2010 MIAC Men's Indoor Track & Field Championship Preview

2010 MIAC Men's Indoor Track & Field Championship Preview

St. Paul, Minn. -- The 2010 MIAC Men's and Women's Indoor Track & Field Championship will take place this Thursday through Saturday, March 4-6 at the Recreation Center at Carleton College in Northfield, Minn.

The 2010 Championships open with the men's and women's pentathlon events taking place on Thursday, March 4. Competition is set to begin at 2 p.m. on Thursday. Track & Field Championship events begin on Friday at 4:30 p.m. and on Saturday at 12 p.m.

St. Thomas has won every MIAC Men's Indoor Championship competed (25 total), but will be challenged to keep that streak in tact in 2010 by strong teams from Bethel (ranked 10th nationally) and Hamline (ranked 21st nationally). St. Olaf, Saint John's, and Concordia finished fourth through sixth last year and will again field competitive squads.

Individual event champions from 2009 returning on the men's side include: Augsburg junior Nick Ward (55 meter dash), St. Thomas senior Pat Jager (400 meter dash), Bethel junior Zach Schlegel (600 yard dash), St. Olaf senior John Schantzen (Shot Put), Hamline senior Aaron Wilkerson (Weight Throw), and Bethel junior Jay Quick (High Jump). 

2010 MIAC Indoor Track & Field Championships Website

Augsburg

Coach: Dennis Barker (16th season)
2009 Championship Finish: 9th (34 points)
Augsburg Championship Preview

Last season, Augsburg moved up two places in the conference standings from the previous year and the Auggies are looking to keep that momentum rolling in 2010. Augsburg has already recorded five school records this season and has posted two NCAA Indoor Championship provisional marks. The Auggies return a strong core of competitors that are ready to step up. In particular, the Auggies sophomore and junior classes have developed well over their first two seasons and have the potential to claim some event titles and all-conference performances at the 2010 indoor championships.

Nick Ward (JR, Coon Rapids, Minn.) and Shane Pantila (JR , St. Michael, Minn./St. Michael-Albertville HS) will lead a deep group of Auggies at this year’s championships. Ward and Pantila have both recorded NCAA provisional marks and are currently ranked first in the conference in their respective events. Ward is the defending MIAC champion in the 55-meter dash and has posted the top time this season in that event (6.46 seconds). Ward is also ranked sixth at the 200-meter distance (22.90). Pantila has surpassed the NCAA provisional mark in the triple jump by more than six inches, recording a jump of 14.23 meters (46-8.25) at the UW-Stout Warren Bowlus Open, which broke the Augsburg school record and currently leads the MIAC by more than a foot. Pantila is also ranked second in the long jump, with a mark of 6.67m (21-10.75).

Also looking to score points for the Auggies will be the 800-meter relay team of Ward, Rick Wolke (SO, Belle Plaine, Minn.), James Strand (SR, Brainerd, Minn.) and Gill Millette (FY, Brainerd, Minn.), which set the Augsburg school record this season at the Bethel Invitational (1:32.56). The Auggies are currently seeded third in the 800-meter relay. Individually, Wolke, Strand and Joe Arnold (SO, Grand Rapids, Minn.) will all be looking to make finals in the 400 meters, where they are ranked in the top 20.

The distance and mid-distance crew of Brent Haglund (SR, Fridley, Minn.), Victor Sanchez (SR, Minneapolis, Minn./Southwest HS) and Matthew Schafer (FY , New Brighton, Minn./Irondale HS) will also be looking to score points for the Auggies. Haglund and Sanchez will both be competing in the 3,000- and 5,000-meter races, while Schafer will compete in the 800-meter and 600 yard distances. Haglund recorded a new school record in the 5,000 meters (15:14.27) earlier this season at the Carleton Meet of the Hearts, while Schafer posted a new school best in the 1,000 meters (2:33.69) this past weekend at the St. Olaf Qualifier meet.

Adding depth to the Auggie jumpers will be Ward, Emmanuel Marcellino (SO, Circle Pines, Minn. / Centennial HS) and Seth Norberg (SO, Northfield, Minn.).  Adam Horkey (SR, Windom, Minn.) will be looked at to score points in the 55-meter hurdles, where he is currently ranked third (7.99) after posting a season best time this past weekend at the St. Olaf Qualifier meet.


Bethel
Coach: 
Jim Timp (5th season)
2009 Championship Finish: 3rd (98 points)
Bethel Championship Preview

Timp believes the 2010 season looks to be a good opportunity to continue with the success that was experienced last year with the men's team finishing in third place at the indoor conference meet. 

Bethel has been climbing in the national rankings (currently #10 – 2/25 USTFCCCA poll) thanks to strong performances from the 4 x 400 meter relay team, Taylor Ferda (Sr., Whitefish, Mont.) in the 55-meter hurdles, Dan Greeno (Sr., St. Michael, Minn.) in the mile run, and Jay Quick (Jr., Johnston, Iowa) in the high jump. Each of the aforementioned athletes has earned at least an NCAA provisional mark in their respective event heading into the conference meet. 

The team will look for good leadership this year, as there are a lot of new faces on the team which will add the depth needed to compete with the rest of the conference.


Carleton
Coach: 
David Ricks (5th season)
2009 Championship Finish: 7th (55 points)
Carleton Championship Preview

Carleton had a series of impressive individual performances on route to a seventh-place finish last year. The Knights were hit hard by graduation, including three-time All-American Tom Ballinger, but have found plenty of individuals looking to recover those lost points. 

Seniors Michael Sanders and Evan Franco each tasted success at last year’s MIAC Championships and are back for more. Sanders earned MIAC Honorable Mention running a leg of the 4X400 relay team and finished in the top-eight of the 600-yard and 800-meter races. Franco earned All-MIAC honors for his third-place showing in the pole vault. His vault of 4.43 meters was the second-highest in school history.

This year, Sanders has won the 600-yard race, 800-meter race and the 1000-meter run at three different meets. He currently holds the fourth-best 800-meter, seventh-best 600 meter, and eighth-best 1000-meter times in the MIAC. His performance in the longest distance was the fastest at Carleton in seven years.  Franco is once again a top-10 MIAC performer with a season-best vault of 4.05 meters. 

Ty Martin is also building off a strong showing at last year’s MIAC Championship. Martin ran a personal best to make into the finals of the 55-meter hurdles and has continued to improve his time this year. In his final tune-up, he ran a season-best 8.03 seconds, which ranks fifth among MIAC runners. 

The Knights hope a group of highly successful rookies can deliver impressive performances at the MIAC Championships. Joe Concannon will join Ty Martin as one of the top 55-meter hurdles in the conference with a top time of 8.32 seconds. Dylan Cheever has competed in a wide array of events this season for the Knights from distance running to long jump to shot put. However, his best event is the high jump, where he ranks fifth in the conference. C.J. Dale could also make some noise with the 14th best long jump in the MIAC this year.

 
Concordia
Coach: 
Garrick Larson (17th season)
2009 Championship Finish: 6th (62 points)
Concordia Championship Preview

The 2010 MIAC Indoor Track and Field Championship Meet could be very interesting for the Concordia-Moorhead men’s team. The Cobbers have a couple of rising stars in the conference and also have the deepest team in years. Both those key team characteristics could add up to one of the best finishes in recent history as Concordia looks to improve on last year’s sixth-place finish.

 

Cobber junior distance runner Tom Sederquist (Moorhead, Minn.) has been in the spotlight for Concordia the entire 2010 season. Sederquist has posted times in the 3000 and 5000 meters that rank in the top 10 on the school’s all-time list and is currently ranked in the top five of the conference in both events. Sederquist ran an 8:39.72 in the 3000 meters at the Bison Open which was the fastest in school history since 1981. Overall it was the third fastest time in program history. In the 5000 meters, Sederquist has a season-best time of 15:12.96 which is the fourth fastest in Cobber history. He will enter the conference meet ranked fifth in both events and has a chance to claim a top 3 finish and multiple team points. Sederquist is also ranked 10th in the 1000 meters as he continues to make his mark as one of the top distance runners in the conference.

 

Sophomore Tommy Mammen (Worthington, Minn.) has improved in all five meets this season and sits on the cusp of a really big meet. Last week Mammen sped his way to a 23.15 in the 200 meters at the St. Olaf Qualifier. That time is the third fastest time in school history. Mammen’s most-improving event is the 55-meter dash where he has improved in each of the five meets he has raced this season. Mammen recorded a time of 6.71 is the 11th fastest in the MIAC this season and ninth best in school history.

 

Last year the Cobbers only had eight athletes with marks in the top 11 of the conference heading into the championship meet. This year they have 14 different marks in the top 11 and will be hoping that the increased number will lead to a jump in conference places.

 

The top field athlete for the Cobbers this season has been Felix Okoth (So., Mombasa, Kenya) who has the sixth-best marks in both the long jump and triple jump in the MIAC this year. Okoth’s season best mark in the long jump is 21-02.00 and he uncorked a 42-03.25 in the triple jump at the St. John’s Quadrangular. Okoth will be a part of a strong Concordia contingent in the long jump at the conference meet. Joining Okoth in the top 10 of the league are Seth Lage (Fr., Pelican Rapids, Minn.) and Luke Hvidston (Jr., Fargo, N.D./Oak Grove HS).

 

The Cobber men’s team will also be looking to break new territory in the relay races. The 4x200-meter relay squad of Mammen, Hvidston, John Bye (Fr., Moorhead, Minn.) and Jason Sather (Jr., Plymouth, Minn./Armstrong HS) has a chance to break the eight-year-old record in the event as they have recorded a season-best time of 1:32.87 and are currently seeded fourth heading into the MIAC Meet.

  
 
Gustavus
Coach: Dale Bahr (1st season)
2009 Championship Finish: 8th (50 points)
Gustavus Championship Preview

The Gustavus men’s indoor track and field team looks to improve on last season’s eighth place finish, as it is set to compete at the 2010 MIAC Indoor Track and Field Championships hosted by Carleton College in Northfield, Minn.  The Gusties, under the direction of Dale Bahr in his first season as head coach, will look for strong individual performances and a top five team finish.   

 

Gustavus currently has six individuals ranked in the top 10 of the MIAC Performance lists.  Senior Max Hanson (Montrose, Minn.), an all-conference performer at last season’s MIAC Championships, is currently ranked second in both the 800-meter run (1:54.68) and 1000-meter run (2:31.16).  Cole Carlson (Mora, Minn.) has the second fastest time in the 400-meter run (49.85), and is currently ranked sixth in the 200-meter dash (22.97). Matt Dvorak (Burnsville, Minn.) ranks fifth in the 55-meter dash (6.61) and eighth in the 200-meter dash (23.01), and John Kennedy (Coon Rapids, Minn.) ranks third in the 1000-meter run (2:32.38).  Adding depth in the distance events will be Mark Bartley (Blue Earth, Minn.), Alex Thornton (Byron, Minn.), Cristian Raether (Pasadena, Calif.) and Nick Ross (Hastings, Minn.), while Carson Smith (Prior Lake, Minn.) will provide depth in the mid-distance. 

 

In the field events, Brian Anderson (Bloomington, Minn.) will look to score points in the shot put and weight throw.  He currently ranks fourth in the shot put (48’ 2”) and ninth in the weight throw (50’ 7.50”).  Jake Peymann (Fairmont, Minn.) will compete in the high jump, Colin Rust will compete in the triple jump, and Carl Stenoien will compete in the pole vault and heptathlon.


Hamline
Coach: 
Paul Schmaedeke (9th season)
2009 Championship Finish: 2nd (111 points)
Hamline Championship Preview

The Pipers recently broke into the USTFCCCA top 25 and will look to a strong throwing corps and a deep sprint crew to help the team battle for the top position in the 2010 championships.

 

Derall King (Jr., Inver Grove Heights, Minn.), Andrew Schlichting (So., Shoreview, Minn.), and Aaron Wilkerson (Sr., Roseville, Minn.) have led an impressive string of Piper throwing performances through the 2010 indoor season. The trio has ensured that a Piper has tossed an NCAA provisional qualifying mark in every meet this year, with Schlichting twice earning the MIAC field athlete of the week honor.

 

King is a returning indoor All-American, having placed fifth in the shot put at last year’s NCAA indoor championships while Wilkerson is the defending champion in the weight throw. Last year, the Pipers placed six throwers in the top nine in the weight throw – and all six athletes return to the 2010 championships.

 

Hamline also returns a veteran corps of sprinters who have already run an NCAA provisional qualifying time in the 1600-meter relay. Brent Nelson (Sr., New London, Minn.), Andy Marnach (Sr., Hokah, Minn.), Tyson Molitor (Jr., Belgrade, Minn.), and Brant Luehman (Sr., Amery, Wis.) lead a pack of sprinters that also include returners Clarence Suttle (Jr., Saint Paul, Minn.) and Christian Swanberg (Jr., Lindstrom, Minn.) Newcomer Christian Willman (Fy., Rosemount, Minn.) has also shown success at longer distances.

 

All-American cross country runner Ian Bauer (Roseville, Minn.) returns for his senior season looking to lead the distance runners in points at the indoor championships. He is joined by Ian Campbell (Jr., Blooming Prairie, Minn.).

 

Ben Johnson (So., Roseville, Minn.) and Dan Johnson (Jr., Granite Falls, Minn.) – no relation – had shown great improvement in the jumps this year and will be looking to score for the Pipers. They have added depth in this event, with Nik Hawley (Jr., Saint Paul Park, Minn.) and Christian Kibler (Fy., Burnsville, Minn.) also showing potential to add points to the Piper tally.

 

Led by a veteran group of athletes with All-American experience, the 2010 Hamline University men’s track and field team looks to contend for the title this season after finishing second in 2009.

 
Macalester
Coach: 
Martin Peper (17th season)
2009 Championship Finish: 10th (15 points)
Macalester Championship Preview

Macalester is looking for several individuals to score team points and help the team move up in the MIAC standings. Wade Ekstrom (Sr., La Crescent, Minn.) was fifth at last year’s championships in the 5000 meters, and is expected to be a key challenger in the middle distance races for the Scots.  Ekstrom is Mac’s indoor mile school record-holder and made at to the finals in the 1500 at last spring’s national outdoor meet.

 

Macalester will also look for a big weekend in the distance events from Ollie St. John (So., Washington, D.C. / Edmund Burke), who won the 3000-meter race at last weekend’s Pre-MIAC Meeting.  St. John placed 12th in the mile and 13th in the 1000 meters last winter as a frosh.

 

Alex Rosselli (Sr., Columbus, Ind. / North) could be a factor in the 55-meter high hurdles comes into the meet ranked fourth in the conference.  Martin Stenman Andersson (Sr., Uppsala, Sweden / IT-Gymnasiet Uppsala) leads the Macalester sprinters.  Joining Ekstrom and St. John in the longer races are Carl Biggers (So., Verona, Wis.) and Nick Mangigian (Sr., Ann Arbor, Mich. / Green Hills).  In the throws, Mac will be led by Chris Pothoven (So., Mercer Island, Wash.).

 
Saint John's
Coach: 
Tim Miles (31st season)
2009 Championship Finish: 5th (75 points)
Saint John's Championship Preview

Last season, Saint John’s finished fifth out of 11 teams at the MIAC Indoor Championships.

SJU is led by junior thrower Tim Juba (Cottage Grove, Minn./Park), who has provisionally qualified for the NCAA Indoor Championships in the weight throw with a toss of 16.82 meters.

Other throwers at the top of the MIAC are sophomore Wade Powers (Hawick, Minn./New London-Spicer) and junior Griffin Hayes (Mendota Heights, Minn./St. Thomas Academy), who are sixth and eighth, respectively, in the shot put.

Two-time All-MIAC pole-vaulter Andrew Norman (Maple Grove, Minn./Maple Grove) is fourth with a mark of 4.29 meters. To provisionally qualify, Norman needs to vault at least 4.65 meters. Along with Norman, senior Tyler Etheridge (Eau Claire, Wis./North) is fourth in the 600-meter dash with a time of 1:25.33, while sophomore Rob Floren (Kenyon, Minn./Kenyon-Wanamingo) is fourth in the long jump with a distance of 6.51 meters.

Junior Matt Reeve (Fairmont, Minn.) has the eighth-best time in the 55-meter hurdles (8.12). He claimed fifth place (6.58) at the MIAC Indoor Championships last season.

 
Saint Mary's
Coach: 
Shawn McMahon (3rd season)
2009 Championship Finish: 
11th (10 points)
Saint Mary's Championship Preview

In a pair of preliminary meets heading into their official indoor season opener at the UW-Whitewater Invitational on Jan. 23, Saint Mary’s University’s Andrew Brueggen (Holmen, Wis.) quickly made a name for himself, as the Cardinal broke the school record in the weight throw not once, but twice — and, more importantly, recording an NCAA Division III national championships provisional qualifying mark in the process.

And that was just the beginning, as Brueggen improved that mark to an NCAA automatic qualifying mark with a throw of 18.34 at the UW-Stout Invitational.

Led by Brueggen, the Cardinals enter the MIAC Indoor Championships with some rather lofty expectations.
 
“We have some pretty high expectations this season,” said SMU coach Shawn McMahon said. “And we have some individuals who have set some pretty lofty goals for themselves.”
 
Like Brueggen, who has hit the ground running — with no hints of a letup in sight.
 
“Andrew’s a good one,” McMahon said of his junior transfer. “Not only is he a very talent athlete, but his work ethic is a great example for the rest of the team. From the minute he stepped on campus, he’s been in the weight room and preparing for the seasons.
 
“There’s definitely more to come.”
 
And while Brueggen has stolen the show early on, he’s certainly not the only ticket in town for the Cardinals, who boast several talented individuals poised to make 2010 a season to remember.
 
“We aren’t as deep as we need to be to make any type of run (at a conference championship), but we’ve got some talented individuals who have the potential to do some real damage this season,” predicted McMahon. “Kevin Hein (Zumbro Falls, Minn.), Josiah Ryks (Austin, Minn.), Curt VanAsten (Shiocton, Wis.) and John Vallez (Eagan, Minn.) have all had solid collegiate careers and are looking to make their seniors years their best yet.”
 
If the Cardinals can live up to their potential, McMahon is hoping his squads can climb up a rung or two on the conference ladder.
 
“Our lack of real depth hurts us in the (conference) points chase,” McMahon said. “Our focus at the conference championships is to put together our best performances and, hopefully, we’ll be able to pick up our share of (conference) points. To score well, it takes more than a few individuals finishing first or second, it takes a lot of fifth-, sixth- and seven-place finishes as well.
 
“We aren’t ready to go toe-to-toe with the top teams in the conference, but we’re inching closer.
 
“We’ve got a pretty young group — but a group that has been working so hard,” continued McMahon. “As a coach, I know that there’s going to be some fruit on the tree to pick later, but right now, we need to do a little pruning to set ourselves up for that harvest in the future.”

 
St. Olaf
Coach: 
Phil Lundin (2nd season)
2009 Championship Finish: 4th (90.5 points)
St. Olaf Championship Preview

The 55m dash will be raced by William Totimeh, who has the second-best time of 6.54. His time is only .07 seconds away from the NCAA's provisional mark.

 

Sophomore Reid Gilbertson is ranked third in the 800 meter run. He also is only .02 away from a provisional time. He also will be racing the 1000, with a seed time of 2.31.37 which is fourth best in the MIAC.

 

The Oles have four ranked in the top ten in the mile entering this weekend's MIAC's: Reid Gilbertson, Jacob Marotz, Ben Wilson and Chris Massey, who are ranked 2nd, 6th, 8th and 9th respectively.

 

Wilson is entering the 1000 meter run with a time of 2.32.19 which is fifth best.

 

Marotz is racing the 3000 meter run and the 5000 and is ranked third in both. Massey will also be competing in the 3000 m race. He is ranked sixth with a time of 8.42.17.

 

To lead the field events, John Schantzen is entering with a personal best and NCAA provisional qualifying throw of 16.35m.

 
St. Thomas
Coach: Steve Mathre (15th season)
2009 Championship Finish: 1st (178.5 points)
St. Thomas Championship Preview

St. Thomas is bracing for a battle in Northfield at this week’s MIAC Indoor Track and Field Championships. The Tommies’ bid for the program’s 26th consecutive team crown is expected to get a serious test from Bethel and Hamline.

 

The Toms have captured 48 of the last 52 MIAC team championships contested indoors and outdoors since 1983. St. Thomas men's and women's squads have won 100 all-time MIAC team titles in indoor and outdoor track and field.


Coach Steve Mathre expects his Tommies to come in hungry and ready to compete this weekend, and they’ll need that focus over 21 events as they battle the Royals and Pipers.

 

The Tommies graduated six All-Americans from a squad that placed third in the 2009 NCAA outdoor national meet – Brian Sames, James Ewer, Matt Boumeester, Kyle Brandon, Phil Bastron and Joe DeFrance. In addition, junior Andrew Brueggen transferred to St. Mary's to be closer to his hometown and is ranked fourth nationally in the weight throw.

 

Mathre has five elite athletes to build around:

--Sophomore All-American Mike Hutton is ranked fourth nationally in the 800 and is seeded 1-2 in the MIAC in the 800 and 1000; --Senior All-American 200-400 meter runner Pat Jager is ranked in three events; --Sophomore All-American distance runner Ben Sathre will contend in the 3,000 and 5,000; --Freshman Eyo Ekpo is expected to challenge for titles in the long jump, triple jump and high jump; --Junior All-American Matt Griswold has the potential to score well in the multi-event, hurdles and relay.

 

The Tommies’ depth includes senior relay All-Americans Sam Moen and Greg Dowe.

 

The Toms have four NCAA provisional qualifiers. In the MIAC season-best list, UST has 20 athletes or relays ranked in the top-four, including five who are seeded first.

 

The Tommies have displayed a mental toughness all season as they deal with on-campus construction, which took away their indoor facility and locker rooms and downsized the weight room and training room. Most UST athletes have had to travel to the Minneapolis Lake Street YMCA for early-morning workouts, while distance and middle-distance runners have had to deal with icy and snowy paths outdoors for much of the winter.