Track and field teams take off at MIAC’s

The men’s and women’s track and field teams competed at the MIAC Indoor Championships at Carleton College on March 3-5. With both the NCAA Indoor Track and Field Championships and the outdoor season looming on the horizon, the teams looked to hit their stride against a host of tough MIAC competitors. The men finished in second place behind the University of St. Thomas while the women finished in fifth place after three days of competition.

After the second day of competition, the Ole men were in second place after stellar performances from a number of athletes. Paul Escher ’16 won the mile run with a final time of 4:14.70, with teammate Joe Coffey ’17 coming in second with a time of 4:15.65. Paul Timm ’18 finished third in the 5000-meter race after running a time of 15:00.24. James McFarlin ’16 and Kevin Skrip ’16 led the Oles in the 400-meter dash, finishing in fifth and sixth place, while Sean Bjork ’17 finished second in the 800-meter dash to round out the middle distance events. William Anderson ’19, Joe Pugh ’18, Ryan Van Mechelen ’16 and Tayler Aarness ’19 finished third in the distance medley relay with a final time of 10:32.05 while Eli Knutson ’19 took home sixth place in the heptathlon with a total score of 4,146.

The St. Olaf women were fourth after the second day of competition, taking home the MIAC title in the distance medley relay. The team, composed of Abbey Schnaith ’16, Hayli Marquette ’19, Suzie Hoops ’17 and Piper Bain ’16 finished with a final time of 12:39.28. After winning the pentathlon on the first day of competition, Madison Van Wylen ’16 finished fourth in the high jump and fifth in the long jump, while teammate Abbey Stets ’18 finished third in the 400-meter dash with a time of 59.34. Morgan Philippi ’16 placed fifth in the 5000-meter race as fellow senior Michaela Bolden ’16 placed fourth in the hammer throw.

The Ole men opened up the third day of competition looking to close the gap between themselves and the Tommies. Jake Campbell ’16 dominated the 3000-meter race with a time of 8:19.65, and Timm came in sixth place with a time of 8:42.28. Aarness came in 11th in the same race, just missing the top ten with a time of 8:48.32. Escher, Bjork, Jacob Eggers ’17 and Coffey placed second, third, sixth and ninth place in 1000-meter race, rounding out the distance events for the Ole men. McFarlin, Skrip, Justin Elstad ’18 and Pugh finished second in the 4×400-meter relay with a time of 3:21.70, while Skrip finished second in the 600-meter dash with a time of 1:21.52. Nick Woods ’17 finished fifth in the shot put to place the Oles in second place in the overall team scoring.

The Ole women slipped to fifth place after the third day of competition but won the 4×400-meter relay with a time of 4:01.15. The relay team was comprised of Stets, Jena Moody ’18, Hoops and Van Wylen. Stets also finished the 200-meter dash with a time of 26.50, putting her in fourth place. The women ended the day with a third place finish in the 800-meter relay, with Van Wylen, Stets, Lillie Meakim ’18 and Marquette rounding out the Ole lineup.

Both teams now focus their attention on the NCAA Indoor Championships and the outdoor season as athletes look to rest before the second half of the season begins.