Bourbonnais, Ill. – Highlighted by great performances by juniors John Scancato (Manhattan, Ill./Lincoln-Way Central) and Daniel Spencer (Frankfort, Ill./Lincoln-Way East), the Saint Xavier University outdoor men's track team finished in third place out of the nine teams competing this past weekend at the CCAC Championships hosted by Olivet Nazarene University in Bourbonnais, Ill. The host Tigers won the meet with 287 points, while University of St. Francis (Ill.) came in second place with 152 points. The Cougars scored 106, their highest point total in the history of the meet.
Leading the way for SXU was the "Ironman" performance of Stancato, who finished second in the 100-meter dash (11.46 seconds), fifth in the 200-meter dash (23.52 seconds), fourth in the pole vault (3.20 meters), fourth in the javelin throw (41.73 meters) and anchoring both the runner-up 4x100 meter relay and the third place 4x400 meter relay teams. Spencer was another busy athlete for the Cougars this weekend winning the 110-meter high hurdles (16.83 seconds), finishing fourth in the triple jump (11.87 meters), seventh in the 400-meter intermediate hurdles (1:00.87) and eighth in the long jump (5.89 meters). There were also many point scorers during the two-day meet for the Cougars.
Senior Chris Shellenberger (Crown Point, Ind./Crown Point) nabbed a third-place finish in the javelin throw at 42.48 meters, while junior Janis Pastars (Ogre, Latvia/Cameron University) took seventh overall at 39.37 meters. Pastars also added a fifth-place finish in the 1500-meter run with a time of 4:05.51 and eighth place in the 800-meter run at 2:01.82. Senior Nick Pesek (Oak Lawn, Ill./Oak Lawn Community) capped a seventh-place finish in the 100-meter dash (11.94 seconds) and was part of the second place 4x100 meter relay team, along with Stancato, sophomore Ben Tracy (Colfax, Ill./Ridgeview) and junior Matt Krakowski (Alsip, Ill./Marist). Krakowski added a sixth-place overall finish in the 200-meter dash (23.70 seconds) and a fourth-place race in the 400-meter dash (50.83 seconds). Sophomore Rexford Wiafe (Chicago, Ill./Calumet College/Bloom) placed third in the 800-meter run (1:59.65), while senior Brian Corcoran (Chicago, Ill./Brother Rice) took fifth (2:01.08).
Wiafe and Corcoran joined Stancato and senior Shane Kenney (Chesterton, Ind./Chesterton) in taking third place in the 4x400 meter relay with a time of 3:30.54. Shellenberger, Pastars, junior Kyle Counter (New Lenox, Ill./Lincoln-Way Central) and freshman Alex Ray (Crown Point, Ind./Crown Point) placed fourth overall in the 4x800 meter relay at 8:31.75. In addition, junior Brandon Gentry (Park Forest, Ill./Rich East) placed second in the triple jump (12.65 meters), while freshman Abel Hernandez (Alsip, Ill./Shepard) finished out the Cougar scoring with a third-place finish in the 5000-meter run (15:33.68).
"Fourteen of the 17 athletes that we entered scored points for the team," said SXU men's track coach Ed McAllister. "This is as close to a perfect team performance that I can ever remember. Our guys just dug deeper again and again. I can't say enough about our overall performances. I am not going to single out any individuals this time as this was a complete team performance. The times were not great, in that all races finished into the wind, but we all ran into the same wind. It was a very good day. I could not be prouder of our guys and their performances."
Saint Xavier wraps up the regular season portion of its outdoor schedule this weekend taking part in the Dr. Keeler Invitational hosted by North Central College in Naperville, Ill. The meet takes place over two days on Thursday, May 8, and Friday, May 9.