Romeoville, Ill. – Led by record-setting performances by junior Janis Pastars (Ogre, Latvia/Cameron University) and freshman Abel Hernandez (Alsip, Ill./Shepard), the Saint Xavier University men's track team performed well at the Chicagoland Championships hosted by Lewis University (Ill.) on Friday and Saturday, April 11-12. This meet brings the top teams from around the Chicagoland area and includes NCAA and NAIA institutions as well as community colleges. The Cougars performed well over the two-day meet with a number of highlights. On Friday, Pastars took third place overall in the 5000-meter run with a NAIA National Championship qualifying time of 14:56. Later that evening, Hernandez won the program's first outdoor Chicagoland Championships title by taking first in the 10,000-meter run in 31:47. Both of these performances established new SXU records.
Saturday started out just as well with junior Brandon Gentry (Park Forest, Ill./Rich East) finishing 11th overall in the triple jump with a mark of 41' 8" and junior John Stancato (Manhattan, Ill./Lincoln-Way Central) qualifying for the 100-meter final in 10.97. Tragedy struck as Stancato suffered an injury in the 100 and was unable to compete for the remainder of the day. Other highlights from Saturday included a fifth and sixth place finish in the 800-meter run by sophomore Rexford Wiafe (Chicago, Ill./Calumet College/Bloom) and senior Brian Corcoran (Chicago, Ill./Brother Rice) in times of 2:00 and 2:01 followed by a 10th place finish overall in the 400-meter intermediate hurdles by junior Daniel Spencer (Frankfort, Ill./Lincoln-Way East). Saint Xavier University men's track coach Ed McAllister was quite satisfied with the overall performances by his team.
"Janis ran very well in an event that is not his strongest," said McAllister. "He is a 1500 runner, so this run was very solid. However, Abel surprised everyone, not only with his race performance, but the poise shown by a freshman in his first ever 10000. The conditions were very different Friday to Saturday and the wind gusts slowed down the times on Saturday significantly. Brian and Rex ran good races despite the weather-impeded times, but finally we hope that the injury to Stancato is not a season-ending one. He was running extremely well and it will be a 'wait and see' as to extent of the injury."
Saint Xavier is off this weekend and will not compete again until Thursday, April 24, at the Eagle Twilight Invitational hosted by Benedictine University (Ill.) in Lisle, Ill., and Friday, April 25, at the Gina Relays at Hillsdale College (Mich.) in Hillsdale, Mich.