CHICAGO - The 2014 Saint Xavier University men's indoor track team split up its squad this past weekend for the final tests before the 2014 NAIA Indoor Track & Field National Championships, which begins on Thursday, March 6. A portion of the team traveled to Allendale, Mich., to compete at the Grand Valley State University Tune-Up. One of the key highlights from this meet included junior Janis Pastars (Ogre, Latvia/Cameron University) qualifying for the national meet in the 3000-meter run with an outstanding "A" standard qualifying time of 8:39.7.
In addition, sophomore Rexford Wiafe (Chicago, Ill./Calumet College/Bloom) narrowly missed qualifying in the 800-meter run in 1:56.83, a mere .18 seconds off the qualifying mark, and junior John Stancato (Manhattan, Ill./Lincoln-Way Central) running a fine 60-meter and 200-meter double in times of 7.16 and 22.53, respectively. The remaining members of the squad competed at the Margaret Bradley Invitational hosted by University of Chicago on Saturday, February 22, with similar results. Freshman Abel Hernandez (Alsip, Ill./Shepard) won the 5000-meter run with a fine time of 15:38, while junior Brandon Gentry (Park Forest, Ill./Rich East) took a fourth place finish in the triple jump with a distance of 12.49 meters. Overall, SXU head men's track coach Ed McAllister was satisfied.
"I feel very bad that Rex missed the qualifying mark in the 800," said McAllister. "He has worked extremely hard and deserved to make it to Nationals. Janis keeps getting stronger with each race and Abel showed that he is well on the way to making a mark for himself in the future."
The Cougars are off this weekend and send their national qualifiers to Geneva, Ohio, to compete in the NAIA National Championships in early March. The group includes seniors Brian Corcoran and Shane Kenney in the 1,000-meter run and Pastars in the indoor mile.