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The Carletonian

The Carletonian

The Carletonian

Hanks and Ballinger turn in strong performances at Rolex Classic

<e stranded on a deserted island and I could choose only one person to join me in a survival effort, that person would be John Hanks ’09. Why? Because he can throw a spear 177 feet, and that could prove extremely useful for hunting.

Tuesday, it proved useful for winning the Rolex Classic javelin throw. Hanks’ colossal hurl of 53.94 meters won the event by over 30 feet, and put him second in the conference this season. The winning throw was so far, it nearly struck teammate Nick “Big Texas” Smith ’09, who was warming up for the high jump—on the opposite side of the track.

Smith was evidently not affected by this incident, because he would later run an insane 54-second leg on a 4×400 relay team. After the performance, the distance runner turned thrower/jumper is being considered for a leg on the 4×800 at the conference meet.

The 400-meter dash saw three Knights record personal best times. Nick Cesarek ’09 emerged victorious and narrowly missed the elusive 50-second barrier in 50.12. Jack Delehanty ’09 and Michael Sanders ’10 trailed by the slimmest of margins, stopping the clock in 50.44 and 50.81, respectively.

Upset after failing to break 50, Delehanty and Sanders came back in the 200-meter dash, an event far too short for both of them. Still, they both ran unbelievable races. Delehanty not only ran 23.22 but also out-leaned St. Olaf’s Isaac Tut, a sprinter the Carleton senior insisted he could not beat. Sanders ran 23.74.

The 1500 meters provided plenty of excitement as five Fellahs in the race ran personal records. In the first section, Chris Marshall ’10 led the way for the Knights, mastering the art of sitting on Oles and finishing in 4:10.19, A PR of 5.8 seconds. Kian Flynn ’12 trimmed another seven seconds of his season best, running 4:12.02.

Then came Colin Sinclair ’11, who used his now-patented devastating finishing kick to close the gap between he and Flynn in the last 400 meters. Sinclair ran 4:13.22, with Tom Brenner ’09 right behind in 4:13.42. Both will surely qualify for the MIAC meet next weekend.

The second heat was déjà vu for anyone who has watched Michael “the Ole destroyer” Knudson ’11 race against St. Olaf in the last two years. Knudson dropped a massive finishing lap to cap off his 4:34.13 race, passing two athletes from across the river in the process. Ben Parks ’11 also ran a PR of 4:36.05.

The 3000-meter steeplechase was extremely competitive, with John Davis ’11 defeating nobody at all. St. Olaf did not enter anyone in the event because nobody on their team wanted to suffer an embarrassing defeat to Davis.

Persistence paid off for the Knights in the 4×100-meter relay. After St. Olaf dropped the baton on the second exchange, Jon Raberg ’12 attempted a diving handoff to Ty Martin ’11 but came up just short, allowing the stick to fall to the track. After some confusion, the two returned to the zone and completed the exchange.

The squad’s time of 62.39 is hardly impressive—in fact any of the four could have run faster alone. Either way, it counts as a win, because St. Olaf could only manage a pitiful 68.31.
Martin had already won the 110-meter hurdles in 15.86 seconds, so he did not need the 4×100 to boost his confidence.

Tom Ballinger ’09 won the 400-meter hurdles in an NCAA provisional qualifying time of 54.00. While this was the Knights best performance of the day, this is hardly news anymore, because Ballinger has already run three other qualifiers in this same event this year, and wins pretty much every race he runs.

Unlike most track meets which are decided based on which team scores more points, the Rolex Classic chooses a winner at random, by drawing an event from a hat. The winner of that event wins the meet for his team. There was a great deal of controversy when it came time to draw the event.
First, the 5000 meters was selected. St. Olaf’s Jake Marotz won the 5000, but had not completed a proper entry and so it did not count. Then, the 800 meters was drawn. Unfortunately, Carleton did not have anyone in the 800 meters so St. Olaf was declared the champion by default.

The Knights next competition will be the MIAC Championship, which begins next Friday, May 8th and continues Saturday, May 9th. This year’s conference meet will be held at Laird Stadium. The spectator-friendly event will feature all of your favorite track athletes.

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