April 8, 1997
Men's Track Prepares for SeaRay Relays
What: SeaRay Relays
When: Friday-Saturday, April 11-12
Where: Knoxville, Tenn.
BIG RUMBLE IN VOLUNTEER COUNTRY: Michigan State will be a part of one of the biggest track and field events of the year, as the Spartans pack their bags for the SeaRay Relays, held April 11-12 in Knoxville, Tenn. Nearly 50 teams will pack Tom Black Track in Knoxville, as some of the top athletes in the country will be featured in the prestigious event. The 52-team field includes some of the top teams in the country, including third-ranked (Trackwire) powerhouse Louisiana State. Other top 25 schools include Auburn (sixth), Wisconsin (seventh), Clemson (15th) and Tennessee (16th). Other Big Ten schools will include Indiana, Penn State, Minnesota and Wisconsin. The event will also be open to club teams, as witnessed by the entries of such groups as Reebok, Adidas and Brooks Sports.
ANOTHER ARIZONA WIN IN FINAL FOUR: The Green and White's outdoor track and field schedule carried them to Tucson, Ariz., for the 1997 Jim Click Wildcat Shootout, held March 29. A four team dual meet, the Spartans were merely outmanned by the rosters of their opponents. Only bringing a handful of runners with them into the event, MSU was defeated by Arizona (119-31), Colorado (95-34) and Baylor (72-39). Arizona seized the overall title, merely adding to the frenzy created by the Wildcats' basketball Final Four victory later that evening in Indianapolis.
A pair of Spartans stood out, as senior Brad Fields (Kentwood) and junior Kyle Baker (Anderson, Ind.) displayed fine form in producing solid performances. Fields, a three-time All-American, took home the 200-meter title in an exciting finish, as he crossed the finish line in 21.39 seconds. Just .03 seconds ahead of Baylor's Kascie Smith. Fields also earned runner-up status in the 100, as he timed in at 10.78.
Coming off a fifth-place finish in the 3,000 at the NCAA Indoor Championships, Baker continued his strong, steady running as he placed second in the 1,500 at the Shootout. Baker clocked in at 3:50.09.
The feats of Fields and Baker did nothing to diminish their image in the eyes of their head coach, Darroll Gatson: "Brad Fields and Kyle Baker had a great meet. This is just Brad's second outdoor meet of the season and it looks like he hasn't missed a beat. Hopefully we can get him running and he'll be an All American again. Kyle is Kyle - he's a very consistent runner. He ran very well and competitively."