St. Olaf’s women’s and men’s track teams opened their 2022 outdoor season in Decorah, Iowa ,on April 9 at the Norse Invitational. The meet featured sun, a rare sight so far this April, and strong results from both teams.
Out of a field of seven men’s teams and six women’s, the men finished first and the women second. The meet was the first time the full teams have been in action since the MIAC indoor championships that saw both the women and men finish in fourth place.
The Ole men were propelled to victory by eight first place finishes across 19 events, a strong start that featured some stellar individual results.
A pair of throwers stood out, with Aengus White ’22 winning the discus and Cade Feist ’25 taking the shot put, each setting the 8th best marks in school history in their events.
Lucas Kramarczuk ’23 placed first in both the 100 meter hurdles and the long jump while also taking third in the triple jump.
Steve Peper ’22 had a successful day as well, winning the high jump. As the reigning MIAC Outdoor High Jump Champion, he looks to carry momentum from an indoor season that ended with him competing at the national meet.
Dylan Arnold ’25 put up the tenth best vault in Ole history, winning the pole vault competition by over two feet.
Perhaps most impressive of all, Will Kelly ’24 gapped the field by 49 seconds on his way to winning the 3000 meter steeplechase. His performance, which broke the meet record by over 30 seconds, was the 15th best in the country this year and the fifth fastest in St. Olaf history.
Men’s coach Brian Power pointed to these standouts who contributed to a “terrific first meet.”
“After a long break between Indoor Conference and the first outdoor meet, the team was excited to compete, and the results showed that. Luther hosted a well-run meet, and we enjoyed competing in the sunshine. We’re excited about the potential of this team to compete at the top of the MIAC this year,” Power said.
The men’s team will look to build on these results as they set their sights on beating St. John’s University and Concordia-Moorhead, who surpassed them at Indoor Conference in February.
The women’s team will in turn set their sights on Bethel, Gustavus, and Carleton after falling to them at Conference. In Decorah, the team faced off against Gustavus and finished below the Gusties by just 22.5 points. The meet featured three victories for the Oles in the 800 and 1500 meter run, and the long jump.
The distance runners put in strong finishes for St. Olaf with first, third and fourth place finishes in the 1500 meter run, led by Sam Posey ’22, who broke the meet record in the event. Similar success came in the 800 meter dash with Katie Gebert ’24 winning the race as more Oles took fourth, fifth, and sixth.
Annika Muller ’23 found success in Decorah as well, with a victory in the long jump that set the fifth best mark in Ole history. She paired this victory with a second place finish in the triple jump. Additionally, Aleah Keske ’24 showed off, taking second place in both the shot put and discus.
Kicking off the season with record setting performances, both track and field teams are setting themselves up for a strong outdoor season. After such a hot start, it’ll be interesting to see if the team can put together a blazing finish down the road.