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On to Friday

By mrasor Published: June 8, 2006


Pole vaulter John Russell and javelin thrower Ashley Kaufman had their coach worried.

In both of their preliminaries Wednesday, they waited until the final attempt to qualify for finals.

"Our top-ranked athletes gave me a scare," coach Dennis Mitchell said. "The prelims are always nervewracking and scary."

But they did qualify, as did high jumpers Natalie Sako and Tomasz Smialek. All four athletes are veterans of the national meet.

Those who were not veterans of nationals, discus throwers Randall Hafner and Auston Papay, did not qualify.

"We knew it would be a long shot for Hafner and Papay," Mitchell said. "They now have some good experience that should help them at future national championships."

With Kaufman, Smialek and Russell being seniors, their coach expects them to expend every bit of effort to win a national championship Friday.

"I know they will give everything they have to do great things," Mitchell said.

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