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Jan. 17, 1997

MSU loses to Indiana and Michigan

January 18 Michigan State Invitational 10:30 a.m. Jenison Field House

The Michigan State men's track and field team will make its 1997 home debut this weekend when it hosts the Michigan State Invitational. The meet will be held at Jenison Field House on Saturday, Jan. 18. The first field events begin at 10:30 a.m., while the running events get underway at 11 a.m.

In addition to Michigan State, the invitational will feature athletes from Central Michigan, Western Michigan and Southwestern Michigan.

The indoor track squad made its 1997 season debut as it tussled with Michigan and Indiana in a Big Ten tri-meet in Ann Arbor. The Spartans battled through a pair of losses, falling to the Hoosiers, 69-49, and to the Wolverines, 76-41. Michigan took home the title in the three-way scoring, edging Indiana by five, 78-73. Michigan State finished third with 50 points.

Flashes of Michigan State excellence became evident throughout the meet, however, as individual Spartans put on a tremendous show. Freshman Okoineme Giwa-Agbomeirele (Midland), in his first collegiate meet, took home the title in two events, winning the triple jump and long jump with leaps of 14.29 and 7.18 meters, respectively. Sophomore Jason Coulter (Flint) won the 400-meter event, topping the Spartans' 1996 indoor mark with a time of 49.77.

Sophomore Kyle Baker (Anderson, Ind.) also beat last season's best in the 3,000, hitting the tape at 8:13.25, winning the race by just one second. He is nearing the Michigan State indoor record in that event, a 8:11.04, set by Anthony Hamm in 1991. Spartans engulfed the mile run, taking four of the top seven places. Senior Ryan Kennedy (Rochester Hills) led the group, finishing in 4:18.61. Senior Dean Rugh (White Lake), freshman Joe Leo (Northville) and sophomore Chris Wehrman (Pinckney) rounded out the group.

Other notable performances included a third-place finish by sophomore Lee Mays (Muskegon Heights) in the 400 (50.34), as well as a fourth-place outing by senior Ramsey Watkins (Flint) in the 55 hurdles (7.85). Junior Octavis Long (Lansing), fresh off his duties as wide receiver for the MSU football team, took third place in the 55, crossing the line in 6.53 seconds.

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