Feb. 2, 2013
EAST LANSING, Mich. – The women’s 4x400m relay took home a win as the Michigan State track & field team concluded competition at the Notre Dame Meyo Invitational on Saturday afternoon in South Bend, Ind.
“It was great to see how the team managed themselves,” said assistant coach Randy Gillon. “We still have more work to do, but it is nice to see people making such great strides from week to week. It excites us as a coaching staff because we know they are projecting to perform when it matters at the Big Ten meet. The meet itself was very competitive and overwhelming at times with some much going on and a lot of energy. I think the group as a whole really managed themselves well in what can be an over-stimulating environment.”
In the first event of the day, the Spartans had a strong showing in the 3,000-meter run as redshirt senior Katie Haines clocked a time of 9:58.28 to finish sixth overall. Redshirt junior Meggan Freeland placed 26th with a time of 10:15.04, while redshirt junior Liana Eckert, who posted a time of 10:22.81, finished 32nd.
Redshirt sophomore Devan John crossed the finish line in career-best time of 5:02.32 to place 30th overall in the mile run.
Michigan State had two place in the top-10 in the triple jump with sophomore Tori Franklin finishing fifth overall with a mark of 12.50m/ 41-0¼, while junior Ashley Stacey earned a seventh-place finish as she hit a mark of 12.27m/ 40-3¼.
Redshirt junior Kelsey Prena posted a mark of 13.69m/41-5¼ to tie her career-high in the shot put to place 20th overall. In the open pole vault competition, redshirt junior Amanda Impellizzeri finished in third place with a mark of 3.05m/13-3½.
“The vaulters showed great consistency this weekend in an event with a lot of variables and a lot of ups and downs, for them to show that kind of consistency from one weekend to the next is pretty special and pretty significant going in to Big Tens,” said Gillon.
The Spartans picked up two top-10 finishes in the 200-meter dash as sophomore Alicia Evans posted a time of 24.67 for a sixth-place finish and sophomore Jellisa Westney placed ninth with a time of 24.80. Also competing in the event was sophomore Lindsey Seymour, who finished 28th with a time of 25.43 and redshirt junior Noriah Williams posting a time of 25.69 for 40th place.
MSU also had a strong showing in the 400-meter, with Westney as the top Spartan finisher with a career-best time of 55.70 for eighth place. Clocking in at 56.70, redshirt senior Alysson Bodenbach placed 18th overall.
“For the sprinters, we had some young people really take some steps forward,” Gillon said. “I want to recognize Lindsey Seymour and her efforts. She is moving towards what comes from hard work and staying the course even when things go awry along the way.”
Redshirt freshman Lauren Lampman posted a time of 2:11.87 for a 13th-overall finish in the 800-meter run.
In the final event of the day, the Spartans raced to a first-place finish in the 4x400m relay. The team of Evans, Westney, Franklin and Bodenbach crossed the finish line first in 3:38.47 to improve their season-best time in the event.
“The women’s 4x400m relay broke a school record,” said Gillon. “It’s the right time to start rounding in the form. The four young women really did a great job. Hats off to Aly(sson Bodenbach) who again managed to pull us out of jam because we were in second place going into her leg. We were still in second for the duration of her leg until she rallied and caught the girl from Notre Dame at the line.”
On the men’s side, freshman Austin Sanders improved his season-best time to 21.97 to finish ninth for the Spartans in the 200-meter dash. Sophomore Aaron Hendricks, who placed 23rd overall, turned in a time of 22.30.
Hendricks also clocked a season-best time of 48.98 in the finals of the 400-meter dash to place 31st overall. In the 800-meter run, freshman Edward Clifton crossed the finish line in 2:01.55, good for 68th overall. Freshman Ryan Konen finished 22nd in the 3,000-meter run with a time of 8:35.42.
In the triple jump, sophomore Jarred Gambrell turned in a seventh-place mark of 14.83m/48-8. Redshirt junior Derik Peterman tied for eighth in the open pole vault competition with a mark of 4.90m/16-0¾. In the high jump, sophomore Owen Hughes cleared 1.97m/6-5½ to tie for 14th overall.
“We are definitely where we need to be in the jump group with Jarred (Gambrell) and Ashley (Stacey); we are still working through some kinks but all in all making great progress,” Gillon said.
In the finals of the 60-meter dash, sophomore DeVantré Whitelow crossed the finish line in 6.85 to place fifth overall.
“Moving forward, we have the GVSU Big Meet and the SPIRE Invitational coming up,” said Gillon. “We hope to compete with what will resemble our Big Ten team at SPIRE. We are looking for not only the current performers to continue to develop, but also the a few other people take steps forward towards Big Tens just a couple weeks away.”
The Spartans will return to Allendale, Mich., for the third time in the 2013 indoor season for the annual GVSU Big Meet. Competition will begin on Friday, Feb. 8 and continue on Saturday, Feb. 9.