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Men's Track & Field - Sat, May 13, 2017

GALESBURG, Ill. – Cornell's men snapped a five-year spell without an outdoor event champion, and accomplished a whole lot more during a historic runner-up team finish at this weekend's Midwest Conference Track & Field Championships.

The Rams left Knox College's Turner Track late Saturday afternoon with six individual titles, 14 all-MWC performances and two special award winners to cap the program's most successful outdoor showing in nearly three decades.

Cornell nearly came home with the team championship, taking second to Monmouth by a 152-141 margin. That marks the most points and highest MWC outdoor finish by a Ram squad since they won it all in 1989 (165 points).

Charles Zilaitis (SR/Indian Harbour Beach, Fla.) claimed two titles, medaled in four throwing events and was voted MWC Men's Field Performer of the Year. Dan Schofer was tabbed Men's Coach of the Year for the Rams, who also saw Mason Wicker (SO/Baldwin, Wis.) and Blake MacDowall (JR/Phoenix, Ariz.) capture two championships apiece.

Zilaitis had a phenomenal two-day meet, stamped with victories in the shot put (51-11) and hammer throw (178-1). The now four-time MWC champion took second in the discus (149-7) and scored an unexpected third with a personal-best throw in the javelin (162-4).

MacDowall earned his first two conference titles with wins in the high jump (6-2.75) and long jump (21-11.75), establishing season-bests in both. The junior also anchored the 4x400 relay of Ethan Berube (SO/Cottage Grove, Minn.), Mickey Hines (FR/Mount Vernon, Iowa) and Husani Newbold (JR/Freeport, Grand Bahama) to second place in 3:21.51.

Wicker led an all-MWC podium sweep of Ram sophomores in the 1500 and 5000 races. He won the 1500 in a season-best 4:00.97, with teammates Cuyler Gabriel (SO/Santa Barbara, Calif.) (4:02.46) and Austin Bach (SO/Larkspur, Colo.) (4:03.33) close behind in second and third, respectively.

Cornell cleaned the top four spots in the 5000 – again all sophomores – with Wicker claiming the title in 15:22.58. Gabriel was second (15:26.93), Caleb Wilson (SO/Madison, Wis.) third (15:27.19) and Bach fourth (15:28.86).  

Wilson added a runner-up effort in the 10000 (33:23.29).