On Saturday, February 25, the Macalester Men’s and Women’s Indoor Track teams competed at the MIAC Indoor Championships. While the men got strong showings from Lachlan Hinwood ’17 and Jack Schultenover ’18, the women’s team stole the headlines. The women’s team thoroughly enjoyed the meet at St. Thomas, finishing in fifth place overall with 72.5 points, their best team result in a decade.
Junior Hannah Sonsalla was thrilled with the performance, saying, “I’m in awe at how many points we were able to accumulate and the fact that we placed fifth. It shows the strides that our program has made, since last year we finished in 11th place at the indoor conference.”
Sonsalla was one of the standout performers, earning All-Conference honors with a second place finish in the 200-meter dash, but she was not alone. Sonsalla, Victoria Casarrubias ’20, Phoebe Aguiar ’19 and Anik Regan ’17 brought home All-Conference honors and a MIAC title in the 4×400 meter relay in a time of 4:01.13. Sonsalla’s banner weekend continued in the 4×200 meter relay, where she, Regan, Kara Komoto ’17 and Lily Schlieman ’20 finished fourth in a time of 1:46.97. That was Schliemann’s second strong performance of the weekend after she, Natalie Prescott ’17, Allison Pillar ’17 and Eliza Ramsey ’17 came in second in the distance medley relay with a time of 12:37.42, the second best time in school history.
The motif of upperclassmen posting their best times of the season did not stop there; Komoto’s relay performance wasn’t even her best of the weekend, as she broke her own school record in the 60-meter dash with a time of 7.96 seconds to finish fourth. The record-breaking performances continued as Kimber Meyer ’17 ran a season-best time of 10:05.46 in the 3000-meter run, which was enough to finish second and earn All-MIAC honors. That stellar performance came on Saturday, just a day after she had shattered her own school record by 23 seconds in the 5000 meters to finish third, also earning an All-Conference award.
Just like Sonsalla, Meyer was incredibly pleased with how the team did, saying that the weekend was undoubtedly her highlight of the season. “My season highlight was the 5K at the MIAC indoor championships last Friday,” she said. “It was really special to have the competition I had in that race to help propel me to a new height that I didn’t think I was capable of reaching that night — I ended up improving my time from two weeks prior by 23 seconds. The most special part of it came a couple minutes after I crossed the finish line and saw my professor and friends from the immunology research lab I work in all running towards me. I did not know that they would be coming, and was completely surprised and thrilled to see them all there! For many of them, it was the first track meet they’d ever been to.”
While the men’s team did not have the same sort of record-breaking weekend as the women’s team, they still picked up a number of very strong performances. On Friday, Hinwood ran a personal best 4:25.26 in the mile — good enough for a fourth place finish — while Schultenover finished sixth in the 60-meter dash with a time of 7.06, just one-hundredth of a second off breaking his own school record. The next day, Hinwood had another strong showing, running a season best of 8:57.11 in the 3000-meter run, good enough to finish 11th, while Mac Doherty ’17 also posted a season best in the 3000 meters which brought him a 16th place finish. Not to be forgotten, the 4×400 meter relay team of Tayeb Zaidi ’17, Tre Nowaczynski ’17, Brian Eisner ’18 and Eddy Reyes Herrera ’20 came in seventh overall in a time of 3:30.38.
Nowaczynski was able to put the indoor season in perspective after the game and seemed quite pleased by the performances and growth shown throughout the winter. “As the indoor season comes to a close, we have the ability to reflect on our goals, both team and individual,” he said. “Thus far we have experienced tremendous growth in personal performance as well as team solidarity. Carrying the momentum from the MIAC championships into our upcoming training cycles will be key in building and maintaining our progress.”
While the senior was proud of what his team did over the course of the season, he wasn’t involved in his highlight of the season.
“The highlight of the season for me was watching our women’s 4×400 meter relay win at conference,” he said. “Beyond the women on this particular relay, the race capped the hard work and outstanding performances put on display by our women’s team all season.”
With the exception of a number of Scots who will move on to the St. Olaf Last Chance Meet on Friday — including the relay team of Meyer, Sonsalla, Prescott and Casarrubias — the indoor season has now come to a close. While those who are set to run on Friday are tightly focused on the impending meet, the team as a whole has begun contemplating the outdoor season and how to use what they’ve done this winter as a springboard.
“I feel very optimistic and have high hopes for the outdoor season,” said Sonsalla. “The indoor season has provided us with a solid base and momentum that sets us up for being fierce competitors in the outdoor season.”
If the indoor season is any guide to go by, there should be more memorable moments to come from the Scots when the outdoor season rolls around in six weeks time.