April 15, 1997

Men's Team Prepares for MSU Open

What: MICHIGAN STATE OPEN
When: Saturday April 19
Where: RALPH YOUNG TRACK 12 p.m.

HOME COOKING: The Spartans will look to feast upon their opponents as they host their only outdoor meet of the season, the Michigan State Open, held at the Ralph Young Track on April 19. Events will begin at noon with the 10,000 meters, along with the hammer throw. The full menu of running events will start at 1 p.m. The field will include local power Eastern Michigan, Notre Dame, Saginaw Valley, Hillsdale and Detroit, among others.

ANY VOLUNTEERS?: The MSU tracksters traveled to Knoxville, Tenn., for the SeaRay Relays, held April 9-12. In a deep, highly competitive field, senior Brad Fields (Kentwood) and junior Kyle Baker (Anderson, Ind.) continued their strong running, as they produced strong results in the event.

Fields appears to be hitting his All-America stride, as he was the top collegiate finisher (fourth overall) in the 200, cruising in at 21.11 seconds. Fields also sprinted his way to a fourth-place collegiate finish (sixth overall) in the 100, as he reached the finish line in 10.50.

Emerging Spartan star Kyle Baker stepped up his performance for the weekend, taking fifth in the 5,000-meter invite, striding home in 14:03.67. He also played an integral role in the Spartans' lone victory in the 4x1,500 relay. Baker combined with senior Pat Hoard (Plymouth, Minn.), sophomore Chris Wehrman (Pinckney) and junior Mark Goodfellow (Oxford) to take home the race title in a tremendous finish, breaking the tape in 15:42.61. Tennessee was biting at their heels down the stretch, finishing a mere .03 behind the victorious Spartans.

The MSU distance squad continued its fine performance on the year, as it was a force in the long events during the SeaRay Relays. Sophomore Brendon Banyon (St. Joseph) captured sixth in the 10,000, timing in at 30:49.80. Junior teammate Jim Jurcevich (Defiance, Ohio) also saw action in that race, stopping the watch in 32:37.23.

Senior Ryan Kennedy (Rochester Hills) also contributed to the Spartan effort, leading a trio of Green and White runners by reaching a 10th-place finish in the 1,500. Kennedy clocked in at 3:47.58, while senior Eric Eichinger (Kalamazoo) and Hoard followed him, timing in at 3:53.17 and 3:54.40, respectively. Junior James Marcero (Monroe) also helped out the distance crew with a 17th-place ranking in the 5,000, finishing in 15:23.65.

A pair of 3,000-meter steeplechase runners also saw action, as Wehrman took eighth in the invite race by reaching the line in 9:06.71. Goodfellow proceeded to capture second in the open division, running home in 9:17.63.

Senior Ramsey Watkins (Flint) had his hands full with a stacked lineup in the 110-meter high hurdles, as he faced some of the nation's toughest runners. Watkins managed to tackle 18th, timing in at 14.68 seconds. Sophomore Jason Coulter (Flint) took 28th out of 48 competitors in the 800, reaching the finish line in 1:52.31.