Pipers fly high in outdoor home track meet

Hamline’s track and field teams test themselves in their second meet of the outdoor season and first home meet of the year.

Rebecca Higgins, Reporter

Hamline’s track and field teams attack weakness. Moving into the outdoor season, the teams focus on being more aggressive and taking advantage of other teams’ weaknesses.

“We see the indoor season as our midterm exams and our outdoor season as our final exams,” senior thrower Ray Culp said.

The Pipers do not back away from a challenge. On Saturday Apr. 1, Hamline Outdoor Track and Field teams welcomed Division I, II and III schools to compete at the Hamline Invitational.

“The Hamline Invite was a very competitive meet,” sophomore distance runner Kathleen Miles said. “However, [we] rose to the occasion.”

The women’s outdoor team was explosive as they attacked the discus throw. Each time senior thrower Gabby Koel stepped in the throwing ring, her throws were farther and farther. Koel finished in second place for the meet, just on the heels of University of Minnesota first year Natalie Manders.

In fourth place behind Koel was teammate and first-year Jessie Juenemann with a throw of 39.21 meters. Despite fouling on her last throw, Koel remained hard to beat. 

Koel’s success did not end with discus. Carrying her energy into shot put, her farthest throw landed at 11.66 meters.

“We had a great opener. The first years got to run on their home track. Everyone got their toes wet,” Culp said. “We are all really positive about this season.”

Running on her home track led sophomore distance runner Kathleen Miles to victory. Miles sprinted the 5000 meters in 18:21:83, one minute away from the Piper’s record time of 17:12.69. With the tough competition from opposing schools, Miles finished in fifteenth place out of 63 slots.

“On the women’s side, there were several personal bests for the distance crew, such as Maddy Dopp and Holly Hankins in the 1500 meter,” Miles said. “Briana Berninghaus was the women’s top individual finisher for the women’s team, taking third in the women’s 200 meter dash.”

In the women’s 200-meter event, first-year sprinter Briana Berninghaus finished just 0.66 seconds behind the leader, Bethel (MN) first-year, Delia Labatt. Berninghaus’ time of 25.76 seconds won her third place for the 200-meters.

Berninghaus teamed up with first-year Anna Donkhong, junior Izzy Shafer and junior Dani Zwiefelhofer for Women’s 4 x 100 Relay. The four person powerhouse finished in sixth place out of 17 teams with a time of 49.78 seconds.

“There is something about the outdoor season that energizes everyone and makes them ready to compete,” Culp said.

Competing against Division I and II teams can be frightening for Division III athletes, but did not faze senior thrower Anthony Tyler. After fouling on his first throw, he regained his composure and threw the discus 47.51 meters.

That was not enough for Anthony. On his third attempt, he threw it 47.95 meters. This throw earned him first place in the event against 63 opponents and currently rates as the seventh-best throw in the nation.

“Our goal is to finish in the top three in the conference. That is always our goal,” Culp said.

Finishing in the top three may not be difficult for the team if they continue to be successful in individual events such as Men’s Shot Put. The Pipers claimed second, third, fifth and eleventh place in the event.

Junior thrower Travis Jacobson led the Pipers with a 16.88 meter throw, putting him .25 meters behind University of Minnesota junior Kieran McKeag. Third place went to Hamline junior Chase Duwenhoegger for an 16.56 meter throw. Fifth place and eleventh place was awarded to sophomores Eric Dols and Mitchell Maday.

“We have a lot more weapons outdoors than [indoors],” Culp said.

Senior Rex Gould used every weapon he had during the Men’s 110 Hurdles. Coming in at 16.14 seconds, Gould landed sixth place and finished just 24 hundredths of a second behind first place finisher St. Thomas sophomore Duncan Dahl.

Junior Jordan Grier, junior Thane Widmer, senior Isaac Krause and senior Sam Gatton joined forces for Men’s 4 x 400 Relay. All were successful individually at Hamline Invitational: Grier placed nineteenth in the 400 Meters, Widmer received sixth place in the 100 Meters, Krause earned fifth in the 800 meters and Gatton placed seventh in the 400 Hurdles.

Together, the team of four finished fourth in Men’s 4 x 400 Relay. Completing the event in 3:23:13, the Bethel frontrunners were within reach of the Pipers.

“We are really excited that the MIAC Championships are at Hamline this year,” Culp said. “The [combination] of that and our team will be great.”

The Pipers head out to La Crosse, Wisconsin on Apr. 21 for their next meet. The men’s and women’s next home meet is the Meet of the UnSaintly taking place May 5-6 on Klas Field.