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The Carletonian

The Carletonian

Tom Ballinger leads men’s track team

<m Ballinger ’09 won MIAC track athlete of the week honors after his dominating victory in the 400-meter hurdles in Saturday’s Hamline Invitational in St. Paul.

The two-time All-American ran an NCAA provisional qualifying time of 53.75 and finished nearly three seconds ahead of his nearest competitor. His time is the fastest in the conference and currently sits third on the national honor roll.

This is the fourth consecutive year that Ballinger has recorded a provisional mark. He hit the automatic standard a year ago and ran a personal best and school record of 52.16 at the NCAA meet.

Nick Cesarek ’09 chose to forgo the barriers and turned in a personal-best 50.21 for fifth place in the flat 400 meters. Michael Sanders finished seventh in the event in 51.01, just two hundredths shy of his career best.

Jack Delahanty ’09 ran a solid early-season time of 1:56.37 in the 800 meters, finishing third. Unfazed by a “slow” opening lap of 58.0, the senior battled over the last 400 meters and ran remarkably even splits, an unorthodox pacing strategy for most 800-meter specialists.
Joining Cesarek, Sanders and Ballinger, Delehanty returned to the track to contest the 4×400-meter relay. The quartet ran a somewhat disappointing 3:23.20, finishing a close second to Hamline. The Knights ran 3:20.22 over spring break at the Walt Disney Invitational in Orlando, Florida.

In the 110-meter high hurdles, Ty Martin ’11 ran 16.04 to finish fourth. Martin and Ballinger lead a strong Knight hurdle contingent that qualified five athletes for the indoor conference meet.

In his outdoor track collegiate debut, Famous Johnson ’12 held off a feisty Augsburg rival down the home stretch of the second heat of the 800 meters. Johnson’s speed prevailed, and the freshman finished in 2:11.41.

In the meet’s longest event, the 5000 meters, Eric Hofmann ’09 recorded a personal best 16:10.14. “E-Hof” finished 17th in an extremely strong field that included a professional and several all-MIAC performers.

With that run, Hofmann finally eclipsed the ghost of Robert Nachtsheim ’07, whose 16:11.95 PR had proved elusive for the past year.

In the 1500 meters, Chris Marshall ’10 and Tom Brenner ’09 ran 4:17.64 and 4:22.27, respectively. The pace was slow early, as the pair came through the 800 over 2:20. The fellahs dropped the pace from there to salvage solid early-season races.

Colin Sinclair ’11 was a late scratch due to a hip injury. Had he raced, his devastating finishing kick would likely have proved useful given the slow early pace.
Most Knights will take the weekend off because the only meet in the area is this morning, and Carleton does not participate on religious holidays. The thinclads will be back in action next Saturday at the Carleton Relays, held at Laird Stadium.

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