Michigan State Women's Track Competes at EMU Classic

Lawanda Byrd leads Spartans.

Feb. 21, 1998

EAST LANSING, Mich. - Michigan State senior Lawanda Byrd answered the bell in the finals of the 55-meter hurdles, as she ran her career-best time to seize the race title as the Spartans competed in the EMU Classic in Ypsilanti, held Friday night. No team scores were kept.

After running the third-fastest time in both the prelims and the semi-finals, Byrd responded with a mark of 7.93 seconds, as she beat her previous personal-best of 7.94, set Feb. 25, 1996. Byrd turned in times of 8.16 in the prelims and 8.06 in the semis before clocking in with the only sub-eight second time of the evening in that event. The victory capped off a tremendous week for Byrd, who performed the national anthem at Tuesdayis Michigan-Michigan State basketball game.

The MSU pole vault record fell again, as this time Katie Meyer and teammate Jeannete Martus each made it over the bar at 9i 5 aei, as they finished second and third, respectively. This surpassed the previous mark of Meyeris set on Feb. 7 of 9i 4 oi.

The Spartansi distance crew also made an impact, as they peppered the leader boards in both the 800 meters and the mile. Karlene Kurtzis season-best mark of 2:15.93 placed her third in the 800, as MSU placed four runners in the top ten of the 44-competitor field. Karyn Duba (5th, 2:17.68), Carmen Suchomski (8th, 2;19.06), and Lindsay Towne (9th, 2:19.81) each contributed to the Spartan mile effort as well.

In the mile, three Green and White runners earned top ten honors, as Leah Nilsson (5:06.74), Jen Denkins (5:15.45) and Becky Caldwell (5:16.23) placed third, seventh and eighth, respectively. Another MSU distance runner, Christie Achenbach, took third in the 3,000 with a time of 10:19.92.

Other Spartan highlights included Shermaine McKenzieis second-place finish in the 200 meters, as she broke the tape in 25.19, a season-best by a MSU runner this season. Also, JoAnn Brown took fourth place in the shot put (41i 2 oi), Lisa Holmes grabbed seventh in the 400 (59.88), and Jessica Price took seventh in the high jump (5i 0 o). Finally, Beth Stover broke the MSU season-best in the long jump with a bound of 16i 3 oi.

The EMU Classic will be used as a warmup to next weekend, as the Spartans host the 1998 Big Ten Championships at Jenison Field House on Feb. 28-Mar. 1.