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Men's Track and Field Places Ninth in Big Ten Championships

March 1, 1998

EAST LANSING, Mich. - The youthful Michigan State men's track and field squad can chalk up the 1998 Big Ten Indoor Championships to experience, as they came away from West Lafatyette, Ind., with a ninth-place finish following day two of the event on Sunday.

In what can be considered a mild upset, 21st-ranked Minnesota (108 points) seized their first-ever Big Ten crown, as the Gophers had not won it since the Championships' inception in 1911. They were followed by Wisconsin (94), Purdue (81), Illinois (80.5) and Iowa (64). Michigan, ranked sixth in the nation, placed sixth with only 62 points.

The Spartans, with 46.5 points, did not come away from the Championships with an individual victor despite strong performances from their distance crew. Ryan Taylor (4:10.67) and Chris Wehrman (4:11.45) placed fifth and sixth in the finals of the mile run, picking up a combined seven team points. Teammate Eric Eichinger took tenth with a mark of 4:31.27.

Jim Jurcevich and Steve Schell, each of whom placed in the top ten of Saturday's 3,000, made an impact in the 5,000. Jurcevich reached NCAA provisional qualifying status with a time of 14:14.85, earning him third place. Schell took sixth by crossing the finish line in 14:23.62.

Senior Octavis Long, coming into the Championships unbeaten in the short sprints during the 1998 indoor campaign, came up short in the finals in the 55-meter dash. Long placed sixth after running the dash in 6.41 seconds, .10 off his conference-leading trials time of 6.31.

MSU's distance medley relay picked up three points, as they took sixth with a time of 9:58.54. The Spartan 4x400 squad came up ninth in 3:19.75.

Paul Terek, coming off a fifth-place pole vault finish on Saturday, grabbed the same slot in the heptathlon, as he racked up a total 4,954 points during the two-day event. Fellow Spartan Matt Ingram finished in eighth with 4,366.

In other field event action, Michigan State freshman Jeff Kus leaped 6'9" in the high jump to earn seventh place.

1. Minnesota      108
2. Wisconsin       94
3. Purdue          81
4. Illinois        80.5
5. Iowa            64
6. Michigan        62
7. Indiana         59
8. Penn State      51
9. Michigan State  46.5
10. Ohio State     17

Event                 Athlete          School       Time
55-meter dash         Brian Alford     Purdue       :06.29
200-meter dash        Brian Alford     Purdue       :21.35
400-meter dash        Chris Jones      Illinois     :47.51
600-meter dash        Matt Klima       Illinois    1:18.51
800-meter run         Bobby True       Illinois    1:49.75
One mile run          Kevin Sullivan   Michigan    4:00.56
3000-meter run        Kevin Sullivan   Michigan    8:19.37
5000-meter run        John Mortimer    Michigan   14:04.30
55-meter high hurdles Dion Trowers     Iowa         :07.27
4x400 meter relay                      Illinois    3:09.97
Distance medley relay                  Illinois    9:50.73
High Jump             Staffan Strand   Minnesota     7-4.5
Long Jump             Bashir Yamini    Iowa        24-11.5
Triple Jump           Michael Turner   Purdue       52-0.5
Shot Put              Kurt Krick       Indiana      60-5.5
Pole Vault            Randy Miller     Purdue       18-0.5
Heptathlon            Benjamin Jensen  Minnesota   5,769 pts
35-lb. Weight Throw   Neal McNutt      Penn State   62-1



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