St. Peter, Minn. – The Gustavus Adolphus men’s and women’s indoor track and field teams are geared up to compete at the 2013 MIAC Indoor Track and Field Championships set to take place this weekend at St. Olaf College in Northfield, Minn. The meet will officially begin with the pentathlon and heptathlon competitions on Thursday, Feb. 28 at 2:00 p.m. On Friday, March 1, the remaining heptathlon events will start at 10:30 a.m. with the regular meet beginning at 2:30 p.m. The women’s weight throw and triple jump and men’s long jump will kick things off on Friday. The MIAC Championships will come to a close on Saturday, March 2, with the men’s weight throw and triple jump and the women’s long jump beginning at 11:00 a.m.
The men’s team will look to make a run at the podium after finishing fourth last season with 101 points. Blair Riegel (Jr., Lakeville, Minn.) will lead the men’s squad as the top performing Gustie from a season ago. Riegel, a seven-time All-Conference performer, will look to defend his MIAC title in the 200-meter dash. He is currently the top seed in the long jump (22-2.5), while also ranking second in the triple jump (45-5.25), third in 200-meter dash (22.78), and fourth in 60-meter dash (7.04).
Josh Owens (Sr., Brooklyn Park, Minn.) is the Black and Gold’s other returning MIAC Champion from last year. Owens will try to bring home a second straight title in the pole vault, entering the meet the top seed in the MIAC with the sixth-ranked height in the nation at 16-1.25.
Eric Jorgenson (Jr., Maple Grove, Minn.) and Ryan Obele (Jr., Le Sueur, Minn.) round out Gustavus’s top male competitors. Jorgenson, who finished runner-up in the 600-yard dash last season, is poised to make a run in both the 600 (3rd, 1:22.80) and 800-meter dash (1:56.54) this season. Obele is the top Gustie thrower, currently ranked third in the weight throw (52-3.75) and 10th in the shot put (44-6.34).
The Gustavus women’s team is aiming for the top five after last year’s seventh place finish (46 pts.). Like they’ve done all season, the Gustie throwers will likely pace the women’s team this weekend in Northfield. Gustavus has four athletes ranked in the top ten in the shot put and three athletes ranked in the top 20 in the weight throw. Rookie Hayley Solheim (Crookston, Minn.) enters her first MIAC indoor meet ranked fourth in the shot put with a mark of 42-2.75. She has finished inside the top three in the shot at every meet so far this season.
Gustavus’s premier pole vaulter the past several years, Allyson Voss (Sr., Wausau, Wis.), seeks a second consecutive crown in the event on Friday night. Voss is the top seed entering the meet with a height of 11-8.5.
On the track, Rebecca Hare (So., Albany, Minn.) will look to score points in a pair of distance races, ranking sixth in both the 3,000-meter (10:35.37) and 5,000-meter (18:27.20).
Saturday’s final event begins at 4:15 p.m., and there will be a short awards ceremony following the conclusion of the meet to honor both team champions. The top three individuals in each event and the first-place relay team will automatically earn All-Conference honors, and the fourth- through sixth-place finishers in each open event and second- through sixth-place relay teams will all be named All-Conference Honorable Mention.
The MIAC has a Web page dedicated to the event, and complete results, recaps, and multimedia coverage of the championships will be available on that site throughout the event. There will be live results available for all events courtesy of Apple Raceberry Jam and fans can also find entries and heat sheets on the MIAC’s event page as they become available.
Admission for the event is $7 for adults and $3 for students per day, with children ages 5 and under admitted free. MIAC passes will be honored. St. Olaf is offering parking for spectators in several campus lots, including H Lot, Rand Lot and Buntrock Commons. Visit St. Olaf’s event page for complete information, including parking and directions. The MIAC would like to thank St. Olaf College, its coaches, and its staff, for its efforts as the host school.