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The Carletonian

The Carletonian

The Carletonian

Preview for the men’s track MIAC Championship hosted by Carleton

<thletics team will host the 2009 MIAC Track & Field Championships today and tomorrow at Laird Stadium. The meet takes place at Carleton just once every nine years.

Coach Dave Ricks and his Knights send a formidable squad to the conference championships, which begin today at 2 p.m. Here is the Carletonian’s event-by event preview:

4 x 100m relay, today, 2 p.m. (final tomorrow, 2:30 p.m.)– The Knights will run Steven Holley ’11, Kyle Burkhardt ’10, Jon Raberg ’12 and Ty Martin ’11. These thinclads face tough competition but could advance to the final if they can successfully pass the baton.

1,500 meters, today, 2:20 p.m. (final tomorrow, 2:45 p.m.) – The first section will feature Chris Marshall ’10 and Colin Sinclair ’11. The top five seeds will be difficult to beat, but the competition is wide open after that. Sinclair’s devastating finishing kick could land him a spot in the final. Marshall plans to attack the first 800, and both Fellahs look to improve their 4:10.19 and 4:13.22 entry times. In the second heat, Kian Flynn ’12 and Tom Brenner ’09 will look to improve their seeds and advance. Flynn rode the bus to a fantastic 4:12.02 last Tuesday, and will need to run at least several seconds faster if he wants to qualify for the final.

110m hurdles, today, 2:55 p.m. (final tomorrow, 3:05 p.m.) – Two-time All-American Tom Ballinger ’09 will make his first appearance on the track as the second seed in heat one. Fellow All-American Tyler Geyen of Gustavus will run four lanes over, next to Dylan Bothun ’11. Martin will return to the track in heat three as the third seed in that heat.

100 meters, today, 3:45 p.m. (final tomorrow, 3:35 p.m.) – Section one will feature Nick Cesarek ’09. The senior captain has run 11.07 this season and will need a strong race to advance to the finals. He will face St. Thomas’ James Ewer and Sam Moen in the rounds, who have run 10.78 and 10.82, respectively.

800 meters, today, 4:05 p.m. (final tomorrow, 3:45 p.m.) – The half-mile is perhaps the strongest track event of the meet, with five entrants having run under 1:53.4 and three more under 1:57. This second group includes Carleton’s Jack Delehanty ’09 and Michael Sanders ’10. Delehanty boasts a PR of 1:55.12, and has qualified for the final in each of his first three seasons. Sanders also ran under 1:56 a year ago and snuck into the points. The pair will make sure there is no funny business in the prelim heats and will aggressively seek personal-record times. If any of the five fastest qualifiers has an off day, both Delehanty and Sanders could take them down.

400m hurdles, today, 4:40 p.m. (final tomorrow, 4:00 p.m.) – Ballinger returns for his second hurdle prelim of the day. The random lane assignments were unkind to the Knight phenom, who drew lane one. This will not deter Ballinger from pursuing the NCAA Automatic qualifier of 52.65; he has met the provisional standard four times this season and is seeded three seconds ahead of the rest of his heat. The third section will feature Martin and Burkhardt.

200 meters, today, 5:10 p.m. (final tomorrow, 4:20 p.m.) – Cesarek will be back for the half-lap race. He will compete in the third heat, where he has drawn the outside lane. The Tommies’ Pat Jager will start behind him, and brings the top seed of 21.66 to the meet.

10,000 meters (final), today, 5:30 p.m. – In the only open track final of the day, seniors Eric Hofmann and Pete Samuels will run their last collegiate race. Both Knights qualified at the Carleton Relays, and will use the home track advantage to sneak up on their opponents. Hofmann and Samuels have both declared their intent to enter June’s National Basketball Association rookie draft.

4 x 800m relay (final), today, 7:00 p.m. – Marshall will lead off and pass to Nick “Big Texas” Smith ’09, who will forward the baton to Flynn and then to Brenner. Smith will run his last race as a collegian, and also his first of the season. A harrier in the fall, Big Texas threw the javelin and high jumped this outdoor campaign.

3,000 meter steeplechase (final), tomorrow, 2:00 p.m. – John Davis ’11 makes his only appearance of the meet in his signature event. Davis, the fifth seed, could mix it up with the leaders, but will likely choose to hold back before unleashing a massive move around two kilometers, where he will attempt to drive the field into the most biting pain of their lives.

5,000 meters (final), tomorrow, 4:30 p.m. – Only one Knight thinclad, Marshall, will race the 5,000. The junior is the second-slowest qualifier in the field, and will look to run near the back of the pack for most of the first two miles. Coaches Ricks and Josh Schoen hope Marshall feels inspired with a mile left, and drops something impressive.

4 x 400m relay (final), tomorrow, 5:15 p.m. – Wow, this event is loaded. The Knights ran 3:19.27 and are the sixth seed. The top six all have a shot at the provisional mark of 3:16.80. Carleton will lead off with Cesarek, the come back with Sanders, Delehanty and Ballinger. The final event of the meet is often the most exciting, and this year will likely follow that pattern. St. Thomas, Bethel, Hamline, Gustavus and St. John’s had best be prepared for an upset.

Pole vault (final), today, 2:00 p.m. – Evan Franco ’10, an all-conference performer from indoors, will compete as the only Carleton entrant. Franco has cleared 4.30 meters this season, and will look for his second all-MIAC citation. You may not realize how high 4.30 meters is, but believe me, it’s really high.

Javelin throw (final), tomorrow, 1 p.m. – John Hanks ’09 enters as the second seed after his 53.94-meter hurl at the Rolex Classic. Hanks will look to take down Gustavus’ Chad Arldt, the favorite. Cesarek will also throw for the Knights, and could score with a strong performance.

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