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The Carletonian

The Carletonian

The Carletonian

Men win Meet of Hearts with nine first place finishes

<rleton College track and field teams hosted the fifth annual Meet of the Hearts on Saturday. The Knights got into the Valentine’s Day mood a little early by finishing first in nine events, including the first six track events to secure a surprising first-place team finish.

Carleton took top honors in the team competition with 154.7 points, followed by Hamline University (128.8), Macalester College (118.0) and Augsburg College (89.5).

The Knights started the meet off with a surprsingly fast 4×200 meter relay by Nick Cesarek ’09; Tom Ballinger ’09; Michael Sanders ’10; and Kyle Burkhardt ’10.

The next event saw freshman John Davis ’11 run his first 5000 meter race and post a nearly 30-second victory.

The Knights kept the momentum going in the next race, the mile run. Carleton dominated the field with seniors Quentin Kennedy and Joe Sepe finished 1-2 in the mile run followed by junior Tom Brenner. Kennedy and Sepe swapped the lead back and forth over the first seven laps before Kennedy pulled away with a big kick. Both Sepe and Brenner established new personal bests.
Ballinger continued to tear up the track as he won the 55 meter hurdles for the third consecutive meet. Then Neal Foley was a surprise winner in recording the 400 meter dash victory with a time of 55.60.

The 600-yard dash featured Ballinger, a 2007 All-American, running with teammate Sanders. Ballinger proved to be human, losing his first race of the season and finishing second to Sanders, who got out aggressively and never looked back, posting the second-fastest time (1:14.97) in the MIAC this season.

Jack Delehanty ’09 returned to action and placed second in the 800 meter run. He had been sidelined by a mild foot injury. He posted an indoor personal best time of 1:59.55.
The 1000 meter run featured a trio of runners from both Macalester and Carleton. The schools alternated finishing places with Mark Felice ’08 coming in second with his personal record time of 2:37.03. Teammates Charlie Gamble ’10 and Sam Ritter ’10 also recorded personal bests in the event.

Pole-vaulter Evan Franco ’10 remains unbeaten this year after clearing the bar at 12 feet, 7 1/2 inches.

Carleton then closed out the meet by winning its final two relays. Felice, Kennedy, Sepe and Foley banded together to win the Distance Medley Relay.

The day’s competition ended with Carleton running a dominating 4×400 meter relay, winning by nearly five seconds. After Cesarek put Carleton in the lead on the second leg, Delehanty maintained the advantage and handed to Ballinger for the anchor leg. Ballinger closed the afternoon with a 49.5 split over the final 400 meters.

Next week senior captains Sepe and Kennedy will travel to Iowa State on Fri., February 15 to run the 5000 meter at the Cyclone Classic. The rest of the team will compete at the Tostrude Classic at St Olaf on Sat., February 16.

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