Friday, September 29, 2023

Track star named All-American

August 23, 2001
Senior Paul terek practices shot put on the west turf arena in preparation for the NCAA track championship. Terek earned the All-American tag at the 2001 NCAA Outdoor Men’s Track and Field Championship in Oregon this summer. —

MSU senior decathlete Paul Terek earned the All-American tag for his efforts at the 2001 NCAA Outdoor Men’s Track and Field Championships in May in Eugene, Ore.

Terek’s first-place performance in the decathlon pole vault and his third-place finish in the 1,500-meter run helped him earn fourth overall at the competition, with 7,645 points.

The MSU co-captain, who also competed in the pole vault, stood in eighth place following day one of the decathlon. Following a strong day two endeavor, Terek jumped up four spots in the final standings.

Santiago Lorenzo of Oregon won the event, with 7,889 points.

“I am content about my score and my place,” Terek said. “I did not do well in the (pole) vault. I just didn’t get a break, one that can put you over the edge.

“I was happy to get fourth in the nation (in the decathlon) with two bad days, but I still have a long way to go. I’m happy with being named All-American, but I’m disappointed with not qualifying for USAs.”

The Livonia native’s first day in the decathlon was highlighted by his third-place finish in the 400-meter run, which was the final event of the day.

Terek’s second day included his pole vault and 1,500-meter run results, plus two seventh-place efforts in the discus and javelin.

“I think Paul did a great job,” assistant coach Will Wabaunsee said. “His accomplishments put us on the map and help get MSU some exposure. It makes people realize that MSU has got some athletes.”

Terek’s All-American honor is another addition to his lengthy list of accolades this season. Big Ten Athlete of the Year, All-Big Ten first team, Academic All-Big Ten team and setting MSU and Big Ten records in the decathlon round out Terek’s outdoor season.

The mechanical engineering major was also named All-American during the 2001 indoor season for his eighth-place finish at the NCAA Indoor Championships.

“That stuff is like icing on the cake,” Terek said. “It wasn’t really a goal, it just came because of the performances. It still felt really good.”

“The season was exciting,” Wabaunsee said. “Paul broke some records and that should motivate him to lead the way next year. Hopefully some guys jump on the bandwagon.”

Terek is known for his fierce competitiveness, so he is looking for a meet to qualify for USAs.

“I want to find a meet this week so I can qualify for USAs in the (pole) vault,” Terek said.


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