Track and field update

By Jack Wickham

After the “Meet of the Hearts” at Carleton College over Valentine’s Day weekend, the Macalester men’s and women’s Track and Field teams went on to compete with MIAC and non-MIAC schools in divisions I, II and III.At Parents’ Day Open, on February 21, the women could not come away with a win, but showed promise against schools much larger than Macalester. Tara McCoy ’11 finished 4th in the 1000-meter run, while Emily Matthews ’10 won her heat, and finished 9th in the 400-meter run.

The men had similar relative success at the University of Minnesota Snowshoe Open, where the Scots again faced much larger division II and III schools. Finishing behind three runners from the much larger U of M, Wade Ekstrom ’10 placed 4th in the 3000-meter run. Andrew Yokom ’09 placed 8th overall in the 400-meter dash, and Alex Rosselli ’10 finished 13th in the 60-meter hurdles, and third out of all division III participants. While not competing for Macalester, assistant coach Brian Tolcser placed 1st in the 35 lb weight throw.

Perhaps most exciting, however, was Ekstrom’s strong finish. Clocking a time of 8:39:01, Ekstrom blasted the10-year-old school record of 8:43:68.

“Wade is a phenomenal distance runner. He’s a couple seconds away from breaking the record for the mile,” Franz Meyer ’09 said. “When [he] broke the record, the whole team was yelling and cheering for him the entire way.”

According to Meyer, this camaraderie is key to the team’s dynamic.

“Track is such a diverse sport. Both teams have remarkable cohesiveness, considering we have practice at different times,” Meyer said. “It shows at meets. With the construction of the Leonard Center, we have a place to practice and meet. This creates a cohesiveness that we haven’t had since the deconstruction of the old facility.”

Today, Macalester hosts the first ever track and field meet held in the Leonard Center. The pre-MIAC meeting will help the Scots and other MIAC teams, including Bethel, Hamline, Gustavus, and Carleton, prepare for the MIAC championships the following weekend.