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Keino Anchors Arizona to Distance Victory

April 27, 1996

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) _ The Keino blood still flows swiftly in distance running.

Arizona sophomore Bob Keino held off Pac-10 rival Karl Keska of Oregon on Saturday to give the Wildcats their second consecutive victory in the distance medley relay at the Drake Relays.

Keino repeated the feat of his older brother Martin, who anchored the Arizona victory last year. But that wasn’t his goal.

``I don’t try to compare myself to my brother,″ said Keino, the son of Kip Keino, the legendary Kenyan distance runner and two-time Olympic champion.

``We definitely were going for the win like last year. That was my goal. I wasn’t thinking about my brother at all.″

Keino ran two steps ahead of Keska for most of their 1,600-meter leg, then held him off in the stretch, glancing back three times over his left shoulder.

``I just had to make sure he wasn’t coming on,″ said Keino, who ran his leg in 3:59.4. ``You never know. He’s pretty good. I didn’t want him to surprise me.″

Arizona finished in 9:35.80, .54 ahead of Oregon.

Keska ran his leg in 4:00.0, trying to match his performance Friday when he outkicked Eastern Michigan’s Jason Boothroyd to give Oregon a victory in the 6,400 relay.

``I was in the right place but behind the wrong guy,″ Keska said. ``I wanted to be ahead of Bob Keino.″

Timur Voitetsky ran the opening 1,200 leg for Arizona and was followed by Akin Akinremi in the 400 and Luther Kopf in the 800. Baylor’s David Monk was 20 meters ahead when the final carry started, but Keino and Keska steadily closed the gap and it eventually came down to a two-man race.

Arizona also won the hammer with Mika Laiho throwing 218 feet. Central Missouri State won the college division distance medley in 9:54.01.

The Iowa State foursome of Jerry Harris, Randy Thompson, Jason Woods and Franklin Nwankpa won the university 400 relay in 39.31 _ the Cyclones’ first victory in that event at Drake since 1945. Texas El-Paso, the favorite in the race, mishandled the second exchange and withdrew.

Baylor’s Jeff Jackson won the 110 hurdles in 13.82 and Iowa’s George Page won the 100 in 10.42.

Kaarin Knudson’s strong third leg helped Oregon win the women’s 3,200 relay for the second straight year. Knudson, third when she got the baton, ran her 800 in 2:07.2 to give Oregon a 50-meter lead. Anchor Vicky Fleschner maintained that edge as the Ducks finished in 8:44.36.

Texas-Arlington, which led after the first two legs, was second in 8:51.48.

``I didn’t know how far ahead we were until Vicky ran around the curve,″ Knudson said. ``Then I was excited. Because I knew Vicky could run a great 800 even if somebody was right beside her and she was way out in front.″

Knudson and Fleschner also ran the final two legs on Oregon’s winning team last year. Texas-Arlington, which led after the first two carries, was second in 8:51.48.

In other women’s events, Kansas State won the shuttle hurdle relay in 58.62 and Northern Arizona’s Anna Soderberg won the discus at 178-9.

Two-time Olympian Jim Spivey sprinted the final 75 meters to pass Matt Wegenka and win the 5,000 in 14:17.79. Spivey, who ran in the 1984 and 1992 Olympics, settled into the middle of the pack early, then moved up steadily before making his final charge coming out of the last curve.

``About 2 1/2 laps to go, I thought I was going to finish second. I didn’t think I could outkick him,″ said Spivey, 36, a former Indiana runner who won his fourth individual title at Drake. ``I waited until 80 meters to go and he couldn’t fend me off.″

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