Extra laps: Track and field prepares for indoor conference

By Daniel Kerwin

The Track and Field season is unlike most other sports at Macalester in the sense that it is split into an indoor and an outdoor season. In the overall scheme of things, the outdoor portion is the most important part of the season, but this doesn’t make the indoor portion insignificant. Head Coach Martin Peper compared this weekend’s Indoor MIAC Track and Field Championships to midterms: important in its own right, but not quite the same as finals.Because of the heavier emphasis on the outdoor championships, the team doesn’t really get into full swing until after the indoor season is over, leaving it less prepared than other teams for the indoor championships.

“We’re on the upswing, we’re just a little behind other teams because of the nature of our schedule,” Peper said.

“Our training curve is set so that we run our fastest outdoors, but I don’t treat the indoor season like a lesser season,” Tyson Morgan ’09 said. “In order to race best in the outdoor season you need to get used to gearing up for races, and the only way to do that is to take indoor races seriously.”

Morgan is among the team members who are coming off strong finishes last week in the Carleton College Pre-MIAC Meet in Northfield. He finished second in the 1000 meters with a time of 2:36.69. Following in third place in the event was Josh Springer ’08 with a time of 2:37.33.

Macalester runners also did well in the 55-meter dash. Andrew Yokom ’09 placed first with a time of 6.59, and Kyle Hamblett ’11 placed second with a time of 6.64 in his first race after finishing out his varsity basketball season. Kevin Williams ’09 placed fourth with a time of 6.76.

When the team’s sprinters are combined into a relay team, the prospects look promising. However, the relay team is dealing with injury at this weekend’s competition.

“We have a very good chance of setting a school record and doing some damage in the outdoor season,” Hamblett said.

Although the bulk of this weekend’s competition will take place today and tomorrow, Martin Stenman Andersson ’10 will have competed in Thursday’s heptathlon. The event is a reduced from of decathlon, combining seven events: a 55-meter dash, long jump, shot put, high jump, 55-meter hurdles, pole vault and a 1000-meter race. At last year’s indoor championships Andersson placed fourth in the event.

“I hope to do as well as last year and improve in every event,” Andersson said. “It should be a lot of fun.”

Something that wasn’t “a lot of fun” at last week’s Carleton meet was the handling of the 3000-meter race. Kyle Braam ’08 was among racers in the event that were waved through to run an extra lap, mistakenly running a 3200-meter race.

“I think it’s a really lousy deal,” said Nick Mangigian ’10, who finished the race in the predetermined number of laps. “Both the leader and Kyle were gunning for some serious times. Kyle deserved a much faster time.”

Braam was able to take it all in stride.

“It was kind of disappointing because it was my last race, but it happens,” Braam said.

The racers in the mile run had a better time of it. Macalester had second, third and fourth place finishes in the event, with Martin Mudry ’09, Matt Wegmann ’08 and Dale Dybvig ’11 in those positions respectively.

No matter the relative lack of pressure of running in the indoor championships, Wegmann is just looking forward to the race.

“For conference I’m going to give it a really good effort, and it might not turn out the way I’d hoped but I’ll still be happy,” Wegmann said.

“Conference is a time to go big or go home,” Mudry said.