Feb. 14, 1998
EAST LANSING, Mich.-- A strong outing by Michigan State's track and field squad landed them in fourth place at the men's Central Collegiate Championships, held Friday and Saturday in Ann Arbor.
MSU compiled 76 points over the two-day event, however Eastern Michigan came away with the title, as they racked up 172 Ohm. That was more than 72 points greater than runner-up Michigan (102). Western Michigan (89 Ohm), MSU, Central Michigan (71) and Eastern Illinois (70) rounded out the top six of the 11-team field which featured schools from around the Midwest.
The Spartans boasted three individual winners during the meet, including senior Octavis Long, who has not yet been beaten this season in the short sprints. This time Long won the 55-meter dash, as he broke the tape first in the finals in 6.37 seconds. He ran the fastest time in the event in the trials (6.40) and the semi-finals (6.41) before cruising home with the Central Collegiate crown in the 55.
Current MSU pole vault record-holder Paul Terek continued his fine freshman campaign, as he took home that event with a mark of 16-4 ae, as three Spartans placed in the top five. Fellow frosh Jake Diner (15-11) and Matt Deering (15-11) took fourth and fifth, respectively.
Joe Leo broke out strong for the Spartans in the 3,000, as he blew away the field in that event, including winning his heat by almost 17 seconds. Leois time of 8:22.34 gave him a four second advantage over the runner-up.
Lost in the shuffle of the three Spartan victors was Jim Jurcevich's effort in the 5,000, as he reached NCAA Provisional Qualifying status with a second-place finish and a time of 14:19.20. It marked the fastest time this season by a Spartan in that event, edging the old mark by almost 45 seconds. Fellow Green and White team members Chris Wehrman (14:38.58) and Matt LaFave (14:49.67) crossed the finish line fourth and fifth, respectively.
The Michigan State distance crew also picked up two more top five finishes in the mile, as Wehrman (4:14.38) and Eric Eichinger (4:15.02) grabbed the third and fifth slots, respectively. Also, sophomore Okoineme Giwa-Agbomeirele reached third place in the long jump with a bound of 23-11.