2004 MIAC MEN'S INDOOR TRACK & FIELD PREVIEW

The 2004 MIAC Men's Indoor Track & Field season will feature many talented individuals and teams looking to capture the conference title on March 5-6 in Collegeville, Minn. Perennial MIAC powerhouse St. Thomas will be challenged by strong teams from Gustavus, Carleton, Saint John's, Hamline, and St. Olaf. Looking to improve upon last year's performances and finish in the upper half of the MIAC standings are Augsburg, Bethel, Concordia, Macalester, and Saint Mary's. Individually, the MIAC will be lead by two returning All Americans; Augsburg's Mathew Shannon and Carleton's Matt Hooley.

St. Thomas will look to make it 20 for 20 in MIAC Indoor Track & Field Team Championships this year and set a new MIAC record for most consecutive conference titles won in any sport. The Tommies captured their 19th straight MIAC championship last year, winning by 47.5 points. Even though the Tommies lost five All-Americans from last years squad, many top performers will return to the roster.

Gustavus enters the 2004 season minus three graduated All-Americans from last year's second place team. The Gusties will rely on a strong group of athletes in field events and some very talented freshman to help contend for a title.

Carleton first-year Coach Dave Ricks inherits a team strong in the distance events and improving in the throwing events, but inexperienced in the jumps and sprints. The Knight's top returner is All-American Matt Hooley, who won the 1,500-meter title at last year's MIAC championship and earned All-America honors in the event as well.

Saint John's will try to improve on its fourth place finish at last year's MIAC indoor championships. SJU's top returning athletes are Michael Marschel, in the 800-meters; Paul Ferber, in the triple jump; Pat Hengel, in the pole vault and Lee Clintsman, in the 100-meters. 

Hamline will look forward to the 2004 season after finishing fifth at the 2003 MIAC Indoor Championships. Fifth-year head coach Paul Schmaedeke will look to captains Will Sallee, David Brosnahan, and Wyatt Ammon to provide leadership in the upcoming season. Sallee is reigning conference champion in the 55-meter high hurdles.

St. Olaf will find it difficult to duplicate or improve on their third place MIAC finish in 2003. The Oles lost nine scorers from the 2003 squad. Returning St. Olaf scorers from 2003 include Jesse Horst 5th in the 800 meters, Sam Hauck 3rd in the 1000 meters, and Peder Arneson 6th in the 5000 meters, Peter Cathcart 2nd in the Shot Put.

Bethel Coach Mike Goldman is optimistic about his team's potential after last season's 8th place finish at the MIAC Championships. With just three graduates last year, 34 student-athletes return to give a solid foundation to score more than the 22 points that was earned last season.

Saint Mary's first year Coach Kirk Nauman is looking for improvement from his Cardinals ninth place finish last season. Seniors Todd Yankowski and Jim Baertsch will provide leadership for the Cardinals.

Macalester is looking to get a lot of points generated from the middle-and long-distance runners from last falls fourth-place MIAC cross country squad. The Scots have an increase in talent and depth from last year's 10th place squad.

Concordia is hoping that a pair of distance runners and several newcomers will carry the squad to a top ten finish at the conference championship meet.

The 2004 MIAC Indoor Track & Field Championships will be held at Saint John's University in Collegeville, Minn. on March 5-6, 2004.


Augsburg College   
Head Coach: Dennis Barker (10th season)
2003: 7th at MIAC Championships
Key Returners: -- Mathew Shannon (Sr., Minneapolis, Minn./Washburn HS) -- First-ever multiple All-American in Augsburg men's track history; placed fourth nationally in indoor 400-meter dash and third in outdoor 400-meter dash in 2003; also qualified for nationals in outdoor 200-meter dash; won MIAC title in outdoor 400 in 2003 and 2002; school record-holder in seven individual events and as part of four relays; 12-time All-MIAC performer.

-- Steven Floyd (Jr., Minneapolis, Minn./Park Center HS) -- All-MIAC honorable mention in outdoor 400-meter hurdles in 2003 with fifth-place finish; placed eighth in outdoor 110-meter hurdles; school record as part of outdoor 1,600-meter relay.

-- Steve Zaffke (So., Stewartville, Minn.) -- All-MIAC honorable mention in outdoor triple jump in 2003, placing fifth.
Season Preview: Mathew Shannon (Sr., Minneapolis, Minn./Washburn HS) has established himself as one of the top sprinters in the MIAC and the nation over the last few years, and this year should be no exception.

A 12-time All-MIAC performer (seven first-team, five honorable-mention), two-time conference champion in the outdoor 400-meter dash and school record-holder in 11 different events, Shannon made Augsburg history last season when he became the first Auggie male track and field athlete to earn multiple All-American honors in the same year, finishing third nationally in the outdoor 400-meter dash (47.18 seconds) and fourth in the indoor 400-meter dash (48.59 seconds). He is the only Augsburg athlete ever to break the 48-second barrier in the outdoor 400 and the 49-second barrier in the indoor 400.

"Mathew has really made himself into one of the top 400 men in the country, and he's definitely a threat to win multiple events in the conference," Barker said.

Ten letterwinners return to the Auggie lineup, including several quality sprinters. Steven Floyd (Jr., Minneapolis, Minn./Park Center HS), Jason Edwards (Sr., Fergus Falls, Minn.) and Steve Zaffke (So., Stewartville, Minn.) joined Shannon on a 1,600-meter relay team that finished second in the indoor conference meet and third in the outdoor conference meet last year.

Floyd also earned individual honors with an All-MIAC honorable-mention finish in the outdoor 400-meter hurdles, where he placed fifth last year. Zaffke established himself as a solid jumper, finishing fifth in the conference outdoor triple jump to earn All-MIAC honorable-mention honors.

Newcomers Steve Houser (Fr., Elk River, Minn.) and Marzel Harris (Fr., Apple Valley, Minn./Eastview HS) should also contribute to the sprinting mix for the Auggies, along with Paul Sanft (Jr., St. Paul, Minn./Johnson HS), who returns to the Auggies after a year's absence.

In a very strong conference for distance running, several Auggies will hope to continue their improvements from last season and from the successful cross country campaign -- including Dan Vogel (Jr., LaCrescent, Minn.), Ryan Nevin (Sr., Barron, Wis.), Riley Conway (Jr., Lake City, Minn.), Micah Lenthe (Fr., Fergus Falls, Minn.), Erik Lundberg (So., Roseville, Minn./Mounds View HS) and George Spears (Sr., Minneapolis, Minn./South HS). Vogel earned All-Region honors and just missed out on All-MIAC honors in cross country in the fall.

"All of the distance guys set personal bests last year in track and they were better this year in cross country, so we're looking for continued improvement this year. They've been training very well this year," Barker said.

In the throws, Jon Dahlin (Sr., St. Louis Park, Minn.) returns to the Auggies after a year's absence. After his year off, Dahlin has shown strong improvement in his technique and strength, and could possibly threaten the school records in the weight throws, Barker said. Newcomer Mike Brinkman (Fr., Fridley, Minn.) will also throw for the Auggies.


Bethel College   
Head Coach: Mike Goldman (12th season)
2003: 8th at MIAC Championships
Key Returners: Brad Boyle, Junior, Norton, KS

Ryan Davis, Junior, Shelby, MT

Joel Dischinger, Junior, New Britain, CT

Adam Erickson, Junior, Roseville, MN

B.J. Hermerding, Junior, Buffalo, MN

Season Preview: After an 8th place finish at the MIAC Championships in 2003, Bethel head coach Mike Goldman is optimistic about the potential his team has to improve upon last year's finish. 

With just three graduates last year, 34 student-athletes return to give a solid foundation to score more than the 22 points that was earned last season. Of the 15 athletes that scored points in the conference meet last year, 13 return in addition to eight newcomers that were in their respective state championships in high school.

A pair of juniors, B.J. Hermerding (Buffalo, Minn.) and Ryan Davis (Shelby, Mont.) were the top finishers in their respective events last season. Hermerding had a third place finish in the 55 meter hurdles and Davis finished in second place in the pentathlon. Davis also had a sixth-place finish in the 55 meter hurdles. Senior Justin Speck (Rockford, Ill.) has been a solid performer throughout his career and gave Bethel much needed points last season with a sixth-place finish in the pentathlon. 

Juniors Joel Dischinger (New Britain, Conn.) and Adam Erickson (Roseville, Minn.) will also give Bethel potential scorers in the middle distances.


Carleton College   
Head Coach: David Ricks (1st season)
2003: 5th (tie) at MIAC Championships
Key Returners: Matt Hooley, Sr., Columbia, Mo. (Hickman), 2003 All-American in 1,500, MIAC champion in 1,500, 2nd in 3,000 meters, 2003 MIAC Cross Country individual champion

Dan Bucy, Jr., Sioux Falls, S.D. (Lincoln), 2003 All-American (outdoors) in steeplechase, All-MIAC in 2003 in 5,000 meters

Stephen Harris, So., 6th in 1,500 at 2003 MIAC Indoor Championships

Eric Smith, Jr., Iowa City, Iowa (City), 2003 All-MIAC in shot put

Adam Witt, So., Champlin, Minn. (Champlin Park), throws 

Jason Tjosvold, So., Hong Kong (Chinese International), jumps/sprints
Season Preview: Dave Ricks, formerly an assistant with the women’s track and field team, takes over the head coaching duties from long-time head coach Bill Terriquez, who is fazing into retirement.

Ricks inherits a team strong in the distance events and improving in the throwing events, but short on talent in the jumps and sprints. The Knights’ top returner in 2003 indoor All-American Matt Hooley, who won the 1,500-meter title at last year’s conference championship and earned All-America honors in the event as well. Hooley, who also captured the individual conference cross-country crown, leads a formidable distance group that includes All-America steeplechaser Dan Bucy, who also proved one of the top distance runners this fall by finishing in the top five at the MIAC Championships and advance to nationals as an individual. 

The pair is joined by Stephen Harris, among others, as he was sixth in the 1,500 at last year’s conference championship.

Another strength for Carleton appears to be the throwing events, led by junior Eric Smith and sophomore Adam Witt. Smith was third in the shot put last year and Witt is the top returner in the weight throw. 

In the past years the Knights have been hurt by lack of representation in any of the sprinting or jumping events. Sophomore Jason Tjosvold should help in this area, along with a talented group of first-year athletes.


Concordia College   
Head Coach: Garrick Larson (11th season)
2003: 11th at MIAC Championships
Key Returners: - Nick Myran, Jr., Kenyon, Minn./Kenyon-Wanamingo HS – all-conference award winner in cross country in the fall; third place in the 1500 meters at the 2003 conference outdoor meet.

- Ben Nylander, Sr., Lisbon, N.Dak. – fourth place in the 1000 meters at the 2003 conference indoor meet.
Season Preview: Garrick Larson and the 2003-04 Concordia men’s indoor track and field team is hoping that a pair of distance runners and several newcomers will carry the squad to a top ten finish at the conference championship meet.

Larson returns for his 11th season at the helm of the Cobbers and, although the team is down in numbers, has a squad that has the possibility to score points from the sprints to the multi-event. For the first time in awhile, Concordia will have the chance to score solid points in the sprints and the sprint relays as well as the middle distance and distance.

The lead dogs for the Cobbers this season will be middle distance warrior Ben Nylander (Sr., Lisbon, N.Dak.) and new-found distance star Nick Myran. Nylander finished fourth in the 1000 meters at least year’s conference indoor meet but struggled through the outdoor season due to leg injuries. Myran busted onto the distance scene last spring by placing third in the 1500 meters at the conference outdoor meet. He backed that performance up by finishing ninth, and earning all-conference honors, at this fall’s cross country championship meet. 

Several newcomers will play a pivotal role as the Cobbers try to inch their way towards the top of the MIAC. Luke Draxten (So., Fergus Falls, Minn.) will try to make an impact in the high jump. He was one of the kickers on this year’s football team and his 6-5 frame should help the Cobbers score points in the jumps. Joining Draxten in the high jump will be David Petit, a promising first-year jumper from Howard Lake, Minn. The sprint corps will feature first-year athletes Ryan Smith (Grand Forks, N.Dak./Red River HS) and Alonzo Jalan (Crookston, Minn.) and sophomore transfer Jay Prince from Bemidji.

Larson will be hoping that the newcomers will learn the training and performance ways of the top dogs as they sled their way towards the conference championship meet in early March.


Gustavus Adolphus College   
Head Coach: Tom Thorkelson (6th season)
2003: 2nd at MIAC Championships
Key Returners: Matt Dierks, Senior, (First in long jump and 800 meter relay at the 2003 MIAC Indoor Championships)

John Dahl, Senior, (Fifth in the pole vault at the 2003 MIAC Indoor Championships)

Jack Henkemeyer, Soph., (1st in the 800 meter relay, 8th in the 400 meter dash at the 2003 MIAC Indoor Championships)
Season Preview: The 2004 Men's Indoor Track and Field season will be the start of a new era for this competitive group. Gone is the leadership provided by three All-Americans (Jerry Washington, Ryan Hoag, and Luke Speltz), but the cupboard is hardly bare. Coach Tom Thorkelson says his team should be "very competitive and strong in the field events." He hopes that a great freshman class, which includes numerous state champions, will fill the holes created by graduation.

Among the top returners Coach Thorkelson has back to his squad are seniors Matt Dierks, Adam Cordes, Stephen Handler, and John Dahl and sophomore Jack Henkemeyer. Dierks, Cordes, Handler, and Henkemeyer comprised the conference champion 800 meter relay team a year ago. Handler tore his ACL in the first game of the football season, but is already back practicing with the team and looks good, while Dierks returns to defend his conference title in long jump . Jack Henkemeyer is looking to improve upon his impressive freshman campaign in which he was a part of the aforementioned relay team and also finished eighth in the 400 meter dash at the conference meet. Senior pole vaulter John Dahl hopes to reach new heights after his fifth place finish at the indoor meet.


Hamline University   
Head Coach: Paul Scmaedeke (5th season)
2003: 5th (tie) at MIAC Championships
Key Returners: Will Sallee, Sr., Hurdler/Jumper, Cascade, Wis. – won the 55-meter high hurdles and pentathlon at 2003 MIAC Indoors, qualified for NCAA Div. III Indoor Championships in high jump.

Chris Fream, Jr., Hurdler, Shoreview, Minn. – placed second in 55-meter high hurdles at 2003 MIAC Indoors.
Season Preview: The Hamline men’s track and field team looks forward to the 2004 season after a fifth-place finish at the MIAC Indoor Championships during the 2003 season. 

Fifth-year head coach Paul Schmaedeke will look to captains Will Sallee, David Brosnahan, and Wyatt Ammon to provide leadership in the upcoming season. 

Sallee (Sr., Spencer, Wis.) was the conference champion in the 55-meter high hurdles last year with a time of 7.85 and a qualifier for the NCAA Div. III Indoor Championships in the high jump. Sallee set an MIAC meet record in the pentathlon with a score of 3732. 

Brosnahan (Jr., Spirit Lake, Iowa) is a multi-event athlete and Ammon (Sr., Dell Rapids, S.D.) runs the 400-meter.

Juniors Chris Fream (Shoreview, Minn.) and Jeff Metzdorff (Wadena, Minn.) will be looked upon to score in the conference meet. Metzdorff, a distance runner, was the leading runner on the cross country team, and Fream placed second in the indoor hurdles at the conference meet last season. 

Thrower Ralph Rosario (Jr., St. Paul, Minn.) returns after scoring at the conference meet in the 35-pound weight throw last season. 

Joining this year’s distance runners include Travis Bristow (Fy., Backus, Minn.), who was the third Piper to cross the finish link at the MIAC Cross Country Championships and Chris Lutz (Fy., Pine City, Minn.), who took eighth place in the Class ‘A’ state track meet in high school. Middle distance runner Tony Klappa (Fy., Hopkins, Minn.), a 3,200-meter relay performer at the state meet and the Pipers’ second finisher in cross country, will be looked upon to contribute. 

Sean Smith (Fy., Blue Earth, Minn.), a state meet participant in the 400 meters, Andrew Lehner (Fy., St. Cloud, Minn.) and Andrew Link (Fy., Jordan, Minn.) are all sprinters who will be looked upon to help the Pipers. Rounding out the incoming first-year talent are pole vaulter Jake Kruger (Fy., Cascade, Wis.) who cleared 14 feet in high school, and long and triple jumper Aaron Smith (Fy., Mahtomedi, Minn.).


Macalester College   
Head Coach: Martin Peper (10th season)
2003: 10th at MIAC Championships
Key Returners: Brendan Viele (Jr., Arden Hills, MN / Mounds View) – Long jump

Bo Rydze (Jr., Iowa City, IA / City) distance / steeplechase

Eric Olson (Jr., Faribault, MN / Burnsville) – middle distance

Ssebbaale Sseremba (Jr., Tutume, Botswana / McConnell College) – triple jump
Season Preview: With increased depth and talent from a year, look for the Scots to show improvement in indoor track and field this winter under coach Martin Peper. Macalester is looking to get a lot of points generated from the middle- and long-distance runners from last fall’s fourth-place MIAC cross country squad.

Bo Rydze (Jr., Iowa City, IA / City) is an all-conference cross country performer and heads a group of improving runners like Eric Olson (Jr., Faribault, MN / Burnsville) and Roscoe Sopiwnik (So., Frederic, WI). Jordan Selbo (So., Amherst, MA) and Tom Hammer (FY, Ithaca, NY) are coming off good cross country campaigns as well.

All-MIAC jumper Brendan Viele (Jr., Arden Hills, MN / Mounds View) leads the Macalester field event entrants. Viele placed second in the MIAC last year in the long jump outdoors and third indoors. Ssebbaale Sseremba (Jr., Tutume, Botswana / McConnell College) is looking forward to a breakthrough season in the triple jump after taking fifth in the MIAC last year indoors. The Scots will also rely on hurdler Mikhail Higgins (Sr., Nassau, Bahamas / College of the Bahamas) and pole vaulter Alex Wise (FY, Knoxville, TN / Webb School).


Saint John's University   
Head Coach: Tim Miles (25th season)
2003: 4th at MIAC Championships
Key Returners: Michael Marschel, Senior, Sartell - 2003 MIAC indoor champion in 800-meters

Paul Ferber, Junior, St. Cloud - 2003 MIAC indoor second place in triple jump

Pat Hengel, Junior, Miles City, Mont. - 2003 MIAC indoor second place in pole vault
Season Preview: The Saint John’s University indoor track and field team will try to improve on its fourth place finish at last year's MIAC indoor championships. SJU's top returning athletes are senior Michael Marschel, Sartell, in the 800-meters; junior Paul Ferber, St. Cloud, in the triple jump; junior Pat Hengel, Miles City, Mont., in the pole vault and junior Lee Clintsman, Maplewood, in the 100-meters. 

Marschel is the defending MIAC indoor champion in the 800-meters and Marschel, Clintsman and Ferber all competed at last year's NCAA Division III outdoor championships.

SJU needs to replace 1,500-meter All-American John Mathews, who graduated. 

SJU will be coached by Tim Miles, who is in his 25th season at SJU.


Saint Mary's University   
Head Coach: Kirk Nauman (1st season)
2003: 9th at MIAC Championships
Key Returners: Todd Yankowski (Sr., Chicago, Ill.)

Jim Baertsch (Sr., Winona, Minn.)
Season Preview: When Kirk Nauman arrived on the Saint Mary's University campus in early August, he looked at himself as the little fish in the big pond that was SMU track and field.

After all, as Paul Thornton's assistant, Nauman figured he'd have plenty of time to get himself acquainted with the ins and outs of the track and field program - not to mention familiarize himself with the student-athletes.

On Sept., 19, 2003, however, that all changed.

Thornton abruptly stepped down as the Cardinals' head coach, accepting a position as the the head track and field coach at Washington (Mo.) University.

With Thornton's leaving, Nauman suddenly found himself swimming in some uncharted waters.

"It was a bit of an adjustment, going from an assistant coach to being the head coach," admitted Nauman, who spent time as a coach at UW-Superior, Allegheny and, most recently, Minnesota State-Mankato. "³I was pretty excited about coming here as an assistant and getting my feet wet a bit - I never expected when I got here that I would be the head coach."

Yet, here he is, preparing his team - yes, his team - for the upcoming seasons.

"I really like what I've seen so far," he said. "Everyone is working hard. It will be good to get a meet under our belts so we can really see where we're at and what we need to focus on."

At least for the start of the season, Thornton won't be the only one missing from the Cardinal team. Junior Ashley Dingels (Gibbon, Minn.) - last season's Minnesota Intercollegiate Athletic Conference champion in both the pentathlon (indoor) and heptathlon (outdoor) - is out indefinitely as she recovers from a torn ACL she suffered during the volleyball season.

"Obviously, when you take someone like Ashley out of your lineup, it hurts in terms of points (at the conference meet)," said Nauman of his junior All-American, who placed seventh overall in the heptathlon at the NCAA Division III National Outdoor Championships. "She was a major contributor for us at the conference meet, and without her, it certainly changes your expectations at the conference meet."

Just what are Nauman's expectations?

In a word = improvement.

"When I look back and evaluate the success of this year, I'm going to look at individual improvement - did we get better in each event. I'm not going to get too caught up in where we finish at the conference championships, but if we continue to improve as the season progresses, I think we are going to score more points (than a year ago).

"We have some very talented individuals, on both the men's and women's sides," continued Nauman. "What we don't have is a lot of depth.

"We have the equivalent of one individual in every event who can get the job done - but the top teams we are going to face have two, three, four individuals who can compete at that highest level.

"I¹m excited about the season ­ we have the potential for some really, really good things."


St. Olaf College   
Head Coach: Bill Thornton (34th season)
2003: 3rd at MIAC Championships
Key Returners: Jesse Horst ( So.) 5th in the 800 meters 1:56.50

Sam Hauck (So.) 3rd 1000 meters 2:34.54

Peder Arneson (Sr.) 6th 5000 meters 15:21.43

Peter Cathcart (So.) 2nd in the Shot Put 49'-9"
Season Preview: The 2004 Indoor Track & Field team will find it difficult to duplicate or improve on their third place MIAC finish in 2003.

The Oles lost eight scorers to graduation from the 2003 squad and lost Kelly Fulton to a Semester II off campus program. Fulton was 4th in the 2003 Indoor 3000 and 5000 meters, concluded his 2003 Cross Country season by earning All American honors at the NCAA Championships.

Returning St. Olaf scorers from 2003 include the following athletes who are working to improve on last year's performances:

Jesse Horst ( So.). 5th in the 800 meters 1:56.50,Sam Hauck (So.) 3rd 1000 meters 2:34.54,Peder Arneson (Sr.) 6th 5000 meters 15:21.43,Peter Cathcart (So.) 2nd in the Shot Put 49'-9"

Also returning for the Oles is the 2003 MIAC Champion Distance Medley Relay Team of Jesse Horst (1200), Tom Daymont (400), Paul Sovik-Siemens( 800), and Sam Hauck (1600) 10:30.75

St. Olaf has several first year students who could possibly make significant contributions including Tom Cruse in the Middle Distance Events, Tony Hoff in the Distance Events, John Lamppa in the Middle Distance Events, Jason Roberts in the Long Jump and Sprints, and Aaron Scholer in the Sprints.

The 2004 Oles have several veteran athletes who with an additional year of maturity and training are possibly ready to make scoring contributions including Dane Hamann (So.) 9th in the 600 yards 1:15.74, Nathan Campbell (Jr.) 11th 600 yards 1:16.10, Malcolm Richards (Jr.) achieved All MIAC Honors in the 2003 Championships returns after placing 12th in the 3000 meters 8:56.04, and 11th in the 5000 meters 15:33.51, Dan Grindstaff after placing 6th in the outdoor 400 M Hurdles could 
contribute in the indoor high hurdles as well as either the 400 m or 600 yards, Evan Sundquist (Jr.) missed the 2003 indoor Pentathlon due to injury but placed 3rd in the 2003 outdoor Decathlon should be a prominent figure in the first time contested Indoor Heptathlon. Peter Cathcart (So.) in addition to his Shot Put expertise certainly could score in the 35# Weight with another season of experience and training. Trey Williams (So.) following a successful football season as a starting cornerback and a more holistic training regiment in Track & Field could contribute in the Sprints and Relays

The Oles are coached by veteran coach Bill Thornton, who begins his 34th year as the head coach of track and field. Joining Thornton as assistant coaches are his son, Mark Thornton, a 1990 St. Olaf graduate who now coaches alongside his father. Rob McCarthy also serves as an assistant track and field coach, in addition to his duties as the defensive coordinator for the St. Olaf football team.


University of St. Thomas   
Head Coach: Steve Mathre (9th season)
2003: 1st at MIAC Championships
Key Returners: *Joe Thomas, SR, High Jump, 2003 NCAA runner-up outdoors 

*Carson Glad, JR, sprints/relays, 3X relay All-American, 10-time MIAC champ 

*Jason Schwietz, JR, 400-relays, 2X relay All-American 

*Nate Coleman, SR, distance, 2003 MIAC cross country runner-up 

*Matt McLaughlin, SR, throws, All-MIAC, three-year football starter
Season Preview: St. Thomas in closing in on a conference record for consecutive MIAC team championships as it tries to make it 20 for 20 when the 2004 MIAC men's indoor track championships are held March 5-6 in Collegeville. The St. Olaf men's swimming program holds the record for consecutive championships with won 20 in a row from 1980-1999. 

The Tommies have won all 19 indoor meets contested, including a 47.5-point win over runner-up Gustavus in 2003. St. Thomas has won by 30 or more points and scored at least 179 points in 17 of the 19 MIAC indoor championships.

The Tommies have swept the MIAC indoor and outdoor team crowns in each of the last four seasons, and have won 14 of a possible 16 team titles in Mathre's first eight seasons.

The Tommies graduated some key performers, led by five-time All-American and three-time Academic All-American Andrew Hilliard; All-American sprinter Roman Cress; 2X CC All-American Brian Preus; and 2X All-American hurdler Craig Benson. Also, relay All-American Robert Ware didn't return to school. But the Tommies return several top performers from a group which placed 17th at the 2003 outdoor national meet.

Depth has always been a key for St. Thomas, and Mathre has more than 65 athletes expected to compete. In juniors Carson Glad, Cassidy Glad, Jason Schwietz and Tom Hart, and senior Shaun Sharpe, the Tommies have the makings of another elite sprint/relay group. The field events will be led by senior Joe Thomas, the national runner-up last May in the high jump; senior Matt McLaughlin in the weight throw and shot put; and senior Ben Garbe in the triple jump. The Toms' conference champion cross country team should help add scoring in the distance races, led by senior Nate Coleman. Junior Bryce Beckman leds the middle-distance corps, and sophomore Jason Simmons and junior Chris Mattke will lead the hurdles.

Among the newcomers, freshman P.J. Theisen is expected to score well in the long jump, triple jump and 400 hurdles. 

The Tommies will get their first good test of 2004 Jan. 31 when they compete in the Iowa State Open in Ames, Iowa.