Author: Alana Patrick

Mens basketball prove themselves with win

The St. Olaf men’s basketball team defeated Bethany Lutheran College 86-64 in their season opener on Nov. 15 at Skoglund Center.

For most of the first half, the men battled from behind. However, Sterling Nielsen ’15 sunk a free throw with 4:10 remaining to tie the score 32-32. With help from Sam Daly ’14, who added nine points in the last four minutes, the Oles steadily gained ground. At the end of the half, the Oles led 46-36.

They maintained at least a nine-point lead throughout the rest of the game, eventually widening the scoring gap to win 86-64. Connor Gunderson ’14 totaled 22 points in the victory, the most for the Oles. Gunderson also added three rebounds, two blocks and an assist.

Next up, the Oles play Augustana College in Platteville, Wis. on Nov. 23. The men open MIAC play on Dec. 3 versus Carleton College at Skoglund Center.

patrick@stolaf.edu

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Mens track enjoys successes

The men’s outdoor track team finished third in the Oles’ second meet of the season at the Macalester Twilight on April 26 in St. Paul, Minn.

Brian Tomlinson ’13 took first place in the 800-meter run with a time of 1:57.17.

In the 1500-meter run, Thomas Feichtinger of St. John’s University edged out Stefan Lemke ’14 by 0.03 seconds to win in 4:01.11. Grant Wintheiser also ran to a second-place finish, completing the 5000-meter run in 14:31.75.

In sprints, Reggie Woods ’13 placed fourth in both the 100-meter dash 10.95 and the 200-meter dash 22.31.

JB Tut ’14 cleared 1.85 meters in the high jump, finishing fourth.

Finally, James McFarlin ’16 finished fifth in the 400-meter run.

St. Olaf hosted the Rolex Classic at home on April 30, where they competed against crosstown rival Carleton College. The Oles dominated competition, winning 15 of 17 events.

Long-distance competition highlights include Lemke winning the 1500-meter run in 4:03.48 and Paul Escher ’16 winning the 5000-meter run in 15:40.59. Alex Phearman ’15 also won the 3000-meter steeplechase in 10:19.59.

The Oles dominated sprints as well: Cameron Smith ’14 won the 100-meter dash 11.14, Donny Harder ’14 the 200-meter dash 22.73 and Aaron Stets ’16 the 400-meter run 50.49.

In hurdles, Aaron Dunphy ’15 claimed first place in the 110-meter competition 16.04. Meanwhile, Anton Hesse ’15 won the 400-meter hurdles in 59.66.

In field events, Tut claimed first place in the high jump 1.95 meters, while Aaron Shinn ’13 won the pole vault 4.00 meters. Ethan Lunning ’16 nearly swept throwing competition, winning first place in shot put 13.76 meters, discus 46.29 meters and hammer throw 48.88 meters. Carleton Knight Alex Polk won the javelin throw – an event in which Lunning does not compete.

Next up, St. Olaf will compete in the MIAC Heptathalon in Northfield, Minn. on May 3.

Photo Credit: Ebru Yayla/Manitou Messenger

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MIAC revises spring schedules

A snow-blanketed baseball field is not an uncommon sight in Minnesota – in the months of December, January and February, that is. This April, however, has defied seasonal norms, gaining a place in record books as the third snowiest in state history. The 17-plus overall inches of precipitation this month have affected most Minnesotans: Traffic has crawled, schools have closed and, indeed, the great American pastime has been forced to defer to Mother Nature.

This last inconvenience has carried particular significance for the baseball and softball teams at St. Olaf – and all MIAC schools. As of April 23, the Ole men had played only one doubleheader this month a 1-8, 8-2 split with Bethel University on April 7, postponing many more. The women, faring slightly better, were able to complete April 4 and April 7 doubleheaders against Gustavus College and the University of St. Thomas, all four games resulting in losses for the Oles.

With similar predicaments occurring throughout the MIAC, league coaches and administration took unprecedented action last week, revising the conference baseball schedule and changing the format of the softball postseason playoffs. For baseball, MIAC Executive Director Dan McKane and Assistant Director Afton Goebel performed a complete overhaul of the original conference calendar, drafting a new schedule that allows each team to play all 20 conference games. As of April 24, the baseball playoffs are set to occur as originally planned. However, that could change if not all conference games are able to be completed by the playoff start date of May 10.

As softball playoffs are set to begin a week earlier, the MIAC announced changes to the postseason format in order to accommodate teams who were unable to complete a full regular season. Instead of featuring the top four teams based on conference records, the 2013 playoffs will include all 12 MIAC schools, split into three-team pools playing round-robin style. The first-place teams from each pool will advance to a four-team, double-elimination tournament on May 4-5.

With sunny, warm-weather forecasts predicted for this weekend, it appears that Minnesotans can finally look forward with confidence to the sights of spring: green grass, fresh leaves and the long-hidden expanses of an outfield.

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Softball falls twice in opening series

UW-Stout topped the St. Olaf softball team 6-3 and 16-3 in the Oles’ first games of the 2013 season on March 8, in Rosemount, Minn.

“We did not open as strong as we would have liked,” Head Coach Ruth Neuger said. “We had a lot of first-game jitters which resulted in errors which are killers for a team.”

These errors – totaling seven in all – helped the Blue Devils come back from a 3-1, fifth-inning deficit in game one and dominate the scoreboard in game two.

In the first game, center fielder Alex Lebens ’16 walked twice and hit a home run in her second collegiate at bat.

“I told myself before the game to just go up to the plate and do what I know how to do,” Lebens said. “It couldn’t have gone any better.”

Infielder Mackenzie Wolter ’13 went two-for-three in game one and drove in two runs in game two. Despite a three-run fifth inning in the second game, the Oles were unable to combat the Blue Devils’ ten hits.

Next up, St. Olaf plays Simpson College in a doubleheader on March 17, in Indianola, Iowa. The Oles travel to Clermont, Fla. over spring break where they will face 10 non-conference opponents.

“We will face great competition on our spring break trip which will be good for us,” Neuger said. “We will … come back ready for our conference season.”

“We’re looking forward to our spring break trip,” captain and pitcher Amy Prok ’13 said. “It is a great time to give everyone game experience so we can come back to Minnesota feeling confident about taking on the MIAC.”

patrick@stolaf.edu

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Ole teams ski to success at USCSAs

The St. Olaf women’s Nordic ski team claimed first place at the United States Collegiate Ski and Snowboard Association Championships in Sun Valley, Idaho, March 2 through March 9. The men’s Nordic team finished second. In alpine competition, the St. Olaf women skied to a program-best, third-place finish. The men’s alpine team took third in the giant slalom, but fell to 16th in the slalom to finish 10th overall.

Oles claimed individual titles in all three women’s Nordic events. Paige Schember ’14 won both the 15K freestyle and the 1.5K sprint. Meanwhile, Emma Lee ’13 finished first in the 8.5K classic with a time of 30:24.

Besides Schember, three other Oles finished in the top 13 in the 1.5K sprint: Elise Sulser ’16, Lee and Gretchen Mueller ’14 took fifth, 12th and 13th places respectively. In the 15K freestyle, Lee and Mueller claimed second and third.

In men’s Nordic competition, Joel Bransky ’14 won the 15K freestyle with a time of 42:41. Cole Hendrickson ’14 was fourth 42:48, while Nels Thompson ’15 took sixth 42:52.

As a team, the St. Olaf Nordic men took first in the 15k and third in the 1.5K sprint and 8.5K classic. The University of Wyoming club team bested the Oles for the overall title.

Alpine competition occurred during the same week. The St. Olaf women took third in the slalom and giant slalom, helping them claim third overall. Katie Ulvestad ’14 finished fourth in the slalom and 15th in the giant slalom, earning All-American honors. McKenna McNabb ’15 was also named an All-American after her 17th place finish in the slalom and 14th in the giant slalom.

The St. Olaf men’s 10th place finish was disappointing after claiming second in 2012. Hakon Schonheyder ’15 led the Oles, finishing fifth in the giant slalom.

The men’s and women’s alpine teams will compete at the Lutsen Mid-America FIS Finals March 14 through March 17 in Lutsen, Minn.

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