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The Mac Weekly

The Student News Site of Macalester College

The Mac Weekly

The Student News Site of Macalester College

The Mac Weekly

Indoor track concludes with successful conference meet

By Caitlin Opperman

Speed and agility marked this past weekend’s MIAC Indoor Track and Field Championships, held at Concordia College’s Olson Forum in Moorhead. The end of the indoor season culminated in championships that were, according to Palmer Fliss ’11, “two long days of the best track and field chaos one can imagine.”

Macalester had good showings on both the men’s and women’s sides. For the women, Emily Matthews ’10 placed seventh in the 200-meter dash with a time of 27.07 seconds, while Maddie Mette ’10 made the long jump finals. The women’s 800-meter relay team also came out strong with Celeste Prince ’10, Matthews, Mette and Mari Mejia ’11 sprinting to a sixth place finish with a time of 1:50.69.

Emma Swinford ’12 and Tara McCoy ’11 picked up points as well, finishing 14th in the 1000-meter run and 15th in the 600-meter dash, respectively. The Macalester women placed 12th overall, trailing 1st place St. Thomas and runner-up Gustavus Adolphus.

“We competed against some very strong teams and several Mac athletes were right there with them,” Mette said. “Even though we didn’t score many points at the meet, we all competed hard, worked together, and had a lot of fun.”

The men’s team had strong performances from both Andrew Yokom ’09, who placed 5th in the 400-meter dash with a time of 50.31 seconds, and Wade Ekstrom ’10, who added another 5th place finish in the 5000-meter run with a time of 15:13.99. Long jumper Martin Stenman Andersson ’10 also rose to the occasion, securing a place in the finals and placing 7th with a jump of 6.32 meters.

The best finish came from the 4×200 relay team, who sprinted to 4th place with a time of 1:33.49. Kevin Williams ’09, Alex Rosselli ’10, Palmer Fliss ’11 and Andersson formed the relay team.

Ollie St. John ’12 also made quite a debut in his first MIAC Championships, finishing 12th in the mile with a time of 4:36.51, the second-fastest time turned in by a freshman, and 13th in the 1000-meter race where he was the top-placing freshman. Overall, the Scots placed 10th behind 1st place St. Thomas (who won its 25th straight title) and runner-up Hamline.

“I think MIAC went as well as can be expected. We are a very small team this year and literally didn’t have enough people to compete in some events,” Ekstrom said. “That being said, we had some great performances. Yokom ran a great 400 meter, and Martin had his best jump of the year.”

As the indoor season came to a close, runners reflected on the highlights.

“This season was pretty huge for me,” Fliss said. “I ran my personal record in the 200-meters and 400-meters, and helped my team to a 4th place finish in the 4×200 at conference.”

Ekstrom had similar success.

“Even though I didn’t run as well as I’d hoped at MIAC, the indoor season was still successful. I set several school records and almost qualified for nationals,” he said.

While the MIAC Indoor Championships are always intense, they also are a preview for the upcoming outdoor season.

“Our coaches always consider the indoor season as a tune up for outdoor,” Ekstrom said. “We’re still getting to know our bodies, testing which events will be our best.”

With the outdoor season just around the corner, the track and field team has its sights set on an even more successful season.

“I’ve got my eye on outdoors and the 400 Intermediate Hurdles,” Fliss said.

Ekstrom also commented on the potential of the new first years on the team.

“Ollie has emerged as an excellent miler, while Carl [Biggers] and Pete [Steele] have both run solid 3k times that will probably translate to great 5k times.”

While both outdoor and indoor seasons have their own goals and perks, they are also very different.

“The setting of indoor track is much more intimate,” Ekstrom said. “The fans are often literally inches from your face, and the noise is often deafening. It’s thrilling.”

Fliss agreed.

“The best part of indoor track is how physically close the team has to be; when cheering on your teammates, everyone’s shoulder to shoulder, yelling at the top of their lungs, whereas in outdoor season, that team spirit is more spread out along the 400-meter track.

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