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Illinois Prep Top Times Indoor Classic 2008

Fri.-Sat. March 28-29, 2008

Shirk Center, Illinois Wesleyan University, Bloomington IL

DyeStat and the new DyeStatIL on site with John and Donna Dye,
Tony Jones, and meet director Bob Geiger

Class AA - Saturday
Complete Results | Event summaries | Winners | Photo Albums: AA Boys - AA Girls |

Boys Athletes of the Meet (co-awards):

Nick Holmes, Limestone – meet record 4:13.72 1600m, breaking Evan Jager’s record (left, photo by John Dye).
Mat Smoody, Palatine – 1:53.94 800m, fastest on flat track this year in US.

AA Boys photo album
Girls Athlete of the Meet:

Toni Graham, Conant – won the 55m dash (7.0), won 200m dash (24.94) and had a sensational 24.4 anchor in the 4x200 coming from 6th and last place to win it for Conant in 1:45.80.

  • B-4x400 Lincoln Way East 3:24.13 defeats Thornwood 3:24.81 in an amazing race.
  • G-4x400 Proviso East 3:58.95 which beats Benet Academy's 3:59.53 from a slower heat.
  • B-DMR Chicago Brother Rice 10:51.22 wins after overtaking Evanston.
  • G-DMR St. Charles East 12:43.42 blows away MEET RECORD of 12:52.03
  • B-PV Mitchell Erickson (Marian Catholic) 16-08 over Mick Vicken 16-04 in an exciting duel.
  • G-TJ Amanda Caines (Evanston) 38-02.25 out leaps Alexandria Smith (Thornton) 37-10
  • B-200 Demarcus Brooks (Springfield Southeast) 22.21 wins in a tight race with Imani Carey (Bloom Township) 22.24.
  • B-TJ Ty Kirk (Rolling Meadows) 47-06 outjumps KJ Franklin (Crete-Monee) 46-11.5
  • G-200 Toni Graham (Conant) 24.94 wins from lane 6 a slow heat over Olivia Allen (Lake Zurich) 25.00 in the fast heat.
  • B-1600 Nick Holmes (Bartonville Limestone) solos to an amazing NEW MEET RECORD in 4:13.72 destroying Evan Jager's Record 4:14.83 set in 2006.
  • G-1600 Ashley Verplank (Bloomington) solos to a REMARKABLE 4:55.45.
  • B-HJ Mykhail Chambers (Urbana) 6-10 in an outstanding display of high jumping.
  • G-400 Shakiea Pinnick (Wabonsie Valley) 56.35 for first easily holding off her nearest competitor Raena Rhone (Chicago Whitney Young).
  • G-SP Daniella Bunch (Mahomet-Seymour) 47-2 with a NEW MEET RECORD and ALL TIME INDOORS RECORD.
  • B-4x200 Springfield Lanphier 1:29.76 wins flying away in a NEW MEET RECORD and ALL TIME #1 INDOORS in Illinois.
  • G-4x200 Conant 1:45.80 blasts from 5th to 1st in last leg to win in a thrilling race over favorite Provisio East 1:46.25 erasing a 10m deficit.
  • B-800 Mat Smoody (Palatine) 1:53.94 in a thriller over Sean Wiggins (Waubonsie Valley) 1:54.14.
  • G-800 Toni Ogundare (Wabonsie Valley) 2:14.02 surprising winner in NEW MEET RECORD over top seeded McKinzie Schulz (Benet Academy).
  • B-55H Jameson Wilson (Hillcrest) 7.73 over teammate Maurice Lyke 7.74
  • G-55H Shakiea Pinnick 8.13 wins over Natalie Tarter (Batavia) 8.20.
  • G-HJ Elaine Patten (O'Fallon) 5-6 outjumps Monica Jakutyke (Nequa Valley) 5-5 for the win.
  • B-55M Finals: Jacob Mitchell (Springfield Lanphier) accelerates to 6.47 win over Nic Neuman (Lincoln Way East) 6.49
  • G-55M Finals: Toni Graham 7.00 wins over Olivia Allen (Lake Zurich) 7.05 as both power away from the field.
  • B-4x800 Geneva wins with 7:58.91 with a 1:57.9 anchor, season best and #2 IPTT time ever.
  • B-SP Dan Block (Lake Park) 60-0 easily out throws competition.
  • G-4x800 Tinley Park-Andrew 9:32.34 runs away in last leg.
  • B-55H Prelims: Tory McAlister (Chicago Lane Tech) 7.76 fastest in prelims.
  • G-55H Prelims: Shakiea Pinnick (Aurora Waubonsie Valley) 8.24 fastest in prelims.
  • B-LJ Josh Kimberely (Rockton Hononegah) wins with a jump of 22-10.
  • B-55M Prelims: Warnether Banks (Springfield Lanphier) 6.47 fastest in prelims.
  • G-55M Prelims: Toni Graham (Conant) 7.09 fastest in prelims.
  • G-PV Jenna Wexler (Lincoln Way Central) wins at 12-0
  • B-3200 Nathan Troesser (Lincoln Way East) runs away in last mile for 9:11.02 victory.
  • G-3200 Lindsay Flanagan (Lake Park) 10:34.83 runs away from field.
Event summaries

by Gerry Gonzalez and Dan Andrews
by Tony Jones
The 18th annual Indoor Classic meet was another one to remember as a ton of talent dotted the track as well as the field. Five months of preparation in the snow and sometimes dark culminated at the Shirk Center on the campus of Illinois Wesleyan University.

Shot Put
1.Dan Block (Lake Park) 60-00
2.Brett Einbecker (Waubonsie Valley) 57-04
3. Dwight Harris (Waubonsie Valley)

Dan Block threw a "short" 60-00 as he easily won the shot put by almost three feet. Block did not throw close to what he threw at the Pirate Classic, Block still looked impressive.

Long Jump
1. Josh Kimberly (Hononegah) 22-10
2. Jepeth Cato (Bloom Township) 22-07
3. KJ Franklin (Crete Monee) 22-05

Josh Kimberly (Hononegah) jumped a 22-10 to win the long jump. This jump could have been much farther had it not been for a hand swipe on the sand, robbing him of extra distance.

Pole Vault
Mitchell Erickson (Chicago Heights Marian Catholic) 16-8
Mick Viken (Rolling Meadows) 16-0
Josh Winder (Plainfield Central) 15-0

The vault is always entertaining at the Prep and this year’s edition was no different. Erickson attempted the meet record 17-0 but fell short. Viken continued his consistent 16 foot efforts.

Triple Jump
Ty Kirk (Rolling Meadows) 47-6

Kirk leaped a personal best and is fast becoming another 50 foot jumper out of Illinois. The rest of the competition was solid as four leapers top 45-0.

High Jump
Mykhail Chambers (Urbana) 6-10

Chambers won rather easily- no surprise there. What is surprising is he is becoming very consistent and appears to have 7-0 in his grasp. Chambers went after the meet record of 7-0.25. He came oh so close on his three attempts.

1.Nate Troesser (Lincoln Way East) 9:11.02
2.Myles Scott-Stirm (Lincoln Way East) 9:22.83
3.Curtis Weisenberger (McHenry) 9:24.25

The race started at a very pedestrian 71, allowing most of the
back pack to stick with the leaders. From there, Weisenberger pushed the front pack coming through in 2:22 after the first 800. Nate Troesser of Lincoln Way East soon took command of the field breaking away to win solidly in a sweet 9:11.02. Afterwards, a spent Troesser said, "I ran my best race so far... this season." His effort more than made up for a so-called lackluster field. "I think we showed them" added Troesser after he and his teammate Myles Scott-Stirm finished 1-2.

4x8 Relay
1. Geneva 7:58.91 (Illinois season best)
2.Lyons 8:01.06
3.Evanston 8:05.22

The Geneva Vikings came into the race as the favorites and did not disappoint the fans. After their first two legs kept their relay
in the front pack, biding time against a loaded field- running 2:01
legs, the third leg took the lead and never looked back. The Vikings anchor leg split 1:57.9 to bring his team in for a beasting time of 7:58.91, the fastest time of the indoor season and second fastest in Illinois Prep Top Times history.

55 Meter Dash
1.Jacob Mitchell (Lanphier) 6.47
2.Nic Neuman (Lincoln Way East) 6.49
3.Lillie Thomas (Lanphier) 6.50

The men from Lanphier dominated the field taking 3 of the top five spots in finals. Jacob Mitchell of Lanphier out sprinted Neuman of Lincoln Way East. 6.47 is one of the fastest times run in the state this year.

1. Jameson Wilson (Country Club Hills Hillcrest) 7.73
2. Maurice Lyke (Country Club Hills Hillcrest) 7.74
3. Sean Ledbetter (Moline) 7.76

Wilson and Lyke completed a sweep in season best efforts. Lane Tech’s Tory McAlister had the top prelim mark but slipped out of the block and could not make up the milli-second ground that is crucial in a hurdle race.

800 Meter Run
1. Mat Smoody (Palatine) 1:53.98 [56.8]
2. Sean Wiggan (Aurora Waubonsie Valley) 1:54.15
3. Alex Gasick (Lisle Benet Academy) 1:57.83

This race almost had a very surprising finish with relative newcomer Wiggan nipping at Smoody’s legs throughout the first 600 and actually snuck ahead with 200 to go. The crowd went wild with anticipation to see if he could hold off the reigning state champ, but there is a reason why Smoody is the best in the game. Smoody seemed to look a little surprised after Wiggan darted past him, but he showed the composure of a state champ and outkicked Wiggan in a thrilling finish.

1. Armand Rhone (Chicago DeLalle Salle) 50.19
2. Odane Nelson (Chicago Marshall) 51.11
3. Reid Basting (Normal West) 51.21

Rhone won his first title over an average field. His effort was supreme as he took a commanding lead that had Basting chasing the entire way... Nelson won heat two.

1. Lanphier 1:29.76
2. Bolingbrook 1:30.98
3. Proviso East 1:31.39

The defending 4x100 AA state champs showed that they are not done winning titles and setting records. The Lions dusted the competition, setting a new all time indoor record with a 1:29.76. Lanphier looks ready to dominate the outdoor season if they keep performing like this. Bolingbrook needed a solid finish to hold off heat 2 winner Proviso East for second.

1. Nick Holmes (Limestone) 4:13.72
2. Jonny Kaufmann (Normal West) 4:24.00
3. Jeff Thode (Conant) 4:24.04

The University of Iowa signee Holmes was in a race against time today after immediately taking the lead from the time the gun went off. The defending AA Cross Country champ replaced Evan Jager's 2006 record of 4:14.83 by more than a second. His blazing 2:05 first 800 was miles ahead of the competetion and it was evident that there was something special going on. After looking like he was going fade with 600 to go, Holmes found his second wind and closed matters out with a 64 second quarter. It will be exciting to see where Holmes can go from here. This race puts him with the elite milers in the state.

1. DeMarcus Brooks (Springfield South) 22.21
2. Imani Carey (Bloom Township) 22.24
3. Armand Rhone (De La Salle) 22.34

Brooks out-leaned Carey by just 3 tenths of a second for the win. Brooks looked like he was in great shape from the start.

1. Chicago Brother Rice 10:51.22
2. Dundee-Crown 10:52.14
3. Evanston 10:53.08

Chicago Lane Tech led the first three legs in 3:18.3, 2:04.8, 53.2 before Evanston joined in. The Wildkits took charge briefly and then assumed the lead from Lane anchor Chris Gallardo. Soon after at the first 800 leg portion is when Brother Rice’s Chris Eber took charge held on for the victory over DC.

1. Frankfort Lincoln Way East 3:24.13- 50.8, 50.9, 51.5, 50.2
2. South Holland Thornwood 3:24.81- 51.7, 51.1, 51.4, 50.3
3. Evanston 3:24.99- 52.3, 51.7, 51.2, 49.2

The meet came to an exciting win albeit way short of the 3:21.95 clocking by Proviso West back in 2000. Still, this affair probably goes down as one of the best efforts in IPTT history. Back and forth action by a number of teams added up to lots of fun and thrill. LWE was the biggest shocker, stealing the race on the anchor leg and edging out Thornwood. Evanston, the master of these thrillers, ran out of real estate but settled for a very fine effort. Nearly all of the teams set their indoor best marks heading to the all important outdoor season.

Lindsay Flanagan (Roselle Lake Park) 10:34.83
Caitlin Comfort (Peoria Notre Dame) 10:48.71
Nicole Benson (Bartonville Limestone) 10:48.81

Flanagan went out fast and maintained her torrid pace for
the first circuit then 72.5 through 400. Early pace leaders always seem to fall back but not this time. Instead Flanagan pushed the pace harder and actually ran a personal best through 1600 in 5:08.8. Flanagan obviously wasn't going to run the meet record of 10:17 by Maria Cicero (York), but she kept the heat on the field that included state AAA xc champ Kristin Sutherland and AA champ Benson. The winning margin was significant and so was the statement: "I trained really hard over the winter."

Tinley Park Andrew 9:32.50
Lockport 9:36.86
Evanston 9:37.57

Andrew was not the favorite coming in, but after the second leg things changed. Kailyn Kuzmuk, usually a two-miler, dropped down in events to assist her teammates on third leg in 2:19. Kuzmuk, the team spokeswoman was very proud of her teammates' accomplishment: “they did great and I’m happy to be apart [of the relay]. I always wanted to run on a relay in a championship atmosphere.” Lockport tried valiantly to get back into the race with Liz Phillips on the third leg and actually closed down the lead. Anchor Gina Montagno gave it a good ride but the effort fell short. Evanston, known for their sprints and field events, won heat one. An ecstatic Evanston coach Fenton Gunter pondered loudly, “we ran 9:37 with this particular group!” This particular group was without all-state 800m runner Amber Jackson.

Toni Graham (Hoffman Estates Conant) 7.00
Olivia Allen (Lake Zurich) 7.05
Valencia Anderson (Plainfield North) 7.22

Graham made a statement in of the prelim heat with an eye popping 7.05. Her father Tony Graham issued the first statement: “Toni’s just warming up- she’s going to be ready for the final.”
In the final, Graham didn’t get a great start out of the blocks but was able to accelerate outpower an equally strong Allen. Afterwards, Graham issued a noteworthy statement: “You said I was out of shape and the record wasn’t going to get touched. I was so hot. I had to come out here and show everybody that I’m ready to go!” That "you" was Girls AA editor Tony Jones (editor's note: I was happily wrong).

Shakeia Pinnick (Aurora Waubonsie Valley) 8.13
Natalie Tartar (Batavia) 8.20
Ayanna Scott (Springfield Lanphier) 8.26

Pinnick has improved by a few leaps in the hurdle department and now has supplanted herself as a premier talent in the event. On the surface, it appeared as though Wisconsin recruit Tarter would be more of a challenge, but a less than 100% Pinnick got the best of a very good field. She led through all hurdles and supremely beat the challengers. Not to blame any one athlete on performances leading up to meet, but there was a significant difference in manual vs. F.A.T. Valencia Anderson (Plainfield North), one of the pre-meet favorites, gave a valiant effort but was not a factor in the final. Scott, a freshman, came into the meet as relative unknown, turned many heads with the second fastest prelim effort. That solid effort was duplicated in the final as she edged a more experienced Anderson.

Toni Ogundare (Aurora Waubonsie Valley) 2:14.04 meet record
McKinzie Schulz (Lisle Benet Academy) 2:15.26
Maggie Sutor (Frankfort Lincoln-Way East) 2:17.48

This event was initially going to be the premier one to watch as Ashley Verplank was going to rewrite the record books along with Shakeia Pinnick. When those two pulled out a so-called void was left. That was until the talented Ogundare and Schulz stepped up.

Ogundare has had her moments both good and bad over the past four years. Plus, it didn’t help matters when she is constantly overshadowed by her teammate Pinnick. But on this day it was Ogundare’s moment in the spotlight. The first 200m of an 800 race is always important as it sets a tone for the remaining three laps. Ogundare positioned herself the first circuit before taking the lead at the first 400 in 63.2. On the backstretch of the third lap, Schulz joined in on the fun and ran with Ogundare. Ogundare accepted the challenge as the two hit the bell lap in 1:38.xx. Ogundare shifted harder to shake Schulz but not quite was Schulz going to go down.

Finally, with less than 100m Ogundare got the separation she desired on her way to setting a meet record. Said Ogundare, “I’m very happy to run as well as I did. I really never expected to come in here and do this.”

Hoffman Estates Conant 1:45.80
Maywood Proviso East 1:46.25
Bolingbrook 1:46.28

The theme for Conant was "don’t doubt us". After getting thoroughly paddled by Proviso East one month ago at the Downers South Relays, it was hard to see Conant overcoming the favorite status of the lady Pirates. Proviso East did by the way have the top mark coming into the final.

Conant’s ace Toni Graham had already won the 55m dash and now she waited and glared at the track and her competitors as the championship heat was about to take place. The Pirates were a strong quartet but did have it’s ace runner Nevada Morrison not in tow. She was to compete in the 400m.

Bolingbrook got the jump on the field after the first exchange and looked mighty strong. Thornton, though, didn’t back down as they stayed close. PE wasn’t too far back and… Conant was real far back. Bolingbrook and Thornton still out front until the third exchange. A extremely tight pack was still intact.

The 4x2 is often referred as the indoor race for fans. It is non-stop NASCAR like action. Well, Thornton fell victim to the bumping as their third leg got her baton knocked into the infield (and they were finished). PE moved out front and opened a slight lead.

Going into the anchor leg, it was Bolingbrook out front and Conant was in near last. That was until Graham got the stick. She maneuvered around a big clutter and up the backstretch in full flight. She blazed past a stream of 1, 2,3 girls and then past leader Bolingbrook at the top of the homestretch. Graham completed one of the most greatest comebacks in meet history.

Graham won round two by herself and her split? 24.4. “ I’m out of shape huh? I don’t know why people keep doubting us… I was a little worried about not being able to come back but we got it done” said a super hyped Graham.

Shakeia Pinnick (Aurora Wabonsie Valley) 56.35
Raena Rhone (Chicago Whitney Young) 57.47
Nevada Morrison (Maywood Proviso East) 57.55

There was a ton of talk about the outcome of this race. Several big names dropped back from the 4x2 to compete in this one. All indoor season it was Rhone talk. The competition knew the freshman sensation was on the scene. However, the BEST long sprinter was Pinnick. Libby O’Brien (Glenbard South) was good too. As the race unfolded, Pinnick streaked around the first two turns like bolt of lightening and got to the break line first and through the first 200 in 26.5. The chase pack of Rhone, Morrison, and O’Brien were really running with themselves and not Pinnick. Pinnick was in the clear and her victory statement was complete. Rhone held off Morrison for second.

Ashley Verplank (Bloomington) 4:55.45
Liz Phillips (Lockport) 5:04.57
Lizzy Hynes (St. Charles East) 5:05.21

The talk coming in was of breaking sub 4:50. Illinois girls mile racing hasn’t produced that in over 20 years. Verplank, though, is a great blend of speed and endurance- and feistyness. The early pace would have to be fast in order for the dream run to happen.

As the race unfolded, the pace was a little off, the initial 400 in 74.8. Verplank sat on the shoulder of the leader but her coach, Aaron Culbertson, got real impatient and barked at her to pick up the pace. The first half was still too slow at 2:28.5. Verplank opened up daylight at the 1k mark and through 1200m her time of 3:44.0 assured one thing. There would be no record talk or even meet record considerations unless the last 400 was in some profound region. For good measure, Verplank ran extremely hard and gave the fans a lot to cheer about. Verplank has high standards and wasn’t completely satisfied with her effort: “ I’m a little [peeved] I didn’t get the record. I wanted to go out in 2:25 and work off of that.”

Toni Graham (Hoffman Estates Conant) 24.94
Olivia Allen (Lake Zurich) 25.00
Shakeia Pinnick (Aurora Waubonsie Valley) 25.42

Graham in her last indoor race wanted to make history. Standing in the clerking area prior to her heat, she uttered out, “I should be in the fast heat with those other girls.” Graham amazingly didn’t have one of the six fastest times. Graham won heat 3 of 4 by nearly a second, putting pressure on the seeded section to outperform her. Graham screamed out in joy as she saw her time: “I wish I was in that fast heat- I could have ran a 23 something.” Still, at the end of a long workday Graham proved she was the best sprinter in the meet and possibly planted that fact in the mind of a missing superstar somewhere. That star? “I will see [Ronecia] Nash (E. St. Louis) later”, Graham loudly proclaimed. Perhaps we will…

Distance Medley Relay
St. Charles East 12:45.45
Downers Grove South 12:56.79
New Lenox Lincoln Way Central 13:01.89

SCE broke the meet record that Wheaton North held for two years in this still enfant event. SCE, Downers Grove South, and Lincoln Way Central all tasted the lead at some point in this grueling affair. It wasn’t until on the final leg that SCE took control on the strength of its star power. The Pirates unleashed their star power in the name of Lizzy Hynes. Hynes pulled away the SCE late in the contest for the victory.

Proviso East 3:58.95
Benet Academy 3:59.53
Hinsdale Central 4:01.63

This is PE’s event and they were ready for it. They had to be after Benet put up a sub-4:00 in heat 2 of three. Twin Skye Morrison led off for the Pirates but was a little flat and didn’t have the lead as expected. That’s because Andrew got the jump on the field and led after the first leg. Kindra Perkins is perhaps the Pirates most aggressive runner. She will often times move the team into or out of difficult spots. Seeing that her team was getting into a state of emergence, Perkins burst into the lead just after her first 200m. She extended a slight lead to at least 5 or so meters over Andrew.

The anchor duty would fall on the other twin Nevada Morrison. N. Morrison quickly and real smoothly opened up more daylight on the field before settling in. It was pretty much over as the last 100m remained. But the question was would they have the overall best time because of what Benet accomplished previously. No worries. N. Morrison kicked it into overdrive down the homestretch and the cheering fans provided the support that the lactic acid didn’t. When the official time read out on the scoreboard it was: 3:58.95.

High Jump
Elaine Patten (O’Fallon) 5-6
Monica Jakutyke (Naperville Neuqua Valley) 5-5
Janet Plonka (Glen Ellyn Glenbard West) 5-4

Opening height was 5-0 and two of the top three placers elected to jump and successfully cleared it. Patten started at 5-2 and passed on 5-3 and made 5-4. Pressure was applied first to Plonka, who made her first three attempts at 5-2, 5-3, 5-4. Meanwhile, Jakutyke successfully cleared her first four heights on one attempt each.

Patten would pass another at 5-5. She made 5-6 on two attempts. Jakutyke scaled 5-5 on one attempt but feeling pressure missed on all three efforts at 5-6. Plonka settled for 3rd after not connecting on 5-5. Patten moved the height up to 5-7, a would be season best, but failed on her three attempts.

Pole Vault
Jenna Wexter (New Lenox Lincoln-Way Central) 12-0
Pia Goodman (Chatham-Glenwood) 11-0
Meghan Court (Carol Stream Glenbard West) 11-0

Wexter proved to be the best vaulter in a solid field. Pressure was put on a number of competitors but especially freshman Emily Clay. Clay came into the affair with a best leap of 12-0. She would go on to bow out early, clearing a measly 10-0. Wexter, though, started at 10-6 and didn’t miss until her first attempt at 12-0. She need one attempt before moving onto 12-7. She only took two efforts at the height before graciously bowing out for the win.

Long Jump
Malaikah Love (Carbondale) 19-1
Kelsey Ontko (Lisle Benet Academy) 18-5.5
Skye Morrison (Maywood Proviso East) 17-10

Love traveled north for the first time for her biggest indoor meet and didn’t disappoint the faithful. Love, the season leader leaped 19-1 on her sixth and final jump to destroy the competition. Her mark placed her #2 all-time in IPTT annals. She enjoyed a good series as well: 18-4.75, 18-3.75, 18-5, 18-11.25, 18-9.75, 19-1. Ontko performed well despite just completing three jumps. She exceeded her personal best. Morrison improved 8 inches on her pb. She is coached by former state long jump champion Johnny Nolan-Jenkins.

Triple Jump
Amanda Caines (Evanston) 38-2.25
Alexandria Smith (Harvey Thornton) 37-10
Krista Stillson (Naperville Neuqua Valley) 37-5.5

Caines upset the field and improved by two feet. She used just three jumps to perhaps preserve her legs for other events. Pre-meet favorite Malaikah Love placed a disappointing 4th.

Shot Put
Daniella Bunch (Mahomet-Seymour) 47-2 meet record
Tori Ziegler (Fox Valley Grant) 43-10
Khadija Abdullah( Harvey Thornton) 43-6

Bunch set another meet and all-time best indoors. She absolutely destroyed a great field (state champ Bailey Wagner was absent). The event was actually won on the first throw at 46-8. Ziegler settled for second in a personal best effort on her first through. She shined in place of her super star teammate Bailey.

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