stets ’18, Madison VanWylen ’16 and Lillie Meakim ’18 beat the University of St. Thomas relay team by .7 seconds.

The Oles finished the championships in fifth place, with Larson qualifying for nationls in both the pentathlon and the high jump. The team will resume competition outdoors on April 11 at the Hamline Invite.

Photo Courtesy of St. Olaf College Athletics