Michigan State Track & Field Makes Giant Strides At Louisville Invitational
Spartans continue to set personal-best marks on Friday.
LOUISVILLE, Ky. - Michigan State Track & Field claimed top finishes in the Louisville Invitational, coming in second on the men’s side with 175 points and third on the women’s side with a score of 148.50 on Friday at Cardinal Park in Louisville, Kentucky. MSU won 10 individual events and one relay, setting a plethora of new personal bests in the first scored meet of the outdoor season for the Spartans.
“I thought we were pretty good. I think we’ve gotten better every weekend, and I thought this week was no exception,” Michigan State director of track & field, Walt Drenth, said. “They’ve made some different decisions. They’re more engaged. They’re trusting their coaches. The energy in practice is better. They’re working on things and making an effort to be better, and there’s always a correlation between your work and the outcome.”
Starting off the track events strong, redshirt-senior Bridget Blake won the 3,000m steeplechase in her first time competing in the event as a Spartan, crossing the line at 10:42.55. Redshirt-sophomore Mackenzie Weiler finished third in the event, finishing at 10:54.77. On the men’s side, redshirt-senior Max Benoit and redshirt-sophomore Winter Romeyn claimed the top two finishes in the event, at 9:02.80 and 9:23.62, respectively.
Senior Antonio Clarke, redshirt-sophomore Jonathan Fife, freshman Earvin DaSilva, and sophomore Savalas Morgan claimed the top time in the 4x100m relay at 40.95.
Senior Devin McKinney was second in the 110m hurdles, finishing at 14.12, a career-best. In the women’s 400m hurdles, junior Taylor Mullins claimed second with a time of 1:00.71. In the 100m dash, Fife was second with a time of 10.29, while DaSilva finished fourth with 10.61, both setting personal bests. Fife set yet another PR in the 200m dash, taking second with a time of 20.89. Senior Antonio Clarke also achieved a personal best, taking fifth with a time of 21.37. In the women's 100m, junior Autumn Robinson took eighth on the women’s side, finishing at 12.22, a career-best. Clarke also took fourth in the 400m dash with a time of 48.70.
“They’re one of the highlights. The sprint group has made some immense strides. The 4x100, the 100 and 200, Jonathan Fife was outstanding. Savalas Morgan was good. Devin McKinney was good. I was frankly pleased again with Taylor Mullins. She just keeps making progress. She’s growing up. She’s beating good people,” Drenth said.
Redshirt-freshman Morgan Beadlescomb won the men’s 1500m run with a time of 3:54.58, and redshirt-junior Brian Kettle followed in third with a time of 3:55.10. On the women’s side, redshirt-freshman Lindsey Rudden finished second with a time of 4:29.29, and Weiler finished fourth with a time of 4:29.53.
Redshirt-sophomore Dillon McClintock won the women’s 800m, taking the top time of 2:07.62. Redshirt-junior Kayla Kavulich won the second section, finishing fourth with a time of 2:11.77. Junior Justine Kiprotich finished first on the men’s side, clocking in at 1:52.62, while freshman John Gove claimed third with a time of 1:55.08.
Redshirt-freshman Sarah Kettel was the top Spartan finisher in the 5,000m run, taking fifth place with a time of 17:35.82. Redshirt-freshman Samantha Hanson picked up ninth place with a time of 17:55.17. In the men’s 5,000m, redshirt-sophomore Ryan Robinson took second, crossing the line at a career-best 15:03.28. Sophomore Matthew Thomas finished fifth with a time of 15:17.28, a personal best.
Closing out with the 4x400m, Mullins, McClintock, Kavulich and Bogan took third with a time of 3:49.36. The men’s team of redshirt-sophomore Nick Guerrant, redshirt-freshman Noah Zalapi, redshirt-senior Tim Ehrhardt and redshirt-junior Alec Wiater also finished third with a time of 3:19.43.
Redshirt-senior Katelyn Daniels won both events she contested, grabbing first place in both the shot put with a final throw of 15.92m and the discus with a throw of 56.93m. Redshirt-freshman Nikole Sargent also scored for the Spartans in the shot put with a career-best throw of 14.51m for sixth place, and in the discus with a personal-best throw of 49.04m for fifth place. In the hammer throw, redshirt-freshman Kayli Johnson picked up a third-place finish with a throw of 50.70m, while redshirt-junior Steph Pajot claimed fourth with a mark of 48.71m.
On the men’s side, redshirt-freshman Nick Kramer finished second in the hammer throw with a mark of 56.56m. Redshirt-freshman Jerimiah Evans nabbed second in the shot put, throwing 16.90m, and in the discus with a mark of 53.46m.
Senior Jade Madison won the javelin with a final throw of 47.51m, while on the men’s side, senior Max Knoblock won with a mark of 62.94m. Sophomore Nathan Whitting claimed second with a throw of 52.01m.
Freshman Sophia Franklin won the pole vault with a season-best clearance of 4.05m. Redshirt-senior Tim Ehrhardt took second with a pole vault of 5.40m, and senior Noah Gary placed third with a height of 5.10m. Junior Ellen DiPietro placed second in the high jump with a season-best mark of 1.79m. Senior Shelby Allen finished second in the triple jump with a distance of 12.35m, a new personal best.
Senior Morgan Johnson set a PR in the long jump with a distance of 5.83m, good for fifth place. Pangori also set a personal best, jumping a distance of 5.58m. Junior Jon Edwards took sixth with a career-best distance of 7.01m and Guerrant followed in seventh with a mark of 6.93m.
“The jumpers were good, too,” Drenth added. “We had some really nice performances in the long jump and the triple jump. We’re seeing some improvements across the board, and that’s really important as we keep getting closer to the end.”
Louisville came in first on the both the men and women's sides, with a men's score of 200 and women's score of 179.50. MSU's team finishes improve from the team’s appearance at the Big Ten/ACC Challenge last season, when the men and women’s teams placed fourth.
“We had a lot of season-bests. It was windy and it was warm. It was 50 degrees warmer today than it was last weekend, so adverse conditions in the opposite direction for us. It would be good to have some medium there, but we just chose to compete. I think about Devin McKinney right now. He walks into practice, and he is winning practice. He’s going to practice just about every day, and those efforts are starting to show. We’re seeing better leadership, and we’re seeing better camaraderie. The team is owning this, and it’s a big part of why we’re making some progress.”
Next weekend, MSU track & field will split between the Jesse Owens Classic in Columbus, Ohio, and the Virginia Challenge in Charlottesville, Virginia, on April 20-21.