Men's Indoor Track & Field Championship Preview

Men's Indoor Track & Field Championship Preview

ST. PAUL, Minn. -- The 2011 MIAC Men's and Women's Indoor Track & Field Championship will take place this Thursday through Saturday, March 3-5 at the brand new Anderson Fieldhouse on the University of St. Thomas campus in St. Paul, Minn.

The host school will have an excellent chance to continue an impressive and dominant streak. The host Tommies have won every MIAC Men’s Indoor Championship to date – 26 in all – including a narrow win in 2010 with a final score of 163.0. St. Thomas barely edged second-place Hamline University (156.0) for last year’s title with third-place Bethel (121.5) also putting up a strong fight. Rounding out last year’s field, in order of finish, were: Gustavus (79.5), St. Olaf (71.0), Augsburg (62.0), Saint John’s (44.0), Concordia (31.0), Carleton (23.0), Saint Mary’s (21.0) and Macalester (8.0).

St. Thomas figures to be the favorite again, but several teams are in the mix to unseat the Tommies and win their first indoor crown. UST comes in as the MIAC’s top-ranked team in the Central Region, currently ranked fourth. Last year’s runner-up, the Pipers are just a spot behind St. Thomas at No. 5 in the region. Gustavus is ranked seventh, Concordia is ranked eighth and St. Olaf holds the No. 9 ranking in the Central.

Both the Tommies and Pipers bring back talented athletes who will try to defend their individual titles, starting with St. Thomas’ Mike Hutton. Hutton is the defending champ in the 1,000-meter run and he enters the 2011 Championships first on the MIAC performance list. He’s also first in the 800 this season and has already met the automatic qualifying standard. Teammate Eyo Epko won the triple jump and finished third in the high jump a year ago, and he enters this weekend’s meet with provisional qualifying marks in both events.
 
Matthew Griswold is another returning champ for St. Thomas, after winning the pentathalon in 2010. He has the MIAC’s best score in that event this season, as well as the league’s top time and a provisional qualifying mark in the 55-meter hurdles. Distance runner Ben Sathre will be key for the Tommies as well, with provisional marks in both the mile run and the 5,000-meter run. The Tommies’ 4x400-meter relay team has also met the provisional qualifying mark.

Hamline’s returning champs are pole vaulter Shaise Schuette, who is tied for the MIAC’s third best mark thus far in 2011, and defending weight throw champ Derall King, who also won the shot put title in 2008. The Pipers have two others in the weight throw – Andrew Schlichting and Brennan McKeag – who have met this year’s provisional qualifying mark, and McKeag is ranked first and an automatic qualifier in the shot put. Hamline’s Jack Diechert is also a provisional qualifier in the mile run. 

Augsburg and Bethel both boast multiple-time defending champions in individual events. Bethel’s Jay Quick is the MIAC’s three-time defending champ in the high jump, and he enters the 2011 Championships atop the league’s performance list with a provisional height as he attempts to win the event for the fourth time. Meanwhile, the Auggies Nick Ward is the two-time champ in the 55-meter dash and the defending champ in the long jump. Ward is first on this year’s performance list in both events.

Other automatic and provisional qualifiers to watch include Saint Mary’s Andrew Brueggen, who set a new MIAC all-time record in the weight throw this season with a distance of 19.41 meters (63-8.25). His throw ranks first in the conference, second nationally and is an automatic qualifier. Concordia’s Tom Sederquist will be one of the favorites in the distance events, with a provisional qualifying time in the 5,000-meter run.
 
The 2011 Championships open with the men's and women's pentathlon events taking place on Thursday, March 3. Competition is set to begin at 2 p.m. on Thursday. Action continues Friday with field events beginning at 4 p.m. and track events starting at 4:30 p.m. Saturday’s final session opens with field events at 11:30 a.m. Saturday’s running events begin at 2 p.m., and a short awards presentation will follow the final event of the meet, which begins at 5:15 p.m. Tickets are $7 for adults and $3 for students, and can be purchased at the door.

2011 MIAC Indoor Track & Field Championships Website

Augsburg

Coach: Dennis Barker (17th season)
2010 Championship Finish: 6th (62 points)
Augsburg Championship Preview
Coming off of its highest team finish since the 2004 season, the Augsburg College men's track and field team enters this year's Minnesota Intercollegiate Athletic Conference Championships looking to build on the program's recent success. The conference meet will be held this weekend at the University of St. Thomas.

Leading the Auggies at the championships again this season will be sprinter Nick Ward (SR, Coon Rapids, Minn.). Ward enters into the 2011 meet looking to defend titles in the 55-meter dash and long jump competitions. Ward currently holds top marks in the conference this season in both competitions, and his time of 6.49 seconds in the 55-meter dash is .01 away from a NCAA championships provisional qualifying time. In addition to the 55-meter and long jump, Ward will also look to make his mark in the 200-meter dash, where he currently holds the third fastest time among MIAC competitors this year.

Another veteran sprinter who the Auggies will rely heavily on again this year is Rick Wolke (JR, Belle Plaine, Minn.). Wolke, who qualified for the NCAA Outdoor Championships a season ago, owns top-10 times this season in the 55, 200, and 400-meter dashes. 

Joe Arnold (JR, Grand Rapids, Minn.) will bolster the Auggies' presence in the 200 and 400-meter dashes. Arnold's time of 51.03 seconds in the 400 ranks fourth in the conference this year.

Middle-distance runner Matthew Schafer (SO, New Brighton, Minn./Irondale HS) will look to continue his outstanding 2011 indoor season at the conference meet. Schafer owns school records in three indoor events, and leads a talented but inexperienced group of middle-distance runners including Dakota Darkstar (FY, Minneapolis, Minn./Southwest HS) Micheale Tesema (FY, Burnsville, Minn.) and Tony Fremling (JR, Brookston, Minn./AlBrook HS) into their first conference meet.

In the relays, the Augsburg team of Ward, Wolke, Schafer and Gil Millette (SO, Brainard, Minn.) is currently seeded fourth in the 800-meter relay.

In the field events, the Auggies will look to triple jumpers Shane Pantila (SR, St. Michael, Minn./St. Michael-Albertville HS) and Emmanuel Marcellino (JR, Circle Pines, Minn./Centennial HS) to perform well at the championships. Pantila owns the indoor triple jump school record, while Marcellino currently ranks 10th among MIAC competitors in the event this season. 
 

 

 Bethel
Coach: Jim Timp (6th season)
2010 Championship Finish: 3rd (121.5 points)
Bethel Championship Preview
 
The 2011 campaign begins a new season for the Bethel track programs, and for the most part it is a whole new squad at the top. The Royals look to fill the big shoes of graduates such as Dan Greeno, Taylor Ferda, Joel Quick, Eric Rhode, who were all national meet competitors a season ago.
 
With the air open at the top two seniors who are familiar with success are stepping up in big ways. Jay Quick (Johnston, IA) is once again a top high jumper in both the MIAC and the NCAA. Quick has participated in every indoor and outdoor national championship thus far in his career. Middle distance runner Denny Meints (Pine Island, Minn.) is also preforming well for the Royals in the 800 and 1000-meter distances.
 

The Royals have had many younger athletes step up and improve so far this indoor season, and with athletes qualified in 18 of the 20 indoor events Bethel is still poised to be one of the top teams in the conference.


Carleton
Coach: 
David Ricks (6th season)
2010 Championship Finish: 9th (23 points)
Carleton Championship Preview
 
After finishing ninth at last year’s MIAC Indoor Championships, Carleton will look to move up in this year’s event.
 
Ty Martin (Sr./Minot, N.D.) looks to continue his strong senior season after finishing fifth in the 55-meter hurdles at last year’s Championships. This season, he won every race but one at that distance and holds the second-best time in the MIAC in 2011. Martin aims to also garner Carleton points in the 400-meter dash where he holds the fourth-best seed time.
 
After posting an eighth-place finish in the 5,000-meter run at last year’s conference championship, John Davis (Sr./Eden Prairie, Minn.) will look to score points once again this time around. He could place in the top eight in the 3,000-meter run this year as well and will be joined in both races by his younger brother Bobby Davis (So./Eden Prairie, Minn.)
 
Other Knights could enter into the points with strong showings. Lobo James (Fy./Redmond, Wash.) tied for first in the high jump at the Tostrud Classic and holds the ninth-best mark overall in the MIAC this year. CJ Dale (So./Fox Island, Wash./Charles Wright Academy) competes in a multitude of events and holds top-15 marks in both the long jump and triple jump.
 
In the middle distance events, Carleton will have multiple participants in the 800-meter, 1000-meter, and mile runs. Josh Campbell (So./Sauk City, Wis./Sauk Prairie) is the Knights top-seeded runner (eighth) at the 1,000-meter distance, while Marcus Huderle (Fy./Eden Prairie, Minn.) is seeded sixth and Colin Sinclair (Sr./Madison, Wis./West) ninth in the mile.
 
Dylan Cheever (So./Minneapolis, Minn./Southwest) is seeded 10th in the high jump and will also participate in the pentathlon
 
The 4X200-meter relay team ranks seventh in the MIAC and is less than a second behind fifth place St. Thomas.
 
Concordia
Coach: 
Garrick Larson (18th season)
2010 Championship Finish: 8th (31 points)
Concordia Championship Preview

The Concordia-Moorhead men’s indoor track and field team is hoping that several top-flight individual performances could lead to a top 7 finish at the 2011 MIAC Indoor Track and Field Championship Meet. The Cobbers have posted several outstanding individual marks in January and February and hope that will continue in the first weekend in March. 

Cobber junior distance runner Tom Sederquist (Moorhead, Minn.) has once again been in the spotlight for Concordia the entire 2011 season. Sederquist broke three school records on consecutive weekends at the start of the year and has the top times in the both the 3000 meters and the 5000 meters this season. Sederquist set new school records in the mile, 3K and 5K during the season and was named the MIAC Track Athlete of the Week on two occasions. He is coming off a runner-up finish at the MIAC Cross Country Championship Meet.   
 
Two of the biggest surprises of the season for Garrick Larson’s crew have come from middle distance runner Michael Dunn (Sr., Fargo, N.D./Oak Grove HS) and pole vaulter Andrew Overson (Sr., Waconia, Minn.). Dunn holds the second fastest time in the MIAC in the 600-meters. Dunn’s time of 1:23.36 in the 600 meters at the Cobber Duals Meet was the second fastest in school history. He has also recorded the ninth fastest time in program history in the 400 meters this season which places him 11th in the MIAC this year. Overson had an eye-opening performance at the NDSU Bison Open on Feb. 5. At that meet he cleared 14-05.25 which is the third best in school history. His height is also the third best in the conference this year. 

Concordia also has a pair of sprinters ranked in the top 10 in the conference heading into the MIAC Meet. Junior Tommy Mammen (Worthington, Minn.) is ranked ninth in the 55-meter dash and John Bye (So., Moorhead, Minn.) is seventh in the 55-meter hurdles.               
 

Besides Overson, the other top field athlete for the Cobbers this season has been Felix Okoth (Jr., Mombasa, Kenya). Okoth owns the second farthest distance in the triple jump this season. His mark of 46-02.00 at the St. Olaf Ole Open is just two inches shy of the national provisionally qualifying distance and Okoth will be hoping to earn a spot at the national meet with a stellar performance at the conference meet. Okoth could also score valuable team points in the long jump.

Cobber sophomore Simon Erlandson (Dalton, Minn./Fergus Falls HS) has had a solid season in the high jump. He has a season-best height of 6-0.00 and has a chance to finish in the top 10 of the event at the MIAC Meet.

 
Gustavus
Coach: 
Dale Bahr (2nd season)
2010 Championship Finish: 4th (79.5 points)
Gustavus Championship Preview

 The Gustavus men’s indoor track and field team will look to build on its fourth place finish from last season and return to the top-five of the conference at the 2011 MIAC Indoor Track and Field Championships hosted by St. Thomas in St. Paul on March 3-5.

 
The Gusties currently have ten individuals ranked in the top-10 on the MIAC performance lists heading into the meet.  Individuals ranking first in their respective events include Blair Riegal, Josh Owens, and Carl Stenoien. Riegal is the runner to beat in the 200-meter dash, entering with a top time of 22.78. He will also look to score points in the jumps, entering the meet ranked second in the long jump (22’ 5”) and third in the triple jump (45’ 4.50”).
 
Owens is currently ranked first in the pole vault, clearing 14’ 8” at the Meet of Hearts on Feb. 12.
 
Stenoien comes in poised to score points in several field events. Stenoien is currently the top competitor in the heptathlon, entering with a score of 4254. He also ranks sixth in the long jump (21’ 3.50”), and eighth in both the high jump (6’ 0.75”) and pole vault (14’ 2”).
 
Matt Dvorak is the squad’s top sprinter, ranking second in both the 55-meter dash and the 200-meter dash with times of 6.65 and 22.95, respectively. Other individuals looking to place in the track events include Mark Bartley, Matt Leeb, Eric Jorgenson, and Grant Rorem. Bartley ranks fourth in the 5000-meter run (15:41.06), Leeb ranks ninth in the 200-meter dash (23.10) and 10th in the 400-meter dash (51.42), Jorgenson ranks 10th in the 600-meter run (1:16.12), and Rorem ranks 10th in the 55-meter hurdles (8.27). 
 
Other individuals looking to score points in the field events include Cameron Clause and Mark Stice. Clause ranks second in the pole vault (14’ 8”), while Stice is ninth in the weight throw (80’ 11”).
 
The 2011 MIAC Indoor Track and Field Championships will begin at 2:00 and 2:15 pm Thursday, March 3 with the women’s and men’s pentathlon. The meet will continue at 4:00 p.m. on Friday, and 11:30 a.m. on Saturday.  

Hamline
Coach: 
Paul Schmaedeke (10th season)
2010 Championship Finish: 2nd (156 points)
Hamline Championship Preview

The Hamline University men’s track and field team comes into the 2011 championship hungry after being edged out of the conference title in 2010 by the closest margin in meet history.

 
Paul Schmaedeke’s Pipers will again be led by a strong throwing corps, headed up by Brennan McKeag (Jr., Lakeville, Minn.), who is already an NCAA automatic qualifier in the shot put. McKeag also has an NCAA provisional qualifying throw in the weight throw, as does his teammate, Andrew Schlichting (Jr., North Oaks, Minn.). The duo is joined by another pair of throwers with proven success at the MIAC meet in All-American - Derall King (Sr., Inver Grove Heights, Minn.) and the MIAC field athlete of the week for 2/21/2011 – Blake Springman (Sr., Adrian, Minn.).
The heart of the throwing corps is rounded out by a first-year looking to make his mark in his first conference meet, Joe Morelli (Lynwood, Wash.).
Keeping with the field events, Hamline’s vaulters are led by sophomore Shaise Schuette (Anoka, Minn.) – who captured the MIAC championship in pole vault at both the indoor and outdoor championships in his inaugural campaign.
In the jump pits, Schmaedeke will look for points from veterans Dan Johnson (Sr., Granite Falls, Minn.), Ben Johnson (Jr., Roseville, Minn.), and Christian Kibler (So., Burnsville, Minn.). They are joined by first-years Travis Latzke (Belle Plaine, Minn.) and Juris Lebedoks (Latvia), who have come on strong in the meets leading into the championship.
The 2010 MIAC cross country championship team will spill several runners onto the track once again for the indoor conference meet, as Jack Deichert (Jr., Golden Valley, Minn.) has already run an NCAA provisional qualifying run in the mile and Ian Campbell (Sr., Blooming Prairie, Minn.) is just shy of the mark. The depth of the distance runners extends to Ellis Richardson (Jr., Roseville, Minn.), Colin Rogers (So., River Falls, Minn.), and Andrew Johnson (Sr., Andover, Minn.) who have all had strong indoor seasons.
And the Pipers will continue to look for points in the sprints, as Christian Swanberg (Sr., Lindstrom, Minn.), DJ Weil (So., Chaska, Minn.), Tyson Molitor (Sr., Belgrade, Minn.), and Christian Willman (So., Rosemount, Minn.) all bring strong experience to the shorter distances.

With a strong group of successful and proven athletes returning to the Pipers, Schmaedeke and his team will look to depth and experience to help carry them to the top of the standings this year.

 
Macalester
Coach: Martin Peper (18th season)
2010 Championship Finish: 11th (8 points)
Macalester Championship Preview
 
Macalester won’t be expected to score many team points when it’s all said and done, but a handful of Scots have the potential to be factors in their events.
 

Ollie St. John (Jr., Washington, D.C. / Edmund Burke School) won the 1000-meter run last weekend at Macalester’s Pre-MIAC Meeting and is a capable middle distance veteran. Middle distance prospect Auburn Jimenez (Fy., East Los Angeles, Calif. / St. John Bosco) has a bright future ahead of him as well. Macalester’s best chance of scoring points will come in the distance medley relay, where St. John and Jimenez will run legs. The Scots will also look to get a productive meet from Carl Biggers (Jr., Vernona, Wis.) in the distance events and from Palmer Fliss (Sr., Medway, Mass.) in the relays. Macalester’s distance medley relay team will be made up of Jimenez, St. John, Fliss and Dan Voss (Fy., Willmar, Minn.).

 
Saint John's
Coach: 
Tim Miles (32nd season)
2010 Championship Finish: 7th (44 points)
Saint John's Championship Preview

Saint John’s strives to improve upon its seventh-place finish last year. The Johnnies return each of its three All-MIAC performers from a year ago. Senior Andrew Norman (Maple Grove, Minn.) finished second in the pole vault with a height of 4.50 meters. He is currently tied with freshman teammate Patrick Hayden (Plymouth, Minn./Robbinsdale Armstrong) with the fourth-best height of 4.32 meters.

Sophomore Andrew Million (Lino Lakes, Minn./Totino-Grace) also returns after claiming third in the long jump last year. He is currently seventh with a jump of 6.46 meters. Senior Dan Maxbauer (Traverse City, Mich./St. Francis) finished third in the 2010 MIAC Pentathlon.

In other events, senior Tom Hoffman (Mahtomedi, Minn.) has the third-best time in the 800 meters (1:55.31) and is also sixth in the 600-yard dash (1:15.44). Freshman Dan Knapper (Renville, Minn./Renville County West) is third (8.04) in the 55-meter hurdles, .29 seconds away from the NCAA provisional time (7.75).

In the shot put, senior Griffin Hayes (Mendota Heights, Minn./St. Thomas Academy) is third (14.97 meters). Freshman Brian Vargason (Owatonna, Minn.) and junior Wade Powers (Hawick, Minn./New London-Spicer) are fifth (14.44 meters) and sixth (14.36 meters), respectively. Senior Tim Juba (Cottage Grove, Minn./Park) has the fifth-best weight throw with a distance of 16.73 meters.

 
Saint Mary's
Coach: Shawn McMahon (4th season)
2010 Championship Finish: 10th (21 points)
Saint Mary's Championship Preview

A year ago, Andrew Brueggen (Holmen, Wis.) placed second in the weight throw at the Minnesota Intercollegiate Athletic Conference Indoor Championships.
 
And the then-junior was not satisfied — not by a long shot.
 
Which was good news for SMU coach Shawn McMahon, but bad news for the rest of the MIAC.

Brueggen, has dominated the weight throw this season — winning six of the seven events he’s entered — while also uncorking the second-longest NCAA Division III throw of the season at 19.41 meters — and is eager to trade last year’s second-place finish for a conference title at this weekend’s MIAC Indoor Championships.

“Andrew did very well last season — and he really just picked up right where he left off this year,” said SMU coach Shawn McMahon, noting that Brueggen placed fourth in the weight throw at last March's NCAA Division III Indoor National Championships, while also tossing the hammer far enough to earn 13th place at the national outdoor meet in May. “He was a fantastic addition to our team. He had a good offseason, with staying fit and lifting weights, and came to school in great shape.”


The sprinters on the men's side are anchored by a strong group of seniors, including John Kelly (Rochester, Minn.) — who placed fifth in the 100 and seventh in the 200 at last spring's conference meet. Fellow seniors Cody Harvey (Dakota, Minn.) and Kyle Klein (Winona, Minn.) will join Kelly on SMU's sprint relay teams.

SMU's distance runners, led by David Feather (Oak Creek, Wis.), Benton Kodet (Northfield, Minn.) and Peter Borash (Bowlus, Minn.) continue to improve, thanks in large part to their excellent work ethic.
 
“I tell my athletes that our goal is to improve every day,” said McMahon. “We're going to continue to compete and work towards our goals. If we can do that, the MIAC Championships should be an exciting couple of days.”

 
St. Olaf
Coach: Phil Lundin (3rd season)
2010 Championship Finish: 5th (71 points)
St. Olaf Championship Preview

The St. Olaf men's track and field team will look to its 4 x 200-meter relay team and its distance medley relay at this weekend's MIAC Indoor Championships in St. Paul.

 

Sprinter Leon Clark had his best career indoor performance last weekend at the Ole Open Qualifier. Clark won the 55-meter dash with a time of 6.59 in the finals.

 

The Oles' trio of Brian Saksa, Adrian Swanson, and Chris Massey will compete for titles in the distance events. Saksa won the 1,000 last weekend while Massey was third in the mile.

 

St. Olaf finished fifth at the MIAC's last winter and fourth in 2009.

 
St. Thomas
Coach: Steve Mathre (16th season)
2010 Championship Finish: 1st (163 points)
St. Thomas Championship Preview

St. Thomas is hoping its home turf will help push it over the top this weekend as it chases its 27th consecutive team crown.

 

The Tommies' new Anderson Fieldhouse will be the site of the 2011 MIAC Indoor Track and Field Championships. The multi-event for men and women is Thursday. The action starts at 4 p.m. on Friday and on 11:30 a.m. on Saturday.

 

The Toms have captured 50 of the last 54 MIAC team championships contested indoors and outdoors since 1983. St. Thomas men's and women's squads have won 104 all-time MIAC team titles in indoor and outdoor track and field.

 

Coach Steve Mathre expects his Tommie men to come in hungry and ready to compete. They'll need that focus over 21 events as they battle a 10-team field of competitors led by Hamline.

 

UST edged the Pipers by just seven points for the 2010 conference indoor crown (163-156),and again by just 23.5 points to claim the conference outdoor title (178.5-155).

 

The Tommies have four elite athletes to build around:

--Junior All-American Mike Hutton is ranked sixth nationally in the 800 and is seeded first in the MIAC in the 600, 800 and 1000;

 

--Junior All-American distance runner Ben Sathre, the NCAA cross country national runner-up last November, is an NCAA provo qualifier in the mile and the 5,000;

 

--Sophomore All-American Eyo Ekpo is expected to challenge for titles in the long jump, triple jump and high jump; Ekpo is qualified provisionally for nationals in the high jump and triple jump.

 

--Senior All-American Matt Griswold has the potential to score well in the multi-event, hurdles and relays. He's ranked 15th nationally in the 55 hurdles.

 

In NCAA qualifying, UST has posted one automatic and five provisional performances. In the MIAC season-best list, St. Thomas has eight performances ranked first in the MIAC and six others ranked second or third.

 

The Tommies are seeded first in the 4x400 relay.