September 26, 2010

Carleton's stadium underwater

More news about: Carleton

By Ryan Coleman
d3photography.com

Laird Stadium underwater
Laird Stadium stood under feet of water on Saturday evening, casting the location of this upcoming Saturday's home game against Augsburg into doubt.
Photo by Ryan Coleman, d3photography.com

NORTHFIELD, Minn. -- As the sun rose over Carleton's picturesque campus here on Friday morning Laird Stadium was dry. But as the hours progressed, the rising water of the Cannon River spun the tables on the school's 7,500-seat football stadium.

At 7 a.m. Carleton officials would have told you that they could host a football game, if scheduled to, on Saturday afternoon. But by 9 a.m. an email went out to players on the football team to come down and empty out the locker room. An hour later there was a foot-and-a-half of water on the field, and it was rising fast. 

Southern Minnesota was hit with a monsoon of storms, many local meteorologists likened its arrival as to many winter storms that often hit the state. But this occurred during the warm month of September, not December or January as they often do. If this storm had struck the region in the winter months it could have packed a crippling amount of snow ranging from 30 inches in the Twin Cities to over 100 inches in Amboy, Minn., midway between Mankato (home to Bethany Lutheran and nearby to Gustavus Adolphus and Martin Luther) and Interstate 90.

But the 73-year old Laird Stadium isn't the only victim to Carleton athletics. Next to the field is the West Gym, home to basketball, volleyball and swimming. By 4 p.m. Saturday the basement had "about 3.5 feet of water," said Sports Information Director Dave Pape. "I didn't have hip-waders on, so that's just an estimate."

The sump pumps were shut off as they just were unable to keep up with the amount of water coming in through the foundation. The basement, a full level below the gymnasium floor, has been used primarily for storage of equipment and is the home to the filter and pumps for the natatorium. Pape added that there may have been some loss of historical archives, but he was not sure to what extent.

Student-athletes had been helping take as much out as they could that was not already lost to the rising water. He is confident that the water will not rise high enough to reach the gymnasium floor -- a situation, should it occur, could very well be devastating to Carleton hosting any more home events in volleyball or basketball.

And past the gym, a little further upstream is the football and men's soccer practice field. In the middle of that field sits a regulation soccer goal, with all but the last foot of the eight-foot tall frame underwater. (Soccer is played on a field across campus, on higher ground.)

Carleton's practice field
Carleton's practice field is on the other side of the gymnasium, on lower ground.
Photo by Ryan Coleman, d3photography.com

Three bridges that directly connect the campus to the western part of town, where fellow Division III school St. Olaf sits on much higher ground, have been closed by the National Guard. The city has declared a state of emergency and Division Street (which runs along the side of Laird Stadium, the West Gym and the practice field) is open only to campus traffic and is closed beyond the library parking lot. Laird also has 22 dorm rooms nearby, with 30 students living in them. They have been evacuated, although their living arrangements were unclear.

Former athletic director Leon Lunder, a Northfield resident since 1950, told Pape that he has never seen water reach Laird Stadium before.

But what does this leave Carleton with? They have their homecoming scheduled next Saturday against Augsburg at 1 p.m.. School president Steven Poskanzer is insistent that Laird Stadium will host homecoming on time but athletic director Gerald Young told WCCO-TV on Saturday that may not happen.

"I think it's a long shot. That's why at the beginning of the week we are going to look at what some of the other options of what we have to do. We would love to get out here for homecoming, but I think it's a real long shot."

On Monday it became official: Although the water had receded by about two feet already, the game against Augsburg was moved to Northfield High School's Memorial Field with a 1 p.m. kickoff. 

Contributing: Larry Radloff, d3photography.com

Sep. 23: All times Eastern
Final
at Bridgewater State 34, Fitchburg State 25
Box Score
Sep. 24: All times Eastern
Final
Christopher Newport 17, at TCNJ 0
Final
at Hobart 27, Union 23
Box Score Recap
Final
at Thomas More 20, Carnegie Mellon 16
Box Score Recap
Final
at Massachusetts Maritime 32, Worcester State 14
Box Score Recap
Final
at Endicott 37, Nichols 0
Box Score
Final
MIT 30, at Maine Maritime 13
Box Score
Final
at Buffalo State 40, Morrisville State 24
Box Score Recap
Final
at Salve Regina 48, Coast Guard 10
Box Score
Final
St. Lawrence 20, at RPI 14
Box Score Recap
Final
at Framingham State 23, Western Connecticut 17
Box Score
Final
at Montclair State 21, Rowan 14
Box Score
Final
at Stevenson 54, FDU-Florham 15
Box Score Recap
Final
at Trinity (Conn.) 38, Bates 7
Box Score Recap Photos
Final
at Western New England 59, Curry 28
Box Score
Final
at Utica 24, Cortland 13
Box Score Recap Recap
Final
Colby 9, at Williams 7
Box Score Photos
Final
at Middlebury 40, Bowdoin 3
Box Score
Final
at Amherst 34, Hamilton 0
Box Score
Final
Kean 24, at William Paterson 13
Box Score Recap
Final
at DePauw 66, Hiram 17
Box Score Recap
Final
Franklin and Marshall 45, at Juniata 22
Box Score
Final
at Kenyon 31, Allegheny 7
Box Score
Final
Salisbury 35, at Southern Virginia 0
Box Score
Final
Albright 20, at Delaware Valley 17
Box Score Recap
Final
Lycoming 28, at Misericordia 24
Box Score
Final
at Plymouth State 30, Mass-Dartmouth 14
Box Score
Final
at Husson 35, Alfred State 0
Box Score
Final
at Springfield 28, WPI 23
Box Score Recap
Final
at Moravian 24, Dickinson 10
Box Score Recap Photos
Final
at Denison 45, Wooster 7
Box Score Recap Photos
Final
at Wittenberg 24, Wabash 14
Box Score
Final
at St. Vincent 57, Grove City 32
Box Score Recap
Final
at Susquehanna 55, Gettysburg 40
Box Score Recap Photos
Final
at King's 21, Lebanon Valley 17
Box Score Recap
Final
at Alfred 20, Ithaca 6
Box Score Recap
Final
at Widener 25, Wilkes 23
Final
at McDaniel 30, Ursinus 27
Box Score Recap
Final
at Muskingum 28, Marietta 10
Box Score Photos
Final
at Minnesota-Morris 28, Iowa Wesleyan 27
Final
at John Carroll 42, Heidelberg 14
Box Score
Final
Ohio Northern 16, at Otterbein 10
Box Score Photos
Final
Case Western Reserve 35, at Waynesburg 7
Box Score
Final
at Franklin 44, Bluffton 38
Box Score Recap
Final
Rose-Hulman 23, at Defiance 15
Box Score
Final
at Centre 49, Chicago 27
Box Score
Final
at Mount St. Joseph 38, Manchester 19
Box Score Recap
Final
Hanover 49, at Anderson 25
Box Score
Final
at Merchant Marine 55, Rochester 7
Box Score
Final
Johns Hopkins 30, at Muhlenberg 24
Box Score Recap
Final
Concordia-Chicago 42, at Maranatha Baptist 10
Box Score Photos
Final
Washington U. 36, at Birmingham-Southern 21
Box Score Recap Photos
Final
UW-Platteville 56, at Lakeland 0
Box Score
Final
at Northwestern (Minn.) 38, Martin Luther 20
Box Score
Final
at Eureka 28, MacMurray 13
Box Score
Final
at Westminster (Mo.) 35, Greenville 14
Box Score
Final
Dubuque 30, at Luther 17
Box Score Recap
Final
Monmouth 52, at Lake Forest 6
Box Score Photos
Final
St. Thomas 33, at St. John's 21
Box Score Recap Photos
Final
at Augsburg 49, Carleton 17
Box Score Photos
Final
Bethel 44, at St. Olaf 7
Box Score
Final
at Hamline 42, Gustavus Adolphus 40
Box Score Recap
Final
at UW-Whitewater 35, Morningside 21
Box Score Recap
Final
at Hardin-Simmons 48, Texas Lutheran 38
Box Score Photos
Final
at UW-River Falls 42, Southwestern 22
Box Score
Final
Simpson 17, at Buena Vista 9
Box Score
Final
at St. Scholastica 49, Crown 13
Box Score Recap
Final
Cornell 46, at Beloit 41
Box Score
Final
at Carthage 27, Augustana 24
Final
Coe 48, at Nebraska Wesleyan 17
Box Score Recap
Final
at Wartburg 56, Finlandia 0
Box Score
Final
at Wheaton (Ill.) 10, Elmhurst 6
Final
Hendrix 42, at Millsaps 14
Box Score
Final
Illinois Wesleyan 45, at North Park 10
Final
at Macalester 34, Grinnell 0
Box Score
Final
at Ripon 33, Knox 19
Final
Illinois College 40, at Lawrence 15
Final
UW-Oshkosh 77, at Morthland College (Ill.) 0
Box Score
Final
Central 42, at Loras 34
Box Score Recap
Final
at Geneva 35, Thiel 27
Final
UW-Eau Claire 40, at Wisconsin Lutheran 14
Box Score
Final
St. John Fisher 42, at Brockport 38
Box Score Recap
Final
UW-Stevens Point 44, at Adrian 19
Box Score
Final
UW-La Crosse 41, at Carroll 7
Box Score Recap Photos
Final
at Berry 41, Sewanee 3
Box Score Recap Recap
Final
Westminster (Pa.) 38, at Bethany 9
Final
Ohio Wesleyan 29, at Oberlin 16
Box Score
Final
at Tufts 17, Wesleyan 14
Box Score Recap Photos
Final
Mount Union 49, at Baldwin Wallace 7
Box Score Recap
Final
at Capital 35, Wilmington 21
Box Score
Final
at Southwestern Assemblies 23, Austin 17
Photos
Cancelled
Langston at McMurry
Video Live Stats
Final
at North Central (Ill.) 42, Millikin 7
Box Score Recap
Final
at Chapman 19, Trinity (Texas) 17
Box Score Recap
Sep. 24: All times Eastern
Final
at Thomas More 20, Carnegie Mellon 16
Box Score Recap
Final
at Hobart 27, Union 23
Box Score Recap
Final
Christopher Newport 17, at TCNJ 0
Final
at Wittenberg 24, Wabash 14
Box Score
Final
Salisbury 35, at Southern Virginia 0
Box Score
Final
Albright 20, at Delaware Valley 17
Box Score Recap
Final
at Utica 24, Cortland 13
Box Score Recap Recap
Final
at Stevenson 54, FDU-Florham 15
Box Score Recap
Final
at Franklin 44, Bluffton 38
Box Score Recap
Final
Johns Hopkins 30, at Muhlenberg 24
Box Score Recap
Final
St. Thomas 33, at St. John's 21
Box Score Recap Photos
Final
at UW-Whitewater 35, Morningside 21
Box Score Recap
Final
at Hardin-Simmons 48, Texas Lutheran 38
Box Score Photos
Final
at Wheaton (Ill.) 10, Elmhurst 6
Final
UW-Platteville 56, at Lakeland 0
Box Score
Final
UW-Oshkosh 77, at Morthland College (Ill.) 0
Box Score
Final
Central 42, at Loras 34
Box Score Recap
Final
St. John Fisher 42, at Brockport 38
Box Score Recap
Final
Mount Union 49, at Baldwin Wallace 7
Box Score Recap
Final
at North Central (Ill.) 42, Millikin 7
Box Score Recap