Here are the top moments to a very memorable Day 2 at the MIAC Outdoor Track and Field Meet. This might not be the longest list as the two long days are starting to finally catch up – but hopefully it will be a reminder of all the great things that happened in Moorhead over the two days of competition.
Once again, if you want the standard recap, go to the MIAC site and check out the review of the meet on the men’s and women’s sites. This is more of a personal observation from a person that doesn’t take in a lot of track meets throughout the year.
Top Performances on Saturday
– I start out Saturday’s recap with one of the great post-race smile of the weekend. Carleton sophomore Adrian Carpenter held off a strong field in the men’s 110-meter hurdles and broke the 15-second barrier in doing so. What made the moment so special was his celebration and the ear-to-ear grin he had for a long time after. After winning the race he made his way down the track only to be greeted by his coach – who was even happier than Adrian. The Carleton coach hustled down the outside of the track after the race was over and had an even bigger smile than Adrian. The hugs from coach and teammates that followed tells the story of DIII athletics – there might not be a lot of public accolades but the rewards you get from your teammates and peers are even more special.
- One of the most memorable moments of the entire weekend was watching the diversity of all the athletes as they competed in several events. There were many athletes that had to hustle from event to event in order to try and succeed so their team could score points. The “case in point” that I am most familiar with is Concordia junior Kaari Jensen. Watching her go from event to event to event on Saturday made me tired. Kaari started with the women’s javelin. She then went to the high jump. After that she competed in the 110-meter hurdle finals, triple jump, 400-meter hurdles and then was the lead leg for the 4×400-meter relay team. She wound up winning the javelin, placed in the top 5 in the two hurdle events and helped the Cobbers place third in the 4×4. I know there were other athletes that were just as busy on Saturday and to all of them I say, “take the week off, you deserve it!” I am tired from just typing all those events.
– This is an add-on to the above memorable moment as UST sophomore Emily Van Heel won both the 400 meters and triple jump and also raced in the finals of the 200 meters. On top of that she ran legs in the winning teams for the 4×100-meter relay and 4×400-meter relay. That is five events on Saturday and four wins. Two thoughts come to mind – that is an unbelievable amount of running and jumping in a single day and – with that winning percentage her coach needs to find more events for her to compete in!
- One of the things that was memorable about both days was the pain that the long distance runners inflict upon themselves while running their races. It is a case where they look like they are always in pain during the race and almost all collapse after the race. I admire their dedication to the sport and willingness to push themselves to the limit. You just can’t help but cringe as you watch the runners on the final laps of the 5k and 10k try and run faster.
- That brings us to another great finish in a distance race. The finish to the men’s 5k held another memorable moment as Jack Deichert of Hamline and Ben Sathre of St. Thomas battled all the way to the wire. Like the 10k, the men’s 5k was decided by less than a second. Deichert edged Sathre by .06 of a second. Sathre wound up losing the 10k and 5k by a combined total of .47 of a second. Even though he finished second in both races he proved two of the more memorable moments of the weekend.
- The best finishing kick of the day goes to Deichert who came from behind in the 1500 meters and blew away the competition on the final straightaway. He was tucked inside a contingent from St. Olaf the entire race but then exploded after the final turn and ran away with the race.
- Augsburg’s Ashley Carney and St. Thomas’ Cody Jerabek can realistically call themselves the fastest woman and man in the MIAC. Carney and Jerabek both pulled off the daunting “Daily Double” as they won the 100 meters and 200 meters. Both athletes had strong competition in both races but were able to find a way to win at the wire. Just watching them fly down the track is electric as they turn over their steps at an unbelievable rate.
- The shortest memorable moment of the day belongs to St. Thomas junior Mike Hutton who ran away with the 800 meters and then anchored the victorious 4×400-meter relay team. He is the epitome of Charlie Sheen’s mantra – winning!
- There were many other great moments but we are starting to fall asleep at the keyboard. I want to leave you with the most memorable moment of the entire weekend for this SID. I will be the first to admit that I do not understand the mind set of track and field athletes. I was always the type who needed to run down a ball or skate after a puck. Neither way is better, it is just a personal preference. One thing I will say about all the track and field athletes is that I have never seen more team spirit from any other sport. Even though track and field is mostly a one-person sport, the way all the individuals go out of their way to cheer for every person on the team is inspiring and very commendable. Whether it be the entire St. Mary’s throw squad moving from event to event to support each other, the way the entire Hamline team goes around and cheers, the crew of athletes from St. John’s that is at every event or the willingness of any athlete to finish their event and then go directly to another event and help out their teammates was amazing.
The best argument for this team bonding comes from the final event of the meet. The way all the teams gathered at the far end of the track to yell and scream for the 4×400-meter relay teams was electric. I watched as the Gustavus women’s 4×400-meter team finished their race and then jogged to get to the end of the track to cheer for their men’s team. I had chills watching the final two races as all the athletes rose as one to motivate their teammates. If you have never watched the final relay events at a conference meet you should do yourself a favor and watch it just once.
The other thing that I will remember from the weekend is how the athletes took the time to thank the officials after the meet. Rarely in any other sport do you see the respect and gratitude that the track and field athletes had for the officials – it was very refreshing.
I applaud all the track and field athletes. They should be proud of the way they handled themselves and constantly showed support for their teammates and school.
Thanks to everyone that came to Moorhead to be a part of the meet. Special thanks to all the great officials who made the entire weekend go very smoothly. Without their love of the sport it would be impossible to put on such a great event.
See you in ’21!