They haven't run a race or thrown a heavy object yet. But the HU men's Track and Field team already has the attention of the coaches. The USTCCA preseason poll for Division III teams lists the Pipers as 13th in the country, one slot behind MIAC rival St. Thomas. (They are the only two MIAC teams mentioned in the poll.)
A year ago, the Pipers were a close second in the MIAC Indoor meet, nearly ending the Tommies' 27-year stranglehold on the Indoor title. HU ended up just eights points back, losing 166-158.. The 2012 team returns many top competitors from that contingent, including Jack Deichert, who won the Mile Run, was third in the 3000 Meter race and was part (along with returnee Colin Rogers) of the winning Distance Medley team; speedster D.J. Weil. who was part of winning 800-Meter Relay team and finished second in the 400 Meter Individual race as well with the 4 x 400 relay team; and strongmen Jordan Schlicting and Brendan McKeag, who finished 2-3 in the Weight Throw competition.
The Pipers drew individual plaudits as well.
McKeag, who threw a shot put 56-3 1/4 (and was fourth in the NCAA meet), starts the year out ranked No. 2 in the country. Schlichting's effort of 60-11 1/4 places him 7th at the start of the news season. McKeag's effort of 59-8 1/4 places him 10th. Deichert's time of 4:14.72 ranks as No. 17 in the country in the preseason poll in the Mile.
The Pipers get to stretch their legs in competition when a select group heads to th U of Minnesota Saturday for an open individual competition. The entire team gets down to full-scale business on January 21 when they participate in a triangular meet at St. Olaf.
The team and individual preseason rankings are linkedhere.