Ready, set, make your mark

The men’s track and field came in second as the women’s placed sixth at the 2015 MIAC Outdoor Championships.

Senior Andrea Haus running in the Steeplechase at the MIAC Outdoor Championships on May 9, 2015.

Gino Terrell, Sports Editor

First-year Jacob Pederson handed the relay paton to junior Tom Larson and he turned on the jets to give the Pipers the lead in the men’s 4×400 Meter Relay and senior Will Warmka ran with the momentum and passed the paton to sophomore Isaac Krause, who crossed the finish line to catapult the Pipers to a win in that event as the Pipers men’s track and field team finished second overall at the 2015 MIAC Outdoor Championships.

“We finished a lot higher than we thought we were going to coming into the outdoor season,” Larson said after the meet. “We’ve been fighting all outdoor season, we were fighting all fall. We had so much perseverance throughout the season which makes this moment extra special.”

The Pipers traveled to Macalester College for their two-day MIAC Outdoor Championships meet on Friday, May 8, and Saturday, May 9. At the meet, the men’s track and field finished second and the women’s squad placed sixth.

In a week where preparation for the conference championships could have players nervous, senior jumper Jordan Steward said he was relaxed and more calm compared to previous years.

“I’ve been in each scenario enough times now where I know what I’m doing. I’m not as nervous at meets as I used to be,” Steward said.

This year at the meet his focus was on finishing in the top five for both the High Jump and Triple Jump. Last year, during the outdoor conference championships he fell short of expectations and finished seventh in the Triple Jump and did not score in the High Jump. However, those shortcomings motivated him.

“If I have a bad performance I’ll always look back and remember it,” Steward said.

After a year of hard work he set personal best in both events this year at the 2015 MIAC Outdoor Championships. He placed second in the Triple Jump and was an inch and a half away from first with a distance of 44-04. In the High Jump he tied for third for his 13.51 meter effort.

“I set PR’s [personal records] in both of my events,” Steward said after his performance. “A good way to out with a bang.”

On the women’s side, junior Carolyn Saulsberry added a few outdoor conference championship titles by winning the Triple Jump and 100 Meter Hurdles. She said what has kept her successful the past few years was not setting limitation to her abilities.

“The biggest lesson I’ve learned is don’t set limits on yourself,” Saulsberry said. “I have achieved so much in the last few years, like I never thought I’d achieve nationals and now that’s my goal.”

A week prior to the outdoor conference championships, she set a school record on the Triple Jump. At the conference championship she broke her own record by 15-inches.

Taking strides this season is something Saulsberry said she is proud of her teammates for doing.

“I have just seen a lot of people step up from where they were last year and I have seen a lot of the freshmen take on those big scoring roles,” Saulsberry said.

Senior women’s throwers Jessica Putland and Erin Urbanowicz threw for several top three finishes. Urbanowicz was second on the Discus followed by Putland who finished third and the two finished in the same slots in the Hammer. In Shot-Put, Putland finished second as Urbanowicz came in fourth.

For the men’s side, when it came to the throwers they dominated the competition.

Coming into the meet sophomore Anthony Tyler said the Pipers’ throwers would give them an edge at the meet as he thought the group would put up some points for the team.

On day one he threw for the tenth farthest distance in Division III with a 167-0 distance in the Discus Throw to place first at the meet. Two Pipers followed behind him as senior Joey Grussing came in second place and junior Pierce Heston was third.

Tyler described the throwers as “hard competitors.”

“Everybody just steps up,” Tyler said. “I [also] think we have the best coaches. Our coaches are really passionate and experienced. They know how to make us more successful.”

Tyler said his goal is to one day end up on Hamline’s record sheet.

“The ultimate goal by senior year is to beat my old coach. He’s the number two [thrower] on our all-time list,” Tyler said.

Tyler was enrolled at Forest Lake Area High School as a sophomore and performed under coach Paul Kendrick who is a Hamline alum (’83). Kendrick, who was inducted in Hamline University’s Athletics Hall of Fame in 1999, was a two-time Division III All-America in Discus and Shot-Put in 1982 and 1983. Tyler said surpassing him is one of his incentives to  improve.

“I think there’s just like an addictive drug to like getting PR’s [personal records] and doing better than the rest,” Tyler said.

Other notable finishes at the MIAC Outdoor Championships included senior Mark Volker who won his first outdoor Pole Vault title. On the track, senior Ryan Peterson finished second in the 3000 Meter Steeplechase and Larson won the 100 Meter Dash, breaking his own school record by .01 of a second with a time of 10.73 second, and he also won the 200 Meter Dash with a 22.12 second finish.

Larson said he was content with the end results for the Pipers at the conference meet.

“We finished well as a team,” Larson said. “We turned everything around. I did everything I wanted to on the track so it was a good meet.”