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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.

Octavious Terry won the invitational 400-meter hurdles in a meet-record 49.10, breaking the mark of 49.29 by David Lee in 1981. Joey Woody of Northern Iowa was second in 49.24 and Olympic bronze medalist Calvin Davis was third in 49.56. Woody and fourth-place Neil Gardner of Michigan (49.73) had automatic qualifying times for the NCAA Division I championships.

Several other athletes recorded provisional qualifying marks for the 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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