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Janvrin Wins Again at Drake Relays

April 26, 2002

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DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) _ Kip Janvrin is spoiling his two young sons at the Drake Relays.

Every year he brings 6-year-old Jaxon and 4-year-old Mason to the Drake decathlon and they have a ball, swimming in the hotel pool and watching daddy run around the big blue track. And every year they see him win.

Janvrin, the reigning U.S. champion, compiled 7,775 points Thursday to easily win the Drake title for the eighth straight year and 13th time overall. Andrew Morris of Kansas was second with 7,143 points and Cincinnati’s Chris Wineberg took third at 7,069.

Morris led after the first five events, but Janvrin, as usual, finished strong to win going away. He won four of the last five events: the 110-meter hurdles, discus, pole vault and 1,500, and finished second in the javelin.

``My wife came up to me before the 1,500 and said, `How fast are you going to run? Fast?′ `` Janvrin said. ``I said, `I’m not going to run very fast.′ She said, `Well, the boys want to see you win.′ I said, `I’m going to win, yeah.′ That’s what they want to see.″

Iowa State’s Barbara Szlendakova won the heptathlon for the second straight year with 5,306 points. Central Michigan’s Maria Derezinski was second with 5,097.

The decathlon and heptathlon led into Drake’s distance carnival, which featured victories by two-time Olympian Amy Rudolph in the women’s 5,000 and Central Methodist freshman Josphat Boit in the men’s 5,000.

Janvrin, 36, became the oldest U.S. decathlete to win the U.S. title last year and shows no sign of slowing down. At Drake, he not only won the events that require strength and endurance, he also beat his much younger competitors in the sprints.

He won the 100 on Wednesday and started Thursday’s competition with his victory in the 110 hurdles.

``I still enjoy doing things that people don’t believe a guy my age should do and to do things I don’t think I can do, either,″ said Janvrin, who’ll try to defend his U.S. title in June.

``I’m still having fun with it. That’s the bottom line. If you’re having fun, do it.″

Szlendakova, a senior from Czech Republic, won two of the final three events, the long jump and 800, but was disappointed in her score. She had hoped to get 5,500, which would have automatically qualified her for the NCAA meet.

``I was mad because I didn’t jump as well as I wanted to,″ Szlendakova said. ``It’s not about having the lead at that point. I wanted to jump over 6 meters and I didn’t. I was trying so hard. It’s even worse when you’re trying hard and it doesn’t go well.″

Szlendakova went 5.83 meters in the long jump _ 19 feet, 1 1/2 inches. She finished only seventh in the javelin, the second event of the day, but it gave her enough points to pass Camee Williams of Illinois for the lead.

Williams, the first-day leader, struggled in the javelin and 800 and finished fourth with 4,920 points.

Rudolph, a former Providence College runner who competed in the 1996 and 2000 Olympics, lapped most of the field in winning the 5,000 in 15 minutes, 52.65 seconds. Missy Buttry, a freshman at Wartburg College in northeast Iowa, was nearly a minute behind in second, finishing in 16:44.88.

``I kind of figured I’d be the leader, so I prepared that way,″ Rudolph said. ``Once I started passing people, that kind of woke up me up. It gave me something to focus on.″

Boit outran Jared Cordes and Daniel Kinyua to win the men’s race after they set the pace as a group most of the way. Kinyua dropped back in the final lap and Boit outkicked Cordes over the final 200 meters, thrusting his hand upward in a fist as he crossed the finish line.

``I was excited,″ Boit said. ``Because it was a track meet, the Drake Relays, it was a big race for me. So I was happy to win.″

Missouri won the women’s 6,400 relay in 19:36.27 with a team of Amanda Bales, Jennifer Leerssen, Becky Froelker and Ann Marie Brooks. That same group will try to give Missouri its third straight victory in the 3,200 relay on Saturday.

Other winners Thursday included Mike Hill of Washington in the university-college 3,000 steeplechase in 8:54.38, Sarah Byrd of Emory in the women’s steeplechase in 10:45.57, Andy Doering of Truman State in the 10,000 in 30:11.79 and Paige Higgins of Kansas in the women’s 10,000 in 35:27.52.

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