One year ago, Sebastian Roemer ’15 (Kimberton, PA) was an unknown freshman as he warmed up for the first race of his collegiate career at the Warren Bowlus Invitational. His task? The 600-meter dash.
Roemer no longer is an unknown, but one of the top mid-distance runners in the conference after breaking the 600-meter school record with a time of 1:24:69 in his first race. Now, in the first meet of the 2013 season, Roemer’s goal was to break his own record that he set at the same meet last season.
“My mindset going into the first race this year was basically get a fast time, to qualify for conference championships, and position myself to score points for Macalester,” Roemer said. “Apparently that mindset worked out pretty well for me.”
Roemer kicked off his sophomore campaign by finishing third in the 600-meter dash and establishing a new school record with a 1:23:14. Through the first three weeks of the season, that would give him the fourth best time among all runners in the Minnesota Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (MIAC).
Roemer was also one of three Fighting Scots to qualify for NCAA Regionals at Wisconsin-La Crosse last season, where he participated in the 400-meter dash. However, despite the individual success, the team still finished 10th in the conference out of 12 total teams.
In addition to Roemer, many other returners have head coach Martin Peper excited about what could shape up to be one of the better teams in recent years.
“For some athletes, the goal is to qualify for the ‘Big Show’ (Nationals),” Peper said. “If we can work with the athletes to reach their specific goal, then we will be successful.”
The final meet of the indoor season, the MIAC Indoor Championship, will take place from Feb. 28-Mar. 2 at St. Olaf. The outdoor season will then kick off after spring break at the Hamline Invitational on Apr. 6.
An event by event look at the 2013 Fighting Scots Men’s Track & Field team follows.
Many new additions to the team headline the sprinting events for the Fighting Scots. Konnor Fleming ’15 (Charlotte, VT) leads an influx of many football players, which also includes Ben Hillmann ’15 (Watertown, MN), Bolton Howes ’15 (Lakewood, CO), Jole Miller ’15 (Missouri Valley, IA) and Nate Dwyer ’14 (New Hope, MN). After just three weeks, Fleming has already emerged as one of the top runners in the MIAC in the 200-meter dash, posting a 22.91 last Saturday at the St. John’s Invitational, the fourth-best time in the conference thus far.
“The 22.91 was a lot of fun,” Fleming said after the race. “I had plenty of teammates come up to me immediately afterwards and congratulate me, telling me what my time was.”
However, Fleming’s next goal is to take down the school record of 22.81, which he missed by one tenth of a second at St. John’s.
“I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t thinking about the school record,” he said. “I look up at the record board every day at practice, and since day one it’s been my goal to beat that 22.81. At the end of the day though, helping the team score points and succeed is what truly matters, and that’s what I really hope to do.”
Macalester also returns some experience in the sprinting events led by two of the four team captains, Mike Adams ’13 (Chippewa Falls, WI) and Brent Campbell ’13 (St. Catherine, Jamaica). Other returners joining Adams and Campbell include Geo Chester ’13 (Cass Lake, MN), Mike Darrow ’14 (Menlo Park, CA), and Thomas Eich ’15 (Walkerton, IN).
Roemer is the key cog who figures to contend near the top of the conference in the 600 during the indoor season. However, Joey Frankl ’14 (Wilmette, IL) was the Scots’ top mid-distance runner in last year’s outdoor season. Frankl finished with a 1:56:86 in the 800-meter dash at the Bolstorff Twilight Invitational, the best time among all Macalester participants last season.
Dan Voss ’14 (Willmar, MN), Ross Boehme ’15 (Redding, CT), Alex Weberg ’15 (East Aurora, NY), Alan Farnsworth ’15 (Madison, WI), Dylan Saul ’15 (Minneapolis, MN), and Michael Kreher ’16 (San Francisco, CA) also figure to participate in the 800. So Nakayama ’15 (Tokyo, Japan), Damien Prendergast ’15 (Mandeville, Jamaica), and Jack Reece ’16 (Boulder, CO) are expected participants in the 400-meter dash.
Auburn Jimenez ’14 (East Los Angeles, CA) another NCAA regional qualifier from last season, leads the group of long distance runners. In the regionals, Jimenez placed 7th in the 5,000-meter run (15:41:50). He also placed 5th in the outdoor conference championship last season in the same event.
Andy Keefe ’14 (Minneapolis, MN) and Joe Giamberdino ’15 (St. Charles, IL) are likely participants in the 1500-meter run.
Eric Biggers ’14 (Verona, WI) and Carl Petri ‘13 (Bayern, Germany) will join Jimenez and Giamberdino as potential runners for the 5,000. Biggers was also a participant in the 10,000-meter run last season and is looking to build on his 2012 campaign.
Other long distance runners include captain Joe Macula ’13 (Geneseo, NY), Mike Waltman ’15 (Lexington, KY), Eivind Bakke ’16 (Harstad, Norway), Ben Bartenstein ’16 (Waldo, WI), Zach Gilfix ’16 (Edina, MN), Trevor Maggart ’16 (Tokyo, Japan), Alexander Ropes ’16 (Pella, IA), and Alec Shub ’16 (New Haven, CT).
Mason Kriegel ’15 (Danbury, WI) was the final regional qualifier last season where he took eighth out of 22 participants in the pole vault (4.47m or 14’8”). He also finished fifth at the MIAC Outdoor Championships last spring.
Logan Hovie ’16 (Neenah, WI) looks to be among the top high jumpers in the conference. His result from the Warren Bowlus Invitational (1.96 meters or 6’5”) places him at second in the conference through the first three weeks. The team’s final senior captain Sigi Zheng ’13 (Guangzhou, China) is also one of the top high jumpers in the MIAC. Vandy Sengeh ’16 (Sierra Leone) will join Zheng and Hovie for jumping in what could shape up to be a strong area for the team.
To round out the squad, Jack Stegall ’15 (Santa Barbara, CA) and Brad Buse ’14 (St. Louis, MO) will be Macalester’s lone throwers.