Tim Ehrhardt Sets New School Record Among Top Spartan Finishes This Weekend
Michigan State Track & Field continued to set PR's on second day of respective invitational meets
EAST LANSING, Mich. - Michigan State Track & Field carried over the success from day one into the final day of competition at both the Meyo Invitational in Notre Dame, Indiana, and the Akron Invitational in Akron, Ohio. Competing among elite track & field athletes, the Spartans came out strong, setting numerous personal records, highlighted by senior Tim Ehrhardt’s school record-breaking pole vault of 5.60m at the Akron Invitational.
Akron Invitational – Akron, Ohio
In the men’s pole vault, Ehrhardt established a new school record with a mark of 5.60m, the best for any Spartan since Paul Terek cleared a 5.55m vault in 2001. Ehrhardt’s personal record ranks the fourth best in the nation, and best out of all Big Ten vaulters.
“Overall, we competed very well,” MSU assistant coach Ceith Creekmur said. “That was definitely something Tim had his mind set on and his sights set on maybe since he walked through the doors the first year he was here. Paul Terek is an Olympic-level athlete, so any time you get a chance to take a record from him, that’s a big deal. In terms of the competition for the men’s vault, there’s a lot of NCAA kids we’ll see in a couple weeks at the NCAA Championships, so it’s a good primer for that meet.”
On Friday night, sophomore Nick Guerrant took first in the heptathlon with a score of 3,191. Guerrant took first in the 60m dash with a time of 7.03 (PR), high jump (2.02m) and shot put (13.23m) as well as third in the long jump (7.01m), another personal record. Freshman Sophia Franklin tied for first in the pole vault with a mark of 3.83m, setting a new personal record. Sophomore Andrea Pangori finished sixth in the pentathlon with a career-best score of 3,553, setting a PR in the 800m with a time of 2:30.52, in the shot put with a throw of 10.37m and in the long jump with a distance of 5.22m.
“I’m definitely seeing growth from them,” Creekmur added. “In terms of points, for Nick and Andrea. Andrea’s never done a pentathlon before. You look at the people around her, who she’s competing with, she’s right there. She scored really well, and same thing with Nick. I was happy with both of them. Sophia also jumped well.”
Meyo Invitational – Notre Dame, Ind.
“We’ve had our best weekend in a couple of years in terms of growth in a lot of places, so I was really happy. We started out last night with exceptional performances. Jesse Hersha won in the 5,000m. Taylor Mullins was very good in the 600m. Jerimiah Evans had a nice PR in the weight, so kind of across the board we were pretty good, and then we came back today and I thought we were as good if not better in a lot of places. We had finalists in the hurdles. Will (Agodu) has done a nice job and continues to grow, probably not his best race, but I thought he did a really nice job and still competed well. Jonathan Fife made a really big breakthrough this weekend. I thought he was outstanding," MSU Director of Track & Field, Walt Drenth said. "When we’re talking about our strengths, we know where a lot of our strengths are. Winning the distance medley last night with the women and being second with the guys, that stuff we need to sustain, but when we get people like Jonathan and Taylor going, that means we’ve got depth in other places. For Jonathan to make the final in the 60 and run well, a couple of times under seven seconds, and starting to see some potential there. We think he’s good, and he’s really grown up a lot and matured, and it’s been really fun to see. We were in nearly every race; Dillon (McClintock) won the half and it was wire to wire. Justine (Kiprotich) was very good in his 800. I think he made a couple tactical errors, but had a really good night last night, and ran a really good leadoff leg in our distance medley, so I’m feeling pretty good.”
Junior Will Agodu started the day off with a first-place finish in the 60m hurdle semifinal, qualifying for the final with a time of 7.92. Agodu took third in the final 60m hurdle, finishing with a time of 7.97. In the 60m, junior Jonathan Fife also qualified for the semifinal with a time of 6.95, taking fourth in the final, setting a personal record with a time of 6.92.
Senior Max Benoit took ninth in the 3,000m, setting a PR with a time of 8:07.33. Freshman Brayden Law ran his first 3,000m for the Spartans, finishing with a time of 8:17.68. In the men’s mile, redshirt-freshman Morgan Beadlescomb recorded a personal-best time of 4:04.00, as did senior Clark Ruiz with a time of 4:09.88. Junior Justine Kiprotich took fourth in the 800m run at 1:50.78, his season best.
On the women’s side, sophomore Dillon McClintock took first in the 800m with a time of 2:06.18, a season-best result. Sophomore Jeralyn Poe took fifth in the 3000m race, crossing the finish line with a new personal record of 9:27.42. Sophomore Karrigan Smith took fourth place in the mile, setting a PR with a time of 4:47.69, while fellow sophomore Mackenzie Weiler also set a PR in the mile, running a time of 4:55.92.
Redshirt senior Katelyn Daniels finished second in the shot put with a season-best final throw of 16.15m. On the men’s side, freshman Jerimiah Evans also took second in the shot with a final throw of 17.33m, a personal best.
The Spartans started the second day of the Meyo Invitational coming off a successful first day, nabbing seven top-five finishes.
“When an event area has success, I definitely think there’s some confidence built, no question about it,” Drenth added. “Then again, Katelyn Daniels didn’t have a very good night with the weight last night, and I thought regrouping and throwing a personal best indoors with the shot today, that’s a sign of maturity and that’s a good testament to her as a competitor. We did a nice job of growing a little bit today. That was a big thing. You go to the meet and you see us performing well and at a high level consistently in a lot of events, it certainly gives you some confidence going into the next day. You still have to do your work, so I was pleased with the way they handled themselves.”
Michigan State continues the indoor season with another split weekend on Feb. 9-10, at the Music City Challenge hosted by Vanderbilt in Nashville, Tennessee, and the GVSU Big Meet in Allendale, Michigan.
“We’ve got to be better when we get to the Big Tens, there’s no question about it,” Drenth said. “That’s not as good as we can be. If we’re that good, it will be frustrating, But if we keep growing and manage ourselves well over the next couple weeks, we’ll go to the Big Ten Championships and be pretty good. We’ll be competitive in a number of events. That’s all we’re looking for. We’re looking for growth. I thought our application of lessons this week was probably our best, and granted this was only our third meet, but when you see good progress and progression that quickly, that means they’re listening to what we’re saying and they’re starting to trust us as coaches.”