2007 MIAC MEN'S INDOOR TRACK & FIELD CHAMPIONSHIP PREVIEW

March 1-3, 2007
St. Olaf College - Northfield, Minn.
Official Website 

St. Thomas enters the 2007 MIAC Championships looking to capture their 23rd MIAC Indoor title in the 23 years of the Championship. The Tommies look strong once again, but Hamline, Saint John's, St. Olaf, and Gustavus will all enter the meet with talented rosters and the intention of knocking off St. Thomas. Carleton, Macalester, and Concordia will all look to make a move into the upper echelon of the conference standings in 2007. While Bethel, Saint Mary's, and Augsburg all have improved teams and should battle for higher placements than last season.

The 2007 MIAC Men's Indoor Track & Field Championship will be held this weekend, March 1-3, at St. Olaf College's Tostrud Center in Northfield, Minn. Running in conjunction with the MIAC Women's Championship, the meet will feature the heptathlon and pentathlon on Thursday afternoon along with track and field events Friday evening and Saturday morning and afternoon.


Augsburg College   
Head Coach: Dennis Barker (12th season)
2006 Results: 11th at MIAC Championships
Key Athletes: Spencer Power (Sr., Montgomery, Minn./Montgomery- Lonsdale)

Kevin Haglund (Sr., Fridley, Minn./Concordia Academy)

Brent Haglund (Fr., Fridley, Minn.)
Preview: Augsburg's men's track and field squad enters this year's MIAC indoor championships with a young and talented squad, aiming for improvement from last year's finishes.

Several young sprinters have had successful campaigns. D.J. 
Wendell (So., Princeton, Minn./Charles M. Russell (Mont.) HS) and James Strand (Fr., Pequot Lakes, Minn./Brainerd HS) both rank in the top 30 in both the 55- and 200-meter dashes, with Wendell recording a season-best 6.69 seconds in the 55 and Strand recording a season-best 23.20-second effort in the 200. Strand also has a season-best 51.39-second effort in the 400-meter dash. 

In hurdle events, Clayton Thomas (Fr., Rogers, Minn.), David Nestrud (Fr., Braham, Minn.), Adam Horkey (Fr., Windom, Minn.) and T.J. Jahnke (Fr., Rochester, Minn./Mayo HS) all have recorded top-25 times among MIAC athletes this season.

Chris Scribner (Fr., New York, N.Y./Port Townsen HS), Shane Wyborny (Fr., Detroit Lakes, Minn.), Ben Hoffmann (Fr., Ham Lake, Minn./Blaine HS) and Brent Haglund (Fr., Fridley, Minn.) all have had strong freshman seasons in distanceevents. Haglund currently ranks 15th among MIAC athletes in the 3,000-meter run (8:56.80) and 13th in the 5,000-meter run (15:45.84).

Kevin Haglund (Sr., Fridley, Minn./Concordia Academy HS), one of just two seniors on the Auggie men's roster, currently has the third-best distance among MIAC athletes in the triple jump (13.68 meters/44-feet, 10.75-inches), a little over a foot away from the NCAA provisional qualifying distance.

The other Auggie senior, Spencer Power (Sr., Montgomery, Minn./Montgomery- Lonsdale HS), has put together a solid career in throwing events. He currently stands eighth among MIAC athletes in the 35-pound weight throw and 17th in the shot put.


Bethel University   
Head Coach: Jim Timp (2nd season)
2006 Results: 9th at MIAC Championships
Key Athletes: Jason Bailey (Sr.) 

Lucas Blodgett (So.)

Josh Otto (Jr.) 

Andy Kenutis (Sr.)

Steve Strom (So.)
Preview: The 2007 season looks to be a good opportunity to continue building upon the foundation that was set last year with the men's and women's squads both coached by Jim Timp. Assistant coach Doug Novak, who has been with the program for about 20 years, will continue his work with the vaulters while Bob Jones returns for his third year with the program as the throws coach. Kyle Leaf, who has been the jumps coach for the team will also add the sprints/hurdles to his duties this year. 

The men's squad welcomes back a very talented group of runners who will be looked upon to provide leadership. Included in that group are sprinters Jason Bailey (Eden Prairie, Minn.), Andy Kenutis (Eden Prairie, Minn.) and Josh Otto (White Bear Lake, Minn.). With many new faces on the team, the leadership of these individuals will play a big role in the success of the team. Other top runners returning for the Royals include Steve Strom (Jackson, Minn.), who should figure into the 800m, Josh Tschetter (Sioux Falls, S.D.), who is nearing the school record in the 3000m steeple chase, and Dan Greeno (St. Michael, Minn.) who continues to get closer to the school record in the 5000m. Ryan Morey (Kimberly, Minn.), an All-conference performer in the pole vault and Lucas Blodgett (Spring Valley, Minn.), the school record holder in the 35# throw, will also help to lead Bethel.

The coaching staff is very excited about coaching the men's and women's teams together. Timp says the unity between the two teams has been very encouraging to see and should help provide the kind of commitment and dedication that the team needs to grow the program and contend in the MIAC. With the kind of talent coming on board and the leadership and commitment that is already in place, the squads are seeking top five finishes in the conference.


Carleton College   
Head Coach: Dave Ricks (3rd season)
2006 Results: 6th at MIAC Championships
Key Athletes: Tom Ballinger (So., Wenatchee, Wash.)

Kane Bechstein (So., Apple Valley, Minn./Eastview)

Quentin Kennedy (Jr., Chariton, Iowa)

Ryan Martinez (Jr., Bend, Ore.)

Joe Sepe (Jr., Fargo, N.D./South)
Preview: Carleton, in its third MIAC Indoor Championships under head coach Dave Ricks, makes the trek across the Cannon River with a small but talented group for the conference championships

Ricks, who led the Knights to a sixth-place finish at last year’s conference championships, figures his squad will represent well on the track, but the field part may be lacking this season.

"We look to be competitive in almost every running event, as well as the relays, although we will be very thin in the field events,” he said. “With the exception of our heptathletes, we will resemble more of a track team than a track and field team.”

Carleton, traditionally very strong in the long distances, has its best group of long sprinters in a decade, according to Ricks. Tom Ballinger and Jack Delehanty are both ranked in the top 20 in the 400 meters, and Michael Sanders, Ballinger and Delehanty are all in the top 12 in the 600-yard dash. Sanders and Delehanty are in the 800-meters top 20 times in the conference.

In the middle distances, Ryan Martinez and Reuben Woodruff are both highly ranked in the 1,000 meters and the mile. Martinez in the mile might represent Carleton’s best individual title chance, as he enters with the conference’s second best time. 

The distance events figure to be covered with a combination that could include Woodruff, Mark Felice, Eamon Monaghan, Quentin Kennedy, Charlie Gamble and John Nowinski.

Jason Weaver and Kane Bechstein will compete in the heptathlon and Nick Cesarek will carry the Carleton flag in the sprints and jumps. 

Bechstein should compete in the pole vault, as Carleton has its best trio of pole vaulters in school history, Ricks said. Unfortunately for the Knights, this is a very strong year for that event in the MIAC. 

“Those of our athletes that will compete at the MIAC Championships are going to have an outstanding three days of competition,” Ricks said. “This is a great group of guys to represent Carleton this year.”


Concordia College   
Head Coach: Garrick Larson (14th season)
2006 Results: 8th at MIAC Championships
Key Athletes: Josh Smith (Jr., Staples, Minn/Staples-Motley)

Nick Meseck (Fr., Madison, Minn./Lac Qui Parle Valley)

Dusten Olejnicak (Sr., Brainerd, Minn.)
Preview: Several individual and relay performances have brought a renewed enthusiasm to the Concordia men’s track and field team as they prepare to compete in the MIAC Indoor Championship Meet. The Cobbers have seen one school record fall and have more top ten conference ranked athletes than in years past.

The top story for Garrick Larson’s team heading into the conference meet is the record-breaking performance of junior Josh Smith (Jr., Staples, Minn/Staples-Motley HS). Smith broke the 13-year-old school record in the 400 meters last weekend at the NYU Fastrack Invitational held in New York. Smith clocked a 50.49 to break the old mark of 50.67 set in 1994. He currently has the second fastest time in the event in the MIAC and will be looking for a top three finish come MIAC meet time. 

Smith is also part of the Cobber 4x400-meter relay team that continues to shave seconds off their season-best time every time they step on the track. Last weekend Smith joined Dusten Olejnicak (Sr., Brainerd, Minn.), Josh Haddeland (Jr., Waubun, Minn.) and Rocky Jantzen (Jr., Wadena, Minn./Wadena-Deer Creek HS) and ran a 3:27.45. That time is currently the fourth fastest in the conference. 

Another reason for the upswing for the Concordia men’s track and field team has been the results of several freshmen. Leading the way for the newcomers is Nick Meseck (Madison, Minn./Lac Qui Parle Valley HS) who is ranked in the top ten in two different events heading into the conference meet. Meseck posted a height of 6-0.75 in the high jump at the Dakota Duals on Feb. 23 and is ranked fifth in the MIAC. He also has the fifth best mark in the triple jump.

Two other field athletes have a chance for all-conference honors. Olejnicak is in the top ten in both the long jump and triple jump and sophomore Billy Oehlers (North Branch, Minn.) is ranked sixth in the weight throw heading into the MIAC meet. 

All signs point to an improved performance for the Cobber men’s team at the 2007 MIAC Indoor Track and Field Championship Meet.


Gustavus Adolphus College   
Head Coach: Tom Thorkelson (9th season)
2006 Results: 5th at MIAC Championships
Key Athletes: Andy Klaers (Jr., Loretto, Minn.)

Josh Sorenson (Sr., Hanska, Minn.)

Tyler Geyen (So., Watertown, Minn.)

Alex Zupan (Sr., Monona, Wis.)

Ben Treichel (Jr., Webster, Wis.)
Preview: The Gustavus Adolphus men’s indoor track and field team looks to improve on its fifth place finish at last year’s MIAC Indoor Championships. Head Coach Tom Thorkelson said that, although this may not be his deepest team, it is relatively balanced. 

The Gusties should be strong in 55 hurdles where Tyler Geyen (So., Watertown, Minn./Watertown-Mayer) has the fastest time in the MIAC this winter at 7.9 seconds. Tanner Miest (Sr., Willmar, Minn./New London-Spicer), runner-up in the 55 hurdles at the MIAC meet each of the past two seasons, has the fourth best mark with a converted time of 8.03, but has been slowed by injuries for much of the season.

Alex Zupan (Sr., Monona, Wis./Monona Grove) will lead the Gustavus distance runners. He has the best time in the MIAC in the 1000 with a school-record time of 2:32.30, and is ranked ninth in the mile with a time of 4:26.01. Jake Fourre (Fr., Corcoran, Minn./Buffalo) has been Gustavus’ top performer in middle distance races this season, currently ranking fourth in the 800 (1:58.49) and eighth in the 600 (1:15.38). Ben Treichel (Jr., Webster, Wis.) has fared well in the sprints, ranking second in the 400 (50.62) and tenth in the 200 (23.49).

Off the track, the Gusties should be strong in both the throws and the pole vault. Andy Klaers (Jr., Loretto, Minn./Delano), an all-conference performer in the weight throw last season, has the second best mark in the MIAC so far with a NCAA provisional qualifying toss of 54-5 1/2. Klaers also ranks eighth in the shot put (46-1/2). Like Klaers, Josh Sorenson (Sr., Hanska, Minn./Madelia) ranks second in the MIAC in the pole vault and has provisionally qualified for the NCAA Championships with a school-record vault of 15-7 1/4. Drew Hood (Jr., Mankato, Minn./West), an All-MIAC selection last season in the pole vault, ranks fifth with a vault of 14-10.


Hamline University   
Head Coach: Lynden Reder (1st season)
2006 Results: 2nd at MIAC Championships
Key Athletes: Travis Bristow (Sr., Pine River, Minn./Pine River-Backus)

Drew Jones (Sr., Throws, Coon Rapids, Minn.)

Tony Klappa (Sr., Hopkins, Minn.)

Jake Kruger (Sr., Cascade, Wis./Plymouth)

Chris Yotter (Sr., Annandale, Minn.)
Preview: The Pipers return a wealth of talent after finishing second in the MIAC Indoor Track and Field Championships last season. Senior Travis Bristow (Pine River, Minn.) anchors the Pipers’ distance events. Bristow was a two-time All-MIAC performer last year, taking second in both the 3000 and 5000 meters. He is poised to duplicate the feat holding top three times in the conference this season.

Hamline will look to continue their dominance of the throwing events after scoring more points that any other school in the throw events last season. Senior Drew Jones (Coon Rapids, Minn.) took fifth in both the shot and weight throw last season and hopes to improve on his NCAA provisional distance of 55-8 ½ in the weight throw this season. The distance is the tops in the MIAC this year. Jones’ distance of 49-2 ¼ in the shot put is second only to teammate first-year Derek Synan-Peterson’s distance of 49-8 ½.

The Pipers will also feature an improved sprint corps. Sophomore Brent Nelson (New London, Minn.) has posted a top four time in the 200 meters while first-year Paris Richardson has a top four time in the 55 meters.


Macalester College   
Head Coach: Martin Peper (14th season)
2006 Results: 7th at MIAC Championships
Key Athletes: Alex Wise (Sr., Knoxville, Tenn./Webb School)

Wade Eckstrom (Fr., La Crescent, Minn.)

Evan Mitchell (Sr., Minneapolis, Minn./South)
Preview: Macalester placed seventh at the MIAC indoor championships each of the past two years and are looking to move up this year under 14th-year head coach Martin Peper. The team’s best hope for a high individual finish, perhaps even a championship, is with pole vaulter Alex Wise (Sr., Knoxville, Tenn./Webb School). Wise was MIAC indoor pole vault champ as a sophomore and runner-up in the outdoor season as a sophomore and a junior. He is one of four MIAC vaulters who have already cleared NCAA provisional marks and is currently ranked 21st in the nation.

Wade Eckstrom (Fr., La Crescent, Minn.) is having an outstanding initial collegiate season and could be among the leaders in the middle distance races Eckstrom is currently ranked fifth on the MIAC honor roll in the miles and sixth 1000-meter run.

Alex Rosselli (Fr., Columbus, Ind. / North) in the 55 hurdles and Martin Stenman Andersson (Fr., Uppsala, Sweden / IT Gymnasiet Uppsala) in the long jump are candidates to make the finals. MIAC javelin champ Evan Mitchell (Jr., Minneapolis, Minn. / South) is ranked ninth in the shot put and 11th in the weight throw.


Saint John's University   
Head Coach: Tim Miles (28th season)
2006 Results: 3rd at MIAC Championships
Key Athletes: Chris Erichsen (Jr., Spring Valley, Minn./Kingsland)

Eric Buss (So., Coon Rapids, Minn.) 

Mitch Gesell (So., Alexandria, Minn.) 

Erik Diley (Jr., Prescott, Wis.)
Preview: The Saint John’s University track and field team looks to have another strong season after finishing second at the MIAC outdoor championships last year. 

The Johnnies will be looking to replace two seniors who led their team in 2006. Tim Smit (Colfax, Wis.), who won the 10,000-meter run at last year’s MIAC Outdoor Championships, and All-American hurdler Derek Johnson (Edina, Minn.). 

The Johnnies will look to their other strong performers from last year to step up once again in 2007. Senior decathletes Matt Mogensen (St. Peter, Minn.), who won the MIAC outdoor decathlon in 2006, and Jeff Doll (Farmington, Minn.), who placed third, look to continue their success with the Johnnies. 

Junior Chris Erichsen (Spring Valley, Minn./Kingsland) also had an impressive 2006 season winning the MIAC outdoor title in the mile run and 1,500-meter.

The Johnnie jumpers also look to deliver with sophomore Eric Buss (Coon Rapids, Minn.) and junior Erik Diley (Prescott, Wis.), who took first and second place at the Carleton Relays in the triple jump, respectively. Also within the jumper squad, SJU will look for senior leadership and continued strong performances from Sam Krystosek (Royalton, Minn.).

Saint John’s enter the 2007 season with a pair of incoming freshman who are expected to make an early impact. Josh Wallert (Woodbury, Minn.) finished second in the 100-meter dash and third in the 200-meter dash at the Class A Minnesota State Track and Field meet as a senior at New Life Academy High School. Wallert will also be competing in the long jump at SJU. 

Freshman Ryan Noack (St. Cloud, Minn./Cathedral) finished fourth in the mile run at the Class A Minnesota State Track and Field meet as a senior at St. Cloud Cathedral. 

Tim Miles, SJU class of 1976, enters his 27th season as head track and field coach in 2007. Miles has been honored with four MIAC Coach of the Year Awards with his most recent in 2005. Miles has produced a program which has finished among the MIAC’s top two squads 18 of the last 27 seasons and has led the Johnnies to MIAC outdoor championships in 1997, 1999 and 2005. At the national level, Miles’ athletes have put together 39 All-American performances.


Saint Mary's University   
Head Coach: Kirk Nauman (4th season)
2006 Results: 10th at MIAC Championships
Key Athletes: Dan Gerber (Sr., Belvidere, Ill.)

Chris Fisette (So., Elmhurst, Ill.)
Preview: In his three years as head coach of the Saint Mary's University track and field teams, Kirk Nauman has put up some rather impressive numbers: 
* 3 All-Americans. 
* 14 NCAA Division III national qualifiers. 
* 32 NCAA Division III provisional qualifiers. 
* 60 school records. 

With a three-year run like that, what can Nauman do for an encore? Add on to those gaudy numbers in all four categories. 

"What's the next step? Keep improving, keeping moving the program forward," said Nauman, whose team has done just that, earning a pair of NCAA provisional qualifiers and shattering several school records during the indoor season. 

"We've shown a lot of growth in my first three years here, not only in roster size, but also in the quality of the athletes that we have competing for us. We've made some great strides, but we've still got a ways to go to get where we ultimately want to be." 


St. Olaf College   
Head Coach: Bill Thornton (37th season)
2006 Results: 4th at MIAC Championships
Key Athletes: Tom Cruse (Sr.)

Jason Roberts (Sr.)

Dan Monroe (Fy.)

David Swanson (Jr.)

John Schantzen (Fy.)
Preview: St. Olaf's Tostrud will host the 2007 Indoor Track and Field MIAC Championships this Saturday, March 3.

Leading the sprinters will be first-year Dan Monroe in the 55m and 200m, while Senior Tom Cruse will guide the Oles in the distance department. 

Cruse’s recent time of 1:58:63 won the 800 at St. Olaf’s Tostrud Classic Feb. 17. In addition, David Swanson has been consistent this winter, most recently winning the 5000m (15:31:70) at the Tostrud Classic.

As for field events, first-year John Schantzen, who currently sits at fourth in the MIAC in the shot put (14.56m, 47-9 ¼), will lead the charge. Jason Roberts is also a top MIAC performer, currently sitting at second in the conference in the long jump (6.73m, 22-1).


University of St. Thomas   
Head Coach: Steve Mathre (12th season)
2006 Results: 1st at MIAC Championships
Key Athletes: Travis Birklid (Sr.)

Matt Boumeester (So.)

Chris Bradford (Fr.)

James Ewer (So.)

Brian Sames (So.)

Matt Schroeder (Sr.)
Preview: St. Thomas’ is 22-for-22 all-time in MIAC indoor team championships -- one of the longest current streaks of its kind in any sport in Division III. Coach Steve Mathre's 2006 team became the first in any sport to win 22 consecutive conference team championships. Last March, UST scored 215 points to double the total of runner-up Hamline (112). UST has also won five of the last seven conference outdoor team titles, including last May when it scored 203 points and won by 42 over runner-up Saint John's.

Senior All-American P.J. Theisen, who scored 46 individual points and achored a winning relay at the 2006 MIAC indoor meet, will sit out indoors and outdoors in 2007 after recent surgery. But the Tommies' depth should be enough to absorb his absence. The Toms will look to score well in the sprints, relays, jumps, pole vault and middle distances as they try to fend off Hamline, Saint John's and St. Olaf, among others. St. Thomas is seeded first in 10 of 20 events and will contend well for victories in at least two other relays.

Sophomore James Ewer should score well in the long jump and 55 and 200 dashes; freshman Chris Bradford and sophomore Joe DeFrance also rank well in the 55 and 200 dashes. Sophomores Brian Sames and Matt Boumeester will score well in the 600/800/1000 races, and sophomore Kyle Brandon will contend in the mile and distance medley relay. Past MIAC champ senior Matt Schroeder has a 15-11 pole vault this season. Past champion senior Travis Birklid is a threat in the 55 hurdles, and seniors Mark O'Connell and Derek Marks will bid for top-three placings in the shot put and weight throw.