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MEN’S TRACK: ND sends 9 to Illinois meet

John Everett | Monday, April 25, 2005

Nine members of the Irish braved the cold on Saturday to compete in the Central Collegiate Championships in Champaign, Ill., on the campus of the University of Illinois. At first the Irish were to send 20 men to the competition, but the unseasonably cold weather experienced throughout the Midwest was enough to convince the track coaches to alter their plan. The nine men whom Notre Dame chose to have compete had some pretty tough conditions to deal with, according to pole vaulter Dave Viken.”The weather was really bad, very cold and windy, which was why none of the sprinters went and very few of the distance runners,” Viken said.Of the nine men Notre Dame chose to send to the meet, five were throwers, two jumpers and two distance runners. Each of the nine performed with distinction considering the harshness of the circumstances. Chris Staron had the most impressive performance of the day, as the senior won the high jump with a jump of 1.98 meters (six feet, six inches). Dave Viken turned in a stellar performance in the pole vault, clearing 4.60 meters (15 feet, one inch). Jamal Afridi ran the 800 meters in 2:01.44. All five of the Irish throwers were impressive in the hammer throw. The quintet was led by Chip Roberts at 54.6 meters. Closely following Roberts were Kyle Annen at 53.26 meters, Garret Koxlien at 49.94 meters and Kevin Moffit at 44.24 meters. Michael Schubert contributed a throw of 39.18 meters and also put the shot 13.87 meters. The throwers appeared to thrive on the cold, as the hammer throw marks of Roberts, Annen, Koxlien and Schubert were all their best throws of the season. Viken summed up the team’s reaction to having to compete outdoors in the cold. “Considering the conditions, we feel good about our performances. With things being the way they were, I don’t think anyone could’ve expected to do better,” he said. The Irish will have to hope for warmer temperatures next weekend when the team will be sending members to Hillsdale, Mich., for the Gina Relays and to Des Moines, Iowa, for the Drake Relays.