Friday, January 16, 2009

Mabil and Lifshitz capture events at Doug Raymond Invitational

Knapp not pleased with team's effort

Issue date: 1/16/08

By Anthony Fenech
Staff Reporter

Riak Mabil and Oz Lifshitz were two bright spots in the disappointing performance of the men's track team Saturday at Kent State.

Mabil and Lifshitz took first place in the 5,000-meter run and triple jump, respectively, standing out from what head coach Jim Knapp called a "Very, very average" performance at the Doug Raymond Invitational.

"We weren't sharp, focused, or competitive," Knapp said. "And we need to address those issues right away."

Book-ending the team's otherwise stale performance were Mabil and Lifshitz, their winning performances coming at the beginning and end of the meet.

Mabil, a junior, led the 5,000-meter race wire-to-wire and turned in a time of 15 minutes 2.12 seconds.

Lifshitz, a sophomore, finished the Chippewas day on a high note by clearing 49 feet 2 ½ inches in the day's final event and winning the triple jump for the second consecutive week.

Knapp mentioned the team's long ride to Kent State, only to arrive at a cold indoor track as possible reasons for Saturday's lack of focus, but made it clear the team would not make excuses.

"We aren't making excuses," he said. "We didn't take care of business. When you don't compete and you just go through the motions for whatever reason, that's what happens."

Senior Sean Anthony finished four spots behind Mabil in the 5,000-meter run with a time of 15:45.35.

Dubbed "Mr. Steady" by Knapp, junior thrower Greg Pilling fouled out of the shot put in the finals.

"He threw O.K., just not quite up to his level," Knapp said.

The coach wouldn't elaborate on an explanation of the foul, saying, "I haven't talked to him yet, so I don't know. Greg is a guy that's doing everything and he has a lot on his plate. I'm not concerned with him at all."

The Chippewas performed well in the pole vault with two top five finishes. Junior Marcus Briedinger and freshman Joseph Jankowski placed fourth and fifth in the event, respectively.

The team will return to action next Saturday in Ann Arbor for the Red Simmons Invitational, hosted by the University of Michigan.

"Hardly nobody attained the level of performance we had last week," said Knapp. "And that's got to change going forward. …We ate some humble pie today."

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