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The Carletonian

The Carletonian

The Carletonian

Cross country off to fast start

<ross country team opened its 2009 campaign sending partial squads to two invitationals. First, the upperclass harriers traveled to Grinnell, Iowa for the Les Duke Invite September 12 and finished 11th. The seven knights who made the trip south fought hot and humid conditions, with the temperature in the high seventies at race time. A cold bucket of water at the starting line could only delay the cruel effects of the rampant Iowa heat.

Charlie Gamble ’10 led the way for Carleton despite not really running that well by his two-time MIAC champion standards. The captain from San Diego, California finished 17th, covering the 8-kilometer course in 26:56.

Chris Marshall ’10 managed 27:33 for 31st despite an awful kick that left him a split-second shy of wearing a sweet Les Duke visor. Coe sophomore Andrew Dewar snuck by in the last five meters to take the final award.

Marshall will spend the next two weeks studying the devastating finishing kick of roommate Colin Sinclair ’11, whose closing move put him in front of two Bethel runners, and dreaded St. Olaf sophomore Perkovich Perk.

Kian Flynn ’12 ran 28:47, good enough for 69th in his first collegiate scoring effort. Former sprinter Michael Sanders ’10 ran 29:36 for 94th, leading Carleton in scoring in his first cross country race.

Sanders, a half-mile specialist on the track and a native of Cedar Falls, Iowa, abandoned his initial plan to “warm up for the first 7,200 meters, then race the last 800” when teammates informed him that this was a really terrible idea.

The 30-minute barrier, sometimes referred to as the Dominoes Guarantee, had proved elusive for Ben Parks ’11 in years past. Parks needed just one race in 2009 to break into the 20’s, running 29:58, a mere 3:08 faster than his time from Les Duke a year ago.

Evan Johnson ’12 competed in a black t-shirt after forgetting his uniform in his locker, and battled a nagging calf strain to finish in 182nd.

Saturday, Carleton sent an all-freshman team to the St. Olaf Invitational. The first-years finished 13th behind an outstanding run from Bobby Davis ’13, who needed just 27:38 to complete the course.

Davis the younger ran his first two kilometers in a modest 6:58 en route to his 41st-place finish, exhibiting patience that is highly atypical in an 8-kilometer rookie. He was joined in the first 2k by Josh Campbell ’13 and Dylan Cheever ’13, who finished second and third Knights to finish in 28:40 and 29:05, respectively.

Not far behind was the five-headed moster also known as Adam Scherling, Aaron Hirsh, Matt Harrison, Jon Kittaka and Chas Karch. The quintet worked together for the first 5 kilometers, and were separated at the finish line by just 15 seconds.

The amazing display of teamwork shocked and rocked the field. Surfing legend Greg Noll called the Knights’ run “gnarly.”

Tomorrow, the Carleton harriers will combine forces to run the Roy Griak Invitational in Minneapolis. The meet provides a challenge in both course and competition, and is one of the largest invites in the entire universe.

The Griak will also mark the 2009 debut of John Davis ’11, who was unable to race at Grinnell due to a groin injury he suffered over the summer. His recovery has been speedy, thanks in large part to a former Olympic wrestler who has been doing some sort of therapy to his leg in the Twin Cities.

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