BLOOMINGTON, Minn. - With just two weekends of competition remaining before the 2019 MIAC Indoor Track and Field Championships, competition is at its peak.
Four MIAC teams are ranked among the top 50 in the latest U.S. Track and Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA) Track and Field Rating Index. St. Thomas leads the way at No. 21, followed by Hamline at No. 29. Gustavus is No. 42, while Carleton is No. 47.
MIAC teams also make up half of the Central Region's Top 10 this week. St. Thomas is No. 1 with Carleton at No. 6, Gustavus at No. 8, Concordia at No. 9, and Saint John's at No. 10.
Carleton sophomore Lucas Mueller (St. Paul, Minn. | Nova Classical Academy) finished the 3,000 meters at January's Minnesota Open in 8:16.96, which remains the fourth-fastest time in NCAA Division III this season.
St. Thomas senior David Danhauer (Barrington, Ill.) hurled the shot put 54-4.50 at last weekend's Ted Nelson Classic, good for the fifth-best mark in D-III this year. Gustavus senior Michael Hensch (North Branch, Minn.) recorded a distance of 53-9.25 at the same meet to tie for eighth-best in the nation, while the Tommies' Gage O'Brien (Inver Grove Heights, Minn. | Rosemount) logged a 53-7.75 to nail down the 10th-best toss in D-III.
St. Thomas senior Eric Holst (Lanesboro, Minn.) tallied a weight throw of 65-9 at the Tommies' home invite in January, which remains the second-best mark in Division III this year. Hamline's Eric Dols (Prior Lake, Minn.) ranks sixth in the country with a 62-10, recorded on the same day.
AROUND THE MIAC
Augsburg sophomore Alex Bailey (Palmer Lake, Colo. | Lewis-Palmer) set an indoor personal-best in the high jump at last weekend's Gene Glader Classic, clearing 1.78 meters (5-feet-10) to finish fourth.
Bethel senior Evan Hatton (Stevens Point, Wis.) led from the start and never looked back, claiming victory in the 1,000 meters in 2:36.28 at last weekend's Gene Glader Classic.
Carleton sophomore Lucas Mueller (St. Paul, Minn. | Nova Classical Academy) kept his undefeated streak alive with a victory in the 3,000-meter run at last weekend's Ted Nelson Classic in Mankato. Mueller crossed the line in 8:31.67 to win his fifth race in four meets this year. He also won the 5,000-meter race on this same track two weeks ago.
Cal Wright (Mora, Minn.) broke the Concordia program record in the 300 meters and ran the fastest time in the MIAC this season in the 200 meters at the NDSU Bison Open last weekend. Wright became the first Cobber athlete to break the 36-second mark in the 300 meters (35.41) and then clocked the second-fastest time in school history in the 200 meters (22.60).
Gustavus senior Michael Hensch (North Branch, Minn.) posted a pair of top five throws last week, taking third in the shot put (53-09.25) and fifth in the weight throw (58-01.25). His shot put distance is currently tied for the eighth-best in all Division III this season.
Hamline junior Frank Gustafson (Willmar, Minn.) won a pair of races at the Hamster Invitational last weekend with victories in the 1,000 and 3,000 meters. His time of 2:33.79 in the 1,000 meters is the top time in the MIAC this season.
Macalester senior Andrew Smith (Racine, Wis. | St. Catherine) won the high jump at the Hamster Invitational last Friday, clearing 2.00 meters (6-6.75). The mark is tied for first in the MIAC this season and ranks 19th nationally. He also moved into third on Macalester's all-time performance list. His previous best indoor leap was 1.92 meters.
Saint John's freshman Michael Wallace (Nassau, Bahamas) won the triple jump with a season-best mark of 13.75 meters at last Friday's Hamster Invitational. The performance was just his second competitively in the event. Wallace's distance of 13.75 meters is second-best in the MIAC and 39th in Division III.
Saint Mary's sophomore Christian Beamer (Two Harbors, Minn.) was part of two victories at last weekend's Luther Invite. Beamer placed first in the high jump (1.89 meters) and was part of the Cards' 4x200 relay team, which recorded a winning time of 1:34.48.
St. Olaf senior Thomas Lerdall (Plymouth, Minn.) scored the lone first-place finish for the Oles at the Hamster Invitational, coming in first in the mile with a time of 4:29.72. Lerdall finished more than three seconds faster than the second-place finisher.
St. Thomas sophomore Brian Carl (Waunakee, Wis.) moved into first place on the MIAC performance list in the 600 meters last week with a career-best time of 1:22.84. He placed first among D-III runners and fourth overall out of 27 entrants at the Ted Nelson Classic. That time's official conversion is 1:54.32 for 800 meters, which also ranks atop the MIAC.