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Toth records year’s best mark in shot put

April 20, 1997

LAWRENCE, Kan. (AP) _ Kevin Toth threw the shot 71 feet, 2 1/2 inches on Saturday, the best mark in the world this year, to highlight the final day of competition in the 72nd Kansas Relays.

``It is one of the big throws in the world,″ said Toth, who had entered the meet ranked second in the United States at 68-8 3/4.

Toth broke Al Feuerbach’s Kansas Relays record of 69-2 1/2, set in 1973.

``I’ve been coming here for four years, trying to break the Relays record,″ Toth said. ``Al Feuerbach is one of the great throwers in the world. It’s an honor to beat him.″

In a battle of 19-foot pole vaulters, Dean Starkey edged 1996 Olympian Jeff Hartwig because of fewer misses after both cleared 18-8 1/4.

``I wasn’t just disappointed for not going 19 feet,″ Starkey said, ``but I wanted to go for the American record.″

Andre Skvortsov of Central Missouri was third at 18-0 1/2 and Kansas graduate Scott Huffman, a 1996 Olympian and former American record holder, was fourth at 17-6 1/2.

Skvortsov’s mark was an automatic qualifier for the NCAA Division II championships.

Paul McMullen, the top-ranked American miler this year, won the invitational mile in 3:59.88. The guest starter for the race was Jim Ryun, still the Kansas Relays record-holder with a 3:54.7 in 1967.

Several athletes recorded provisional qualifying marks for the NCAA Division I championships.

Kerry Doetker of Nebraska won the women’s high jump at 5-10 with a provisional qualifier, as did the Southwest Missouri State women’s relay team in winning the university 400-meter relay in 45.19.

Other qualifying marks were recorded by Nebraska’s Willie Hibler, who won the university 110-meter hurdles in 13.88; Nebraska’s Shane Lavy, who tied for third in the university-open high jump at 7-3; and Southern Illinois-Carbondale’s Neophytos Kalogerou, fifth in the high jump at 7-1 3/4.

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