April 15, 1997

Spartans Prepare for MSU Open

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

STAYING HOME: After a trek across the nation to open the outdoor season, the Spartans settle in for some home-cooking as they host their only meet of the season, the Michigan State Open, held at the Ralph Young Track on April 19. Events will begin at noon, as the competition opens with the 10,000 meters. The main menu of running events will get underway at 1 p.m. The field consists of a Midwest gathering, including Notre Dame, Michigan, Detroit, Lansing Community College and Hillsdale, among others.

DYNAMIC DUO STRIKES AGAIN: Mark up another outstanding performance by the Michigan State duo of senior Stephanie Dueringer (Champaign, Ill.) and junior Sevatheda Fynes (Nassau, Bahamas). They highlighted the field at the SeaRay Relays in Knoxville, Tenn., held April 9-12. Each captured individual race victories, then combined with teammates Amy Hayes (Sr., Shelby) and Karlene Kurtz (Jr., Traverse City) to sprint their way to the winner's circle in the distance medley relay.

Dueringer continued to keep her name among the elite runners in the country, as she captured the Tony Wilson Memorial Award. She won the 5,000 meters and anchored the winning distance medley relay team. She blew past the competition in the 5,000 on April 10, as she beat out the field by nearly four seconds with a time of 16:37.87. Dueringer then followed up that victory by leading her relay squad to a victory April 12, as they cruised into the winner's circle in 11:33.35.

Fynes, the current 55-meter NCAA Indoor National Champion, dominated the sprints again, this time crushing the 100-meter field by hitting the tape in 11.09 seconds, .30 seconds ahead of the nearest finisher.

The Spartan distance crew displayed fine form, as it continued to be the strength of the MSU team. Dueringer received plenty of support, including that of freshman Leah Nilsson (Williamston). Nilsson seized fourth place in the 10,000, stopping the watch in 36:57.33. Junior Sarah Roelofs (Wyoming) finished right on her heels, taking fifth with a mark of 37:03.05.

Another distance twosome finished back-to-back in the 3,000, as senior Trisha Clarke (Coleman) and junior Becky Caldwell (Wyandotte) finished 11th and 12th in the 3,000, hitting the line in 10:19.29 and 10:21.96, respectively.

The 1,500-meter event had a trio of Spartans entered, as Hayes (4:38.32), Kurtz (4:39.37) and freshman Rita Arndt (Saline; 4:40.30) took home 14th, 17th and 18th, respectively. Junior Lawanda Byrd (West Palm Beach) took 16th in the 400-meter hurdles, crossing the finish line in 1:04.62.