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The Carletonian

The Carletonian

Hanks wins javelin, leads Knights at MIAC Track Championships

<hn Hanks ’09 arrived at Carleton in the fall of 2005 as a football and basketball player, having never thrown a javelin in his life. Saturday, his personal-record throw of 56.11 meters made him the 2009 MIAC champion in the event.

Fittingly, head football coach Kurt Ramler was an assistant official in the javelin, and marked Hanks’ winning hurl.

After throwing 55.26 meters on his first attempt of the afternoon, Hanks lead all competitors in the qualifying round, which meant that he would throw last in the final. Concordia’s Thomas Flynn passed the Carleton senior as he threw 55.55 meters on his first toss of the final, setting up a dramatic finish.

Once all other competitors had taken their six throws, Hanks had one more chance. The situation was clear-cut: throw further than 55.55 meters and win the conference, otherwise finish a still-impressive second.

The Carletonian spoke with head coach Dave Ricks moments before Hanks began his approach in an exclusive interview. “Let’s go John Hanks!” said Ricks. Go he did.

Hanks let the spear fly, and it soared well beyond the 180-foot line on the Laird Stadium infield, giving Hanks his first individual conference title.

At the same time Hanks was throwing in the javelin final, John Davis ’11 was busy on the track, taking second place in the 3,000-meter steeplechase. Davis entered the race as the fifth seed with a personal best of 9:39.93, and let Bethel senior Carl Gladitsch do most of the work.

Gladitsch, who looks like Harry Potter, made a move with four laps remaining, and only Davis was able to respond. The two ran away from the pack, and Davis came up less than two seconds short of the victory, running 9:29.00. Still, the sophomore left with a 10-second PR and his first ever All-MIAC citation.

Tom Ballinger ’09 ran a national-qualifying 52.92 out of lane one in the 400-meter hurdle prelim Friday. The senior captain and two-time All-American will make his third appearance at the NCAA Championships next weekend.

Ballinger followed up this performance with a runner-up finish in the final, running 53.16. Showing unbelievable consistency in the long hurdle race, the final was Ballinger’s sixth provisional qualifying time of the season. This was his third consecutive second-place finish in the event, and his second time coming up just short of a St. Thomas athlete-student.

In the 800 meter final, Jack Delehanty ’09 dropped a massive 1.32-second PR and finished fourth in one of the strongest events of the meet. With 150 meters to run, Delehanty blew by St. Thomas freshman star Mike Hutton, moving into fifth place and needing an enormous kick to catch the lead pack.

In his last collegiate 800-meter race, the captain delivered just that, and ran down St. Olaf’s Cullen O’Neill, nipping him at the line, 1:53.80 to 1:53.81. This lean earned Delehanty the coveted title of fastest half-miler in Northfield. Michael Sanders ’10 finished seventh.

Evan Franco ’10, the only person named Evan on the track team, finished fifth in the pole vault, clearing 4.44 meters. The second-, third- and fourth-place finishers cleared the same height, but beat Franco on misses.

Of the four, Franco had the best attempt at the next height of 4.54 meters, getting his body over the bar but hitting it on the way down. Unfortunately for the Texan, close only counts in horseshoes. He still jumped 14 feet, 6 ¾ inches, which is really high.

Nick Cesarek ’09 eclipsed the mystical 11-second barrier in the 100-meter dash, running 10.93 in Friday’s prelims. He came back Saturday to finish seventh in a loaded final. “Cesar” also ran a PR 22.32 in the 200-meter dash prelims.

The 4×400-meter relay team of Cesarek, Sanders, Delehanty and Ballinger ran an NCAA Provisional qualifying 3:16.66 and somehow only finished fifth. Easily the strongest 1600-meter relay field ever assembled in the MIAC, the Knights would have won the meet almost any other year.

Delehanty ran his first sub-49 split ever clocking 48.9 for his leg, and Ballinger followed that by breaking 48 seconds and running 47.9.
Seniors Eric Hofmann and Pete Samuels ended their careers in the 10,000 meters Friday night, and both did so in an impressive fashion by running personal bests. Nick Smith and Tom Brenner also concluded their collegiate careers Friday night, running legs of the 4×800-meter relay.

Brenner also ran a solid race in the 1500-meter prelim, where he ran to the lead while the favorites ran like a flock of chickens. Saving the race from becoming a jogging festival, Brenner ran 4:12.99, with Kian Flynn ’12 just ahead in 4:12.69.

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