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Michigan State Indoor Track Competes at Big Ten Championships

Long, long distance crew guide Spartans on day one.

Feb. 28, 1998

EAST LANSING, Mich. - Octavis Long and the Michigan State distance crew marked the Spartan highlights on day one of the Big Ten Indoor Track and Field Championships, held in West Lafayette, Ind. Heading into day two on Sunday, MSU stands fifth, as a bevy of four schools all stand within 15 points of day one leader, Purdue.

Looking to keep his 1998 indoor short sprint undefeated streak intact, Long cruised to the finals of the 55-meter dash finals, as he posted the fastest times in the trials of the 55-dash, as he stopped the watch in 6.31 seconds. He followed that up with a 6.36 mark in the semis, winning his heat and advancing to the finals.

MSU's distance squad peppered the leaderboard during Saturday's events, as the Spartans placed three runners into Sunday's mile-run finals. Chris Wehrman (4:12.65), Ryan Taylor (4:12.73) and Eric Eichinger (4:13.27) all edged their way into the top eight and advancing to the finals. They were aided by fellow distance mates in the 3,000, as Jeff Ferrell (8:26.56) and Steve Schell (8:27.31) picked up five points between them by placing sixth and seventh, respectively. Spartan Jim Jurcevich (8:29.26) narrowly finished out of point contention, finishing ninth.

The young Spartan field event crew provided a glimpse of things to come. Current MSU pole vault record-holder, freshman Paul Terek, seized fifth with a mark of 16' 11". Fellow frosh Yakov Diner finished on his heels in sixth with a mark of 16' 7". What is promising for the Spartans is that besides Terek and Diner, the top seven finishers were either juniors or seniors. Spartan Matt Deering, also a freshman, took 12th with a vault of 15' 9".

Sophomore Okoineme Giwa-Agbomeirele seized fourth in the long jump with a bound of 23i 11 aei. Finally, Terek (sixth) and Matt Ingram (seventh) are still in contention for the conference heptathlon title, as they have tallied 2,620 and 2,509 points, respectively. The Spartans will complete the Big Ten Championships on Sunday in West Lafayette, Ind.

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