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Area residents inducted with SLU track-field teams

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CANTON -Two of the most successful men’s track and field teams in St. Lawrence history, the 1987 and 1988 men’s indoor and outdoor track teams had three NCAA podium finishes, swept the New York State Collegiate indoor and outdoor championships in both years with 30 individual titles and combined for a total of 45 Independent College Athletic Association event victories and 22 second place finishes to go with three team titles over the two seasons. Several area prodcuts conteributed to the success of the teams.

The 1987 team won the program’s second-ever New York State Collegiate Championship indoors and the first New York State outdoor title at a time when the field for those championships included current Division I programs Colgate, Albany, Buffalo, Siena and Marist among 21 teams eligible for the event. It went on to finish second in the NCAA Division III Indoor Championship, leading the competition into the final event before Wisconsin-LaCrosse placed three in the top five in the triple jump to edge the Saints by 1.5 points.

The indoor championship saw all nine participants earn All America and brought the Saints two national champions in 400 meter champion Tim McCrossen and 1500 titlist Jukka Tammisuo. In addition to McCrossen and Tammisuo, Jarri Kiiski (1500), Rich Wright (35 lb. weight), Chris Dunlay (shot), Massena’s Marty Dumoulin (5000) and the 400 relay team of Ogdensburg’s Tom Plimpton, Malone’s Jay Disotelle, Ben Garfield and McCrossen earned All America honors with scoring finishes. Plimpton’s father, Ogdensburg’s Bill Plimpton, is also enshrined in the SLU Hall as a member of one of the Saints’ first NCAA Tournament hockey teams.

The team qualified six for NCAA outdoor competition with four competing and all four earning All-America honors as the team finished third in the competition. McCrossen was the outdoor 100 meter champion, Doumolin was All America in the 10,000 becoming the first three-season All America in cross country and track and field history and Dunlay and Wright were All America in the throw, each setting SLU records.

The 1988 team continued the success of the year before, sweeping the New York State indoor and outdoor championships and finishing second in the NCAA Indoor Championships. Alexander Grelland set an NCAA Division III record in winning the pole vault, while McCrossen and Wright repeated All America finishes and were joined by Dean Burns in the 1500. In the indoor state meet, the Saints scored in 15 of 19 events to win easily and qualified seven for the NCAA meet. Outdoors, the team came from 23 points down on the second day to win its second straight New York State title with the senior class accounting for 79 of 102 points. The Saints clinched the championship with a win in the 4x400 relay as meet MVP McCrossen anchored the team to a first place finish. That team went on to finish sixth in the NCAA outdoor championships with Wright winning the hammer championship, McCrossen turning in three more All America finishes despite a nagging injury and Grelland and Ogdensburg’s Andy Silver joining the list of Saint All Americas.

Ogcdensburg’s Tony Bjork, who now serves as OFA’s Atbhletic Director, and his brother Joe Bjork were also members of the team 1987 and 1988 team.

Saranac Lake product Mike Howard was a member of the 1987 team. served as a coach on the 1988 team and remains at the helm of the Saints extremely successufl track-field program.The 1987 and 1988 track teams set records in nearly every event with four indoor marks and seven outdoor still standing at the time of the team inductions, a span of 24 years.

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