Pipers have field day at Hamline Invitational

Sophomore Ollie Engstrom vaults up into a top ten finish in the men’s pole vaulting event.
Sophomore Ollie Engstrom vaults up into a top ten finish in the men’s pole vaulting event.
Lucy Ehlers

This past Saturday, Hamline welcomed over 20 colleges from around the Midwest to compete in their first outdoor event of the year. Last year, the meet was canceled due to an overwhelming snowstorm and sadly was not rescheduled.
“We always perform better when we’re on campus,” Throws Coach Josh Blaschko said. “When we get outside, we have one of the best tracks in the state, so we love competing here.”
The home field advantage paid off big time for the Piper discus group, holding the top four spots on the podium. Senior Madison Reed earned the first place finish with a throw of 38.90 meters. Junior Lexi Brainer, junior Jade Hunt and sophomore Desirae Dates followed close behind her in a dominant display from the group.
Fifth-year senior Molly Meyers also had a good showing. The MIAC indoor champion finished second in the shot put with a toss of 12.73 meters. Dates also had a strong showing in shot put, finishing in 6th at the meet.
The pole-vaulting group saw two top-10 finishers in Bria Luepke and Grace Hatcher, with Lucy Ehlers (Oracle staff member) and Lizzie Green shortly behind in 11 and 14 place.
Junior Reece Thomas finished fourth in the 200 meter dash which continued to be a trend for the program as Michael Braun saw himself finish fourth in the high-jump. Another notable performance from the boys side was sophomore Oliver Engstrom, who finished seventh in pole vaulting.
Senior Andreiana Aurelius cracked into the top ten for the 200 meter event, finishing within two seconds after first place.
“When we’re at home we can really show how good we are,” Aurelius said. “Just knowing you have the whole team there with you at your home track and the red, black and gray, it just gets you going.”

A herd of runners fly down the track at Klas Field last weekend during the Hamline Invitational, an event that took place for the first time since 2022. (Lucy Ehlers)

The meet was one of the best performances on the women’s side of the program since a first place finish in the indoor season down in Decorah, Iowa.
“We knew that we had good things coming for us,” Aurelius said. “To see that [victory] was really cool and we definitely got closer as a team.”
Following the end of the indoor season, both sides of the program had some much needed time off from competition. However, the intensity did not skip a beat as the Pipers used their short sabbatical to hit the ground running for the outdoor season.
“[We used] that time to revitalize a little bit,” head coach Vaughn Tackmann said. “A good chunk of our team went on our spring break training trip to Los Angeles.”
The trip welcomed a meet in Redlands, CA, where some of the Piper track stars got to compete in an entirely new atmosphere.
“We had some PRs that were really fun to see, and I think being in that environment really pumped everybody up,” Aurelius said.
Following the spring break trip and Hamline invitational, the Pipers will have a total of eight meets before riding off into the sunset. This final stretch will include two more meets on campus, including this year’s MIAC outdoor championship on May 10-11.

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