Author: Stephen Nolan

Elmer qualifies for NCAA Championships

The St. Olaf wrestling team competed at the NCAA Division III West Regional Championship on Feb. 28 in Minneapolis, Minn. The Oles faced tough competition, but managed to compete strongly, with Carl Elmer ’15 winning three consecutive matches to qualify for the NCAA Division III Championships. The Oles finished 10th out of 11 teams, with a score of 38.5 points.

However, less than 10 points seperated St. Olaf from sixth place University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh, who posted a final score of 47. Elmer, competing in the 157-pound weight division, defeated Joe Pelky ’17 from University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh by a fall in his first match. He followed this victory up with a hard-fought 11-8 decision over Gunnar Melstrand ’16 from University of Wisconsin-Platteville. To capture the event, he defeated Concordia College’s Ben Cousins ’17 in the final round, by a comfortable decision of 7-0. Elmer will compete at Nationals on March 13 in Hershey, Pa., where he will be looking to become an All-American for the first time.

Sameh Almousa ’18 fell agonizingly short in the 149 weight division, losing by a 1-3 decision in the final seconds of the third place match to Jake Kostik ’15 from Concordia College. It was a reverse of the result earlier in the tournament, where Almousa defeated Kostik with a 5-2 decision.

Augsburg College dominated the event, qualifying individuals in all 10 weight classes to the national championships and claiming the NCAA regional title for the 13th consecutive season. The meet marks the end of the St. Olaf wrestling careers for seniors Robert Caulfield and Nick Hopkins.

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Oles fall to Tommies at Tostrud Open

The St. Olaf men’s track and field team competed in the Tostrud Open on Feb. 21. It was a strong performance by the Oles, who finished just 30 points behind champions University of St. Thomas with 146 team points. Kevin Skrip ’16 starred in the 600m race, setting the fastest time in St. Olaf history 1:21.73, breaking a record set in 1989.

St. Olaf had standout performers in a number of events. Aaron Dunphy ’15 claimed the 60m hurdles event by an incredibly narrow margin – edging out his nearest opponent by six thousandths of a second with a time of 8.692 seconds. James McFarlin ’16 carried on his strong form, finishing as the victor in both the 60m 7.14 and the 200m 22.71 events. Finally, Joseph Coffey ’17 was dominant in the mile race, winning the event in a time of 4:23.10.

Zach Hinz ’18 and Michael Wegter ’18 finished behind Coffey to claim third and fourth places, respectively, in the mile.

Joe Pugh ’18 finished third in the 400m event with a time of 51.98. Pugh also competed in both the 4×200 and the 4×400 meter relays.

Decathlete Tamas Peterson ’15 led the Oles in the high jump. Peterson finished third in the event with a height of 1.85m.

Ethan Lunning ’16 finished runner-up in both the weight throw and the shot put, posting marks of 14.07m and 13.80m respectively.

The Oles will return to competition on Feb. 27 at the Ole Open Qualifier. The event will be valuable as St. Olaf looks to build toward the MIAC Indoor Championships held in Moorhead, Minn. on March 5-7.

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St. Olaf spring sports preview

It’s once again that confusing time of year when “spring” athletes start competing despite the piles of snow sitting outside Skoglund and winter giving little sign that it is going to let up any time soon. Despite that, the St. Olaf baseball, track and field, softball and tennis teams have already begun, or are about to begin, their 2015 campaigns. The Ole teams are poised for a successful season, hoping to improve on their impressive 2014 efforts.

First, let’s look at the St. Olaf baseball team. The Oles finished the 2014 season with a 20-20 record and a 9-11 record in MIAC play which was good enough for eighth place in the conference. The team suffered a number of close losses, and it appears that it is not far away from gaining a playoff spot. The Oles will open their campaign with a trip to Iowa to play Wartburg College in a double header, before opening its MIAC campaign on March 28 with a home clash against St. John’s University.

The men’s and women’s outdoor track and field teams will be trying to improve on the lofty standards set last season. The men’s team was just edged by the University of St. Thomas last season, finishing second at the MIAC Outdoor Track and Field Championships. Despite claiming numerous events, such as the 4×400 relay, 4×100 relay, 3000 meter steeplechase, 5,000 meter race, 10,000 meter race and the javelin. Unfortunately, the Oles fell just 13.5 points short of the Tommies, and will be looking to close that slight gap in the coming months. In the women’s track and field event, the Oles finished in fourth place, with wins in the 4×400 relay and the high jump. The team will be returning a number of top performers and are on track to break into the MIAC’s top three in 2015.

Next, the St. Olaf softball team finished the 2014 season in 10th place in the MIAC, with a 7-25 overall record and 7-15 in conference play. The Oles will be boosted by the return of All-MIAC infielder Becca Walz ’16, who hit .347 last year. St. Olaf will begin its home games on April 8 with a doubleheader against Hamline University, in what shapes up to be a crucial stretch of games for the Oles.

And finally, 2015 is shaping up to be a great one for the St. Olaf men’s and women’s tennis teams. The men’s team made an impressive run to the MIAC playoff final last season, falling to conference powerhouse Gustavus Adolphus College 1-8.

The Oles powered past rival Carleton College in the semi-finals to reach the championship game. The St. Olaf women’s team finished sixth in the conference last year, and will be looking to improve on its 6-4 MIAC record last season. The Oles fell in the MIAC quarterfinals 4-5 to College of St. Catherine and will be confident of going further in 2015.

The Spring of 2015 will be full of many great successes for our Oles teams. Hopefully, by the end of May, St. Olaf will have even more conference titles in its repertoire.


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St. Olaf basketball remains undefeated

The St. Olaf men’s basketball team took on Linfield College in McMinnville, Ore. on Nov. 29, looking to continue its undefeated start to the season. The Oles led for almost the entirety of the contest and proved to be far too strong for the Wildcats, capping off a strong performance with a 77-61.

The encounter was tense early on, and the Oles seemed to have a battle on their hands when the Wildcats took an 11-9 lead with 11:52 left in the first period. However, Justin Pahl ’16 hit a three-pointer just nine seconds later to give St. Olaf a 12-11 advantage, and the Oles were in front for the remainder of the contest. The score at the break was 36-24 in favor of the Oles.

St. Olaf maintained its control of the contest in the second half, pulling ahead of the Wildcats by 24 points with just over five minutes remaining. Linfield managed to reduce the deficit a little, but St. Olaf was ultimately rewarded for a dominant performance by recording a 16 point victory.

Pahl led the Oles with 18 points, going 5-for-9 from beyond the arc. Sterling Nielsen ’15 had 17 points and seven assists, going an impressive 8-for-14 from the floor. Other key contributers for St. Olaf were Riley Aeikens ’16 with 11 points and Ben Figini ’16 with nine.

St. Olaf had three turnovers while forcing 12 from Linfield, a statistic that proved crucial in the end for the Ole victory.

St. Olaf will return to Bob Gelle Court on Dec. 13 in a clash with rivals Carleton College, in what shapes to be a vital MIAC contest. This will follow a pair of away games for the Oles against Bethel University Dec. 6 and Saint John’s University Dec. 10.

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St. Olaf Sentiments: December 5, 2014

First-years: your future

By Stephen Nolan and Nick Bowlin

Greetings, freshmen. You may have almost finished your first semester of college, but don’t think you’ve even come close to knowing everything there is to know about St. Olaf. The Hill is a deep, dark and mysterious place no Oxford comma, with so many secrets that it’s almost impossible to uncover all of them. There’s so much you need to experience, so much you need to learn, so much you need to know. I bet you don’t even know where Skifter Hall is.

Let’s start with the obvious. You’ve never experienced finals. Don’t think that just because you survived midterms without your parents pulling you out of school doesn’t mean that you’re at all prepared for finals. Tears will be shed and and angry yaks will be posted.

Finals week does have its silver linings, however. One night each semester, the Caf opens at night and serves breakfast food. It’s called Late Night Breakfast and you should be sure not to miss it. Not only do professors and even PDA himself serve the food, but it also will be one of few times in your life when you can eat bacon after dinner. No, the Caf eggs don’t taste any better at night, but it’s a finals tradition, so don’t question it!

You’ve never experienced Christmas Fest. Oh yes, that wonderful time of year when campus will be overloaded with old people wearing eccentric sweaters. The average age of people on campus goes up by 42 years during this week. It’s been scientifically proven. Additionally, prepare to have your taste buds blown or destroyed by the magic of lutefisk. If you’re feeling particularly daring, you can put it some in milk and drink the concoction instead. Just make sure to have a bucket nearby. And Christmas Fest itself is great. When else do all the St. Olaf choirs sing you to sleep?

Be ready to experience your first Interim class, and pray to your respective gods that you’re going to like the people you have to spend a ridiculous amount of time with through the month of January. Interim classes have completely different vibes than regular classes, and you’re sure to meet some cool new people that can become month-long friends. We always look forward to the feeling of starting a brand new class and knowing that mid-terms are barely a week away. Yay Interim!

The second half of freshman year will be devastating. You heard me. That’s right, some of you unlucky souls will discover that the “perfect” guy or girl you started dating right after the Awkward Dance isn’t “the one.” You’ll realize that maybe spending $200 on Friday Flowers in one semester might have been a bit excessive. Especially when you realize that the only reason you are dating is because you took Intro to Psychology together and both live in Ellingson.

Actually, what do we know? You and your special friend could defy the trend. Chances are, you’ll be just fine. And if when you do break up, you’ll survive and you’ll get along a lot better with your roommate now that your room is a double once again. Silver linings and all that.

Late April, you will run the gauntlet of room draw and it will scar you for life. Here’s a little game to play. Get your 10 best friends in a room. Think about how much you love and appreciate all of them. Now choose which four you want to say goodbye to, because that’s how many friends room draw will tear away from your life. I know you thought you would be meeting up with these same 10 bros at your class reunion in 30 years, but room draw has a way of squashing these fantasies. It’s basically like the Hunger Games, except nobody dies. Usually. And Jennifer Lawrence isn’t here.

It’s okay though. Things are never as bad as they sound. You’ll get through finals. Spring will eventually come, even if it isn’t until May 17, and the Adirondack chairs will reappear on the quad. You’ll forget about your first semester relationship you were so young and immature and you may even locate Skifter Hall. And in the words of the great wizard Albus Dumbledore, “happiness can be found even in the darkest of times, when one only remembers to turn on the light.”

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