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Pupil Leads Teacher at Drake Relays

April 21, 1999

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) _ Kip Janvrin must be doing a good job coaching Kamau Sullivan. Maybe too good.

Sullivan recorded his best score ever on opening day in taking a nine-point lead over Janvrin at the halfway point of the Drake Relays decathlon on Wednesday.

Turning in personal bests in each of the five events, Sullivan compiled 3,927 points to lead the 11-man field. Janvrin, seeking his 10th Drake decathlon championship, was second with 3,918.

``He had a great day,″ said Janvrin, a coach at Central Missouri. ``He’s very talented, but we’ve kind of butted heads about the way to do things sometimes. He’s really shown his maturity. He’s ready to compete.″

Alcorn State’s Millicent Sylvan, competing at Drake for the first time, led the heptathlon with 3,168 points. Wichita State’s Mellanee Welty was second with 3,155.

Sullivan, 29, is in his fourth year as a decathlete. He moved to Warrensburg, Mo., a year ago specifically to train under Janvrin, who has topped the 8,000-point barrier more often than any American.

``Before that I was training myself,″ Sullivan said. ``I was a triple jumper out of Indiana University and I gave that up because I couldn’t find a coach. And then I found a coach in Kip and ever since then, my numbers have been skyrocketing.″

Sullivan’s best decathlon score is 7,086, a figure he’s well on the way to topping. But winning the competition will be tough because Janvrin is so strong on the second day and has a big edge in experience.

This is Janvrin’s 65th decathlon, Sullivan’s 10th.

``He could beat me in two or three events tomorrow,″ Janvrin said. ``He’s a really good hurdler, solid in the discus, a pretty good vaulter and average in the javelin. He doesn’t run a great 1,500 (meters), so obviously I’ve got that ace in the hole. But he’s got some good events.″

Sullivan is confident he’ll do well on Thursday.

``I’d really be scared as a person trying to be a decathlete if I had a weak day,″ Sullivan said. ``But my days are steady just like his, so bring it on.″

Sullivan won the 100 meters and high jump, while Janvrin finish first in the long jump and 400. Montana State’s Stevie Keller, third overall with 3,732 points, won the shot put.

``I’m not disappointed,″ Janvrin said. ``I really would have liked to run a little better 100 and maybe throw a little farther in the shot. But for the amount of work I’m putting into some of those events, I’m getting some pretty positive return right now.″

Sylvan, a two-time Southwestern Athletic Conference champion in the heptathlon, had personal bests in the 100 hurdles, high jump and 200. She won the hurdles and tied for first in the high jump.

``I had fun today,″ Sylvan said. ``I ran well in the hurdles. Even though I hit a hurdle, I still ran as fast as I’ve ever run. I did real well in the high jump and I PRed in the 200, so that’s really exciting.″

Karen Fink of Doane won the shot put and Northern Iowa’s Kendra Stannard won the 200. Welty and Illinois State’s Hillary Hyland and Kathrine Nelson tied Sylvan for first in the high jump.

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