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Public Record for Saturday, May 12, 2001
Public Record for Saturday, May 12, 2001

World-class sprinter Francis Obikwelu blazes the field in his first meet since the Sydney Olympics

For Francis Obikuelu, it was "like I was back home in Nigeria in school meets and stuff."

One of world's fastest sprinters made an appearance in Missoula on Friday - for free - and ran to his heart's content at the University of Montana's Tom Gage Classic.

Obikuelu raced four times for the Calgary International Track Club, whose coach John Cannon is helping him get back in shape after reconstructive knee surgery last November.

Obikuelu set no records, but came close to longstanding stadium marks in the 100 and 200 on a sticky hot afternoon and evening.

"I'm having fun. It's a relaxing meet and I love it," said the towering, affable Nigerian, who has earned $300,000 a year the past three years as an elite sprinter based in Lisbon, Portugal, and running for Sporting Club of Portugal.

"I came down to run with friends so it doesn't matter."

It was Obikuelu's first competition since he injured a knee in the second round of the Sydney Olympics last summer. But there really wasn't much competition.

He blew the field away each time, punctuating the day with a sizzling 400-meter leg of 47.4 seconds in the metric mile relay. His 100 time of 10.35 seconds narrowly missed the Dornblaser record of 10.32 established by UM's Marcus Mial in 1982.

Obikuelu gobbled up the corner in the 200 and won by a good 10 yards - even though runner-up Seth Morris of Montana State ran a perfectly respectable 21.80. Obikuelu, a bronze medalist in the 200 in the 1999 World Championships, stopped the clock in 20.88. The stadium record is 20.72. Obikuelu has run 19.84.

The knee, reconstructed in Toronto in November, was "a little bit painful, but it's getting better," Obikuelu said.

The injury was a bitter pill. Obikuelu, at age 22, had run 100 meters in 9.97, 9.98 and 10.0 seconds in the months leading up to the Olympics, marks that had him near the top of the world rankings.

"It was a bad experience for me. I was one of the youngest in the Olympics, and I was trying to make history to be the youngest of any finalist," he said.

Obikuelu left Nigeria in 1994 and has lived in Portugal since. He's not long for Northern America.

"I'll be going back to Lisbon on Wednesday. I have a couple of races to run next Saturday," he said.

Calgary International's other potential record-breaker, Atia Weekes, was beaten in the women's 100 by Montana State's Lacey Hinzpeter, the Big Sky leader in the event. Weekes, who set the Dornblaser Field mark in the 200 in 1997 at age 17, also underwent knee surgery late last fall.

Hers was even more major, Cannon said, who predicted Weekes would still make the Canadian national team.

Cannon also brought along his youngest sprinting prodigy. Kenerhie Peart finished third in both the women's 100 and 200, though she wasn't at her best. Peart, 14, set Calgary junior high records in the 100 and 300 at the city meet on Wednesday.

"She's a little bit sore," Cannon said.

The meet was a last-chance qualifier for many athletes from Montana, Montana State and Eastern Washington before next week's Big Sky Conference championships.

Grizzly freshman Dan Casey cleared a lifetime best 6 feet, 10 inches in the high jump and barely missed on his third attempt at 7 feet. Only two Big Sky jumpers have gone higher than 6-10 this season.

"I think I can 7 feet at conference," said Casey. "That's my goal, at least."

Five events were won by current or former UM athletes who won't go to the Big Sky meet.

Redshirt Renee Dunn captured the long jump and triple jump with outstanding marks - 19-1 þ in the former, 39-9 þ in the latter. Another redshirt, Suzanne Krings, didn't pole vault but she cleared 5-6 þ to win the women's high jump. Only three women in the Big Sky have jumped higher this spring.

Ex-Grizzly jumper Louis Patrick, competing unattached, won the long jump with a best of 23-4þ.

Emily Alspaugh, a former state sprint champion for Missoula Hellgate who went through an asthma-wracked freshman season at UM, showed up in her hometown in the uniform of the Community Colleges of Spokane and ran a lifetime best time of 55.61 to claim the women's 400.

"My goal for life is 55.5," said Alspaugh, who was considering retiring from track before Friday's race. "I always said if I can get a 55.5, I'll be happy and that'll be it. I'm still not there, so I guess I'll have to keep running."

Montana's Heather Anderson, pegged to run a half or so of the 5,000 to help pace other runners and train for the 10,000 at the Big Sky championships, finished the race - twice. Confusion in the lap count caused Anderson to stop a lap early. She grabbed a cup of water before it was pointed out there was another 400 meters to go. Anderson, a senior, resumed the race but missed a Big Sky qualifying time by less than five seconds.

The Big Sky championships in Pocatello, Idaho, open on Wednesday and Thursday with the decathlon and heptathlon. The meet proper is Friday and Saturday.

Participating teams: Calgary International Track Club, Community Colleges of Spokane, Eastern Washington University, Lethbridge Community College, Montana State University, University of Montana.

MEN

100 - 1, Francis Obikuelu, CITC, 10.35; 2, Lamonte Bell, MSU, 10.83; 3, Pat Ray, CCS, 11.03; 4, McDougal, CITC, 11.08; 5, Cedar Gray, EWU, 11.25; 6, Matt Miller, unatt., 11.26.

200 - 1, Francis Obikuelu, CITC, 20.88; 2, Seth Morris, MSU, 21.80; 3, Lamonte Bell, MSU, 22.21; 4, McDougal, CITC, 22.30; 5, Matt Miller, unatt., 22.62; 6, Jimmy Gladden, UM, 22.87.

400 - 1, Darren Clarke, CITC, 47.75; 2, David Stoddard, EWU, 48.15; 3, Michael Manuel, CITC, 48.72; 4, Miles Mason, MSU, 49.54; 5, Arie Grey, MSU, 49.87; 6, Seth Morris, MSU, 50.37.

800 - 1, Alex Frank, MSU, 1:52.84; 2, Justin Reynolds, UM, 1:54.45; 3, Nicholas Green, MSU, 1:54.62; 4, Jeff Hastings, LCC, 1:54.64; 5, Ned Miller, unatt., 1:55.29; 6, Matt Jensen, UM, 1:57.49.

1,500 - 1, Casey Jermyn, MSU, 3:56.40; 2, Lawrence Lobalu, CITC, 3:59.44; 3, Jonathan Gibson, MSU, 4:01.61; 4, Patrick Valisto, EWU, 4:07.41; 5, Jeremy Wolf, MSU, 4:08.10; 6, Chris Tobinson, UM, 4:09.37.

3,000 steeplechase - 1, Matt Ker, EWU, 9:59.18; 2, Steven Viola, Lethbridge Kodiak TC, 10:09.48; 3, David McNeill, CCS, 10:14.63; 4, Peter Tel, CCS, 10:27.45.

5,000 - 1, Lyle Weese, MSU, 15:29.55; 2, Lawrence Lobalu, CITC, 15:35.53; 3, Jason Schlarb, unatt., 15:44.06; 4, Matt Cowe, unatt., 15:52.44; 5, Ben Rush, FVCC, 15:55.96; 6, Sean McLachlen, CCS, 16:00.42.

110 hurdles - 1, Charlie Thomas, UM, 14.99; 2, Kendel Beckles, CITC, 15.00; 3, Michael Morrison, CCS, 15.25; 4, Kelly Simpson, UM, 15.66; 5, Kevin Safrin, CCS, 15.96; 6, Pete Svennungsen, CCS, 16.43.

400 hurdles - 1, David Stoddard, EWU, 53.48; 2, Charlie Thomas, UM, 54.27; 3, Josh Hall, EWU, 55.63; 5, David Shanks, CITC, 57.73; 6, Michael Morrison, CCS, 59.15.

400 relay - 1, Montana 43.22.

1,600 relay - 1, Calgary International Track Club 3:18.94; 2, Montana State 3:29.78; 3, CC Spokane 3:30.15; 4, CC Spokane B 3:32.20.

Javelin - 1, Larry Steinke, Chinook T&F Club, 228-6 þ (stadium record; old mark 226-2, Geoff Dolan, Chinook T&F Club, 1997); 2, Doug Lefler, UM, 204-9Þ; 3, Bob Finnegan, UM, 190-4.; 4, F. Schwab, unatt, 184-4 þ; 5, Todd Coryell, MSU, 178-5; 6, Eugene Graff, unatt., 173-8..

Shot put - 1, Jay Martell, EWU, 55-7Þ; 2, Blake Jackson, unatt., 55-5 þ; 3, Chris Hutton, MSU, 52-6Þ; 4, Mike Oien, EWU, 48-7 Þ; 5, Pete Hamilton, UM, 48-4þ; 6, Bryan Anderson, UM, 46-10..

Discus - 1, Mike Oien, EWU, 170-5 þ; 2, Jay Martell, EWU, 167-9Þ; 3, Shaun Ross, MSU, 163-9 Þ; 4, Chris Hutton, MSU, 160-3þ; 5, Blake Jackson, unatt., 160-3þ; 6, Brandon Hunt, EWU, 155-4þ.

Hammer - 1, Chris Hutton, MSU, 196- Þ; 2, Zach Jones, MSU, 196-0; 3, Ted Cordeiro, unatt., 174-5 þ; 4, Blake jackson, unatt., 163-2; 5, Blaine Roberts, MSU, 163-1 Þ; 6, Jim Steacy, Chinook T&F, 161-4 ..

High jump - 1, Dan Casey, UM, 6-10; 2, Cameron Summers, CCS, 6-6; 3, Keller Biggar, CCS, 6-4; 4, Travis Handl, MSU, 6-4; 5, Pete Svennungsen, CCS, 6-2 .; 6, Ben Borgen, UM, 6-2..

Long jump - 1, Louis Patrick, unatt., 23-4 þ; 2, Trevor Gunlock, UM, 22-7; 3, Devion Tensley, CCS, 22-1/4; 4, Chris Ripley, Chinook T&F, 21-10 þ; 5, Carl Newell, MSU, 21-7 .; 6, Kellen Biggar, unatt., 21-2.

Triple jump - 1, Orlando Clay, CCS, 47-2.; 2, Trevor Gunlock, UM, 47-2 .; 3, Marc McGree, unatt., 46-11; 4, Brad Groh, EWU, 45-3 Þ; 5, Devion Tensley, unatt., 44-2 Þ; 6, Barry Smith, Chinook T&F, 42-1 þ.

Pole vault - 1, Shane Anderson, MSU, 14-10; 2, Ross Martin, Utah State, 14-4 .; 3, Bryan Anderson, UM, 13-10..

WOMEN

100 - 1, Lacy Hinzpeter, MSU, 11.94; 2, Atie Weekes, CITC, 12.02; 3, Kenerhie Peart, CITC, 12.29; 4, Lisa Svaleson, MSU, 12.57; 5, Amy Nickerson, CCS, 12.71; 6, Brandy Tierney, EWU, 12.83.

200 - 1, Lacy Hinzpeter, MSU, 24.34; 2, Carrie Damschen, MSU, 24.62; 3, Kenerhie Peart, CITC, 25.26; 4, Andrea Huntley, UM, 25.29; 5, Emily Alspaugh, CCS, 25.31; 6 (tie), Amy Barrett, CITC, and Siob Stewart-Everson, MSU, 25.54.

400 - 1, Emily Alspaugh, CCS, 55.61; 2, Amy Barnett, CITC, 56.23; 3, Andy Garretta, UM, 57.49; 4, Laura Bennett, MSU, 57.76; 5, Laura Hildebrandt, LCSU, 62.61; 6, Kristine Larson, EWU, 63.72.

800 - 1, Jaime Miller, UM, 2:16.90; 2, Erika Abrahamsen, MSU, 2:18.30; 3, Keri Nichols, EWU, 2:22.99; 4, Lusha Alzner, MSU, 2:29.15; 5, Lauren Wright, LCSU, 2:34.09.

1,500 - 1, Laura Blount, MSU, 4:43.02; 2, Lauren Keithly, UM, 4:45. 23; 3, Ariana Lee, MSU, 4:45.56; 4, Stacey Tangren, Unatt., 4:46.55; 5, Katie Kneeshaw, UM, 4:47.81; 6, Jennifer Draughon, Unatt., 4:48.89.

3,000 steeplechase - 1, Carrie Gebhardt, UM, 11:53.07; 2, Sierra Kuethe, Unatt., 12:40.68.

5,000 - 1, Heather Anderson, UM, 18:04.32; 2, Amy Norden, MSU, 18:22.13; 3, Alice Loebsack, CCS, 19:58.65; 4, Lisa Paxton, LCSU, 20:31.43; 5, Jessika Sill, CCS, 20:42.04.

100 hurdles - 1, Lisa Svaleson, MSU, 14.23; 2, Carrie Damschen, MSU, 14.66; 3, Suzanne Krings, Unatt., 14.95; 4, Carla Breuer, UM, 15.17; 5, Carmen Blahey, CITC, 16.55; 6, Jenny Hansberry, CCS, 16.66.

400 hurdles - 1, Jenny Hansberry, CCS, 69.49; 2, Carmen Blahey, CITC, 72.36.

400 relay - 1, Calgary International 47.27; 2, Montana State 47.84; 3, CC Spokane 48.07; 4, Montana 49.07.

1,600 relay - 1, Eastern Washington 4:04.33.

Javelin - 1, Wendy Lambott, MSU, 139-9.; 2, Laine Botchek, UM, 127-2; 3, Jamie Slyder, UM, 123-7Þ; 4, Jen Stearnes, UM, 122-7þ; 5, Jacqui Coryell, MSU, 119-5.; 6, Chris Chively, CCS, 118-þ.

Shot put - 1, Jennifer Allen, MSU, 46-10þ; 2, Jamie Slyder, UM, 46-4Þ; 3, Katie Jacobson, EWU, 42-8; 4, Laine Botchek, UM, 42-3.; 5, Julie Nielson, EWU, 41-2Þ; 6, Chrissy McKinstry, MSU, 38-10..

Discus - 1, Jennifer Allen, MSU, 156-7þ; 2, Chrissy McKinstry, MSU, 155-0; 3, Jamie Slyder, UM, 139-1Þ; 4, Julie Nelson, EWU, 129-3.; 5, Cassie Rosette, CCS, 114-6.; 6, Brittany Holt, EWU, 113-4.

Hammer throw - 1, Jennifer Allen, MSU, 186-8; 2, Carla Pavan, CTF, 180-7þ; 3, Chrissy McKinstry, MSU, 178-2.; 4, Patt Steinke-Pilsner, CTF, 177-Þ; 5, Rebekah Mussetter, MSU, 158-1þ; 6, Jamie Martin, EWU, 152-2.

High jump - 1, Suzanne Krings, Unatt., 5-6þ; 2, Anne Sheehy, UM, 5-4þ; 3, Rachel Johnson, CCS, 5-þ; 4, Crystal Gerky, CCS, 5-þ; 5, Kim Freeman, MSU, 5-þ.

Long jump - 1, Renee Dunn, Unatt., 19-1þ; 2, Lacy Hinzpeter, MSU, 18-8Þ; 3, Anne Beecher, CITC, 18-3þ; 4, Amy Lyngstad, UM, 18-1þ; 5, Cortney Ellis, MSU, 17-10þ; 6, Joni Matthews, Unatt., 17-6.

Triple jump - 1, Renee Dunn, Unatt., 39-9þ; 2, Amy Lyngstad, UM, 37-7þ; 3, Joni Matthews, Unatt., 37-7.; 4, Anne Beecher, CITC, 37-5; 5, Rachel Johnson, CCS, 37-3þ; 6, Anne Sheehy, UM, 36-2þ.

Pole vault - 1, Shannon Agee, MSU, 11-11; 2 , Michelle Tronstad, MSU, 11-11; 3, Cortney Ellis, MSU, 11-11; 4, Dani Schwartzenberg, MSU, 10-11.; 5, Tara Hurbert, EWU, 10-5.; 6, Nicole Zeller, UM, 10-5..

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