Men's Track and Field Places Ninth in Big Ten Championships
Youthful Spartans earn valuable experience.
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.
1998 BIG TEN INDOOR CHAMPIONSHIP STANDINGS 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