Naperville, Ill. - The Saint Xavier University men's indoor track team took part in the Chicagoland Championships this past Saturday, February 15, at North Central College in Naperville, Ill., and finished with surprising results. The Cougars claimed sixth overall among the 17 teams at the meet, which was the highest team finish in program history. The Chicagoland Championships included teams from all three NCAA divisions and Saint Xavier's finish was the highest of any NAIA squad. Leading the way for the Cougars, was the surprising 1-2-3 sweep in the 1000-meter run of senior Brian Corcoran (Chicago, Ill./Brother Rice), senior Shane Kenney (Chesterton, Ind./Chesterton) and junior Janis Pastars (Ogre, Latvia/Cameron University).
Corcoran and Kenney ran NAIA national qualifying times of 2:33.22 and 2:33.58 respectively, while Pastars notched a 2:36.48. The Cougars had a long list of highlights in the meet. Among them was a fifth-place finish by junior John Stancato (Manhattan, Ill./Lincoln-Way Central) in the 60-meter run in 7.11 seconds and a fourth-place finish in the 200 meter run in 22.73 seconds. Earlier in the day, Pastars clocked a NAIA national qualifying mark in the mile run finishing fifth place in 4:17.34. Junior Matt Krakowski (Alsip, Ill./Marist) clocked a fine 51.18 in the 400-meter dash, while sophomore Rexford Wiafe (Chicago, Ill./Calumet College/Bloom) took ninth overall in the 800-meter run in a time of 1:57.93, narrowly missing the qualifying standard.
"Overall, this was the best meet that we have had as a team," said SXU men's track coach Ed McAllister. "The three qualifiers (Pastars, Corcoran and Kenney) all performed splendidly. We have three more who are very close to reaching the national qualifying standard (Wiafe, Stancato and Krakowski) and I feel that each of them have the potential to make it to Nationals as well. We have a series of 'Last Chance' meets this weekend, and I feel strongly that we will put up even better marks at them."
The Cougars wrap up the regular indoor season with a split squad this weekend, running at Grand Valley University in Allendale, Mich., on Friday, February 21, and at the University of Chicago in Chicago on Saturday, February 22. Following this weekend, all of SXU's national qualifying runners will head to Newark, Ohio, for the NAIA Indoor Track & Field National Championships from March 6-8.