Jan. 11, 2013
EAST LANSING, Mich. - The Michigan State track & field program started off the 2013 indoor season with a strong showing at the GVSU Bob Eubanks Open Invitational. The Spartans claimed six first-place performances at the meet held at the Kelly Family Sports Center.
"Our primary objective was to see how we would compete," said director of track & field/cross country Walt Drenth. "The first meet, you're kind of getting the kinks out and it's a dry run for meets that are upcoming, championships and that sort of thing. I thought we competed very well. Everything I saw, I was excited about."
The women sparked the meet with two top-10 finishes in the 300-meter dash. Sophomore Jellisa Westney had a runner-up finished with a time of 39.73 and redshirt junior Noriah Williams clocked a 41.49 to place sixth. Redshirt sophomore Jaelynn Pryor followed with a third-place finish in the 400-meter dash, running a time of 57.10.
Michigan State earned a win in the 4x400-meter relay as the team of Westney, Bodenbach, Williams and Lampman fought back to cross the finish in first-place with a time of 3:44.36.
"The find of the meet was Lauren Lampman," Drenth said. "She was second in the 600m and anchored the mile relay to a win. I thought she was incredibly competitive. It's really exciting to find another leg for the mile really and someone who will be able to do well in the 600 and 800 meters."
In the high jump, freshman Adeline Grier-Welch placed third (1.62m/5-3¾) and teammate Molly Duda tied for a fourth-place finish (1.57m/5-1¾) The pole-vaulters took high marks as redshirt junior Amanda Impellizzeri (3.94m/12-11) finished second and sophomore Kassie Powell (3.79m/12-5¼ ) claimed third.
"I was very excited with the way the women pole vaulters competed, both jumping near their personal bests," Drenth said. "Amanda was just shy of the school record, so I was really pleased with that."
In the throws, redshirt senior Beth Rohl claimed a third-place finish in the shot put with a mark of 13.61m/44-8. She also earned a runner-up finish in the weight throw with a mark of 20.25m/66-5¼.
On the men's side, the Spartans placed two in the top-five finishers of the men's 300-meter dash. Sophomores Aaron Hendricks (35.14) and Stephen Foster (35.21) placed third and fourth, respectively, in the men's 300-meter dash.
Freshman Jacob McFadden followed up with a fourth-place finish in the 400-meter dash, posting a time of 50.69. He also finished ninth in the finals of the 60-meter hurdles with a time of 9.03
MSU had three top-five finishers of the men's 600-meter dash. Sophomore Austin Wissler clocked a time of 1:20.12 to place second, freshman Ryan Haag claimed third with a time of 1:20.90 and freshman Brandon Wallace finished fourth in 1:20.96. Freshman Edward Clifton also placed seventh with a time of 2:00.42 in the 800-meter dash.
"The men's 600-meter dash was outstanding," said Drenth. "A couple of those guys will run very fast in the 800-meter before the end of the year."
The men's 4x400-meter relay team of Hendricks, McFadden, Wallace and Foster finished with a time of 3:20.97 to place fourth.
"I thought James Nixon did very well in the pole vault," Drenth said. "Owen jumped very well in the high jump to win. I think that was indicative of how we were today - we contested everything. Kids are tired and they are learning a lot right now, we really just wanted to see if they would try to win and they did a lot of that today. We know about the Beth Rohl's and the Lonnie Pughs, we know about the Jellisa Westney's and the Alysson Bodenbachs, but we get the kids that we haven't expected much out of to step up this early, it really bodes well for the season."
The Spartans dominated the shot put as redshirt senior Lonnie Pugh earned a mark of 17.58m/57-8¼ to claim first and redshirt sophomore Antonio James placed second with a mark of 17.27m/56-8. Redshirt junior Chris Hessell also earned a fourth-place finish with a mark of 16.17m/53-0¾)
"The men's shot putters all had opening marks that were the best of their careers," said Drenth. "Chris Hessell had a really nice breakthrough and he's done a very good job. Lonnie (Pugh) and AJ (Antonio James) both had very good starts."
James went on to win the weight throw with a mark of 19.81m/65-0. Sophomore Connor Kostrzewa finished third in the event with a mark of 18.64m/61-2.
Michigan State will return to action as it travels to the Notre Dame Invitational next Saturday, Jan. 19.