Seniors pace track & field at Indoor Championships

By Patrick Murphy

The Macalester men and women’s track & field teams made the trip down Summit last weekend to the University of St. Thomas for the 2011 MIAC Indoor Track & Field Championships. The times in the brand-new Anderson Field House were blazing all weekend, with five meet records falling over the three-day competition. Among the top performers were Macalester seniors Robin Major ’11 and Tara McCoy ’11. Major and McCoy, both middle-distance specialists, were all conference in the 800-meter run, placing second and third, respectively, with times of 2:20.30 and 2:20.53. Working together, Major and McCoy managed to hold off the rest of the pack in an extremely tight race. The top nine runners finished within three seconds of each other.

“I am so lucky to have Tara as a running partner,” said Major. “She freaks out before races as much as I do, and we spend a lot of time talking about how fast we’ll go out, when we’ll pass the other competitors, and how far we can push ourselves. Having her with me to think through strategy and visualize a race has been an integral part of how I’ve gained confidence as a competitor this season. After racing the 800 on Friday we talked about how no one else on other teams had a partner to run with. Whereas every single practice we push each other to go that much faster.”

Later in the weekend Major ran to a sixth-place finish in the 600-meter dash with a time of 1:39.18. McCoy stayed busy too, just missing out on another all-conference performance in the 1000-meter dash with a fourth-place finish and a time of 1:39.18.

Major and McCoy will look to continue their success as the season continues outdoors in a few weeks.

“Compared to previous race times, Tara and I could each have won our 1000 and 600 events in indoor conference, respectively,” said Major. “As we go into outdoor season I’m excited to learn from indoor and push my teammates and myself to be more competitive.”

On the men’s side, Palmer Fliss ’11 led the way with strong performances in four events on Friday and Saturday. On Friday, Fliss was part of a distance medley relay team that placed sixth in the conference and fifth on the Macalester all-time list.

“We (Ollie St. John ’12, Dan Voss ’14, and Auburn Jimenez ’14) were all really stoked about the result,” said Fliss. “We all came together and put together a fantastically solid group that ended up beating some of the Mac track greats of old.”

After a two-week layoff, the track & field teams will move from the confines of the Leonard Center outdoors (pending the snow melting) to resume the second half of the season.

“With a few more hard repeat workouts under our belt after break, the sprint endurance of this team will rise dramatically, and I’m really excited to see how the underclassmen step up to fill the sprinter and mid-distance sprinter roles that we all know they’re capable of,” said Fliss. “Both the men and the women have the potential to do some amazing things this last leg of the season, and I know they can rise to their potential.”

The outdoor season should be interesting with the seniors looking to go out on a high note and the underclassmen looking to establish themselves in the conference. The Scots’ next meet is at Hamline on April 2nd for the Hamline Quadrangular.