April 20, 2013
EAST LANSING, Mich. - Despite less than ideal conditions, the Michigan State track and field posted two wins and four personal-best performances on Saturday. The Spartans wrapped up competition at the Jesse Owens Track Classic in Columbus, Ohio and the EMU Twilight Invitational in Ypsilanti, Mich.
Winning their individual events were Lonnie Pugh (hammer) and Cliff Miller (pole vault). Recording personal-best performances were Miller and Kassie Powell (pole vault), as well as David Washington and Jacob McFadden (400m hurdles).
"The conditions were terrible again today," said director of track & field/cross country Walt Drenth. "It was in the low 40s and 20 mph winds all day. It was hard to get much done. We got cautious in some events. With the conditions so tough, we just felt like we weren't going to get big performances. At the end of the day, we have to be healthy to go at the conference meet. That was our decision; self-preservation in some instances.
"We had some decent performances, but I thought we could be a little bit tougher. We were pretty good in pockets. I thought our women's 400-meter runners and a couple of the half milers were pretty good. It was tough to throw in the hammer, but Beth (Rohl) did well. In general, when the conditions aren't good, it's best to trust the coaches to go until we pull the plug. In the meantime, they have to compete as though the conditions aren't a factor. So we did that a little bit. But it's an opportunity to learn something. There were some things that went pretty well. We've just got to get better. We've got to go back as coaches and talk to them about how to manage the conditions and what our expectations are. They have to trust us and go forward."
Just two feet shy of his school record mark, redshirt senior Lonnie Pugh won the hammer throw event that was contested late Friday evening at the EMU Twilight Invite. He posted a season-best mark of 62.47m/ 204-11.
Redshirt senior Cliff Miller took first-place honors in the pole vault, recording a career-best height of 5.10m/ 16-8¾ for the win. Tying for second was redshirt junior Derik Peterman and redshirt senior James Nixon who both posted a mark of 4.82m/ 15-9¾.
In the women's pole vault, redshirt junior Amanda Impellizzeri (No. 2 in the Big Ten) finished fourth overall with a mark of 3.90/ 12-9½. Recording a personal record in the event, sophomore Kassie Powell posted jumped the same height in more attempts to place sixth.
"Cliff (Miller) did a good job," said Drenth. "I thought the women pole vaulters did a pretty good job, too. Kassie (Powell) jumped at her personal best. They vaulted inside. With the weather conditions, it was really a safety factor."
Freshman Jacob McFadden clocked a season-best in the 400-meter hurdles, clocking a time of 53.83 to place 10th overall. Also posting a season-best time, freshman David Washington stopped the clock in 54.84 to finish 18th. In the women's event, sophomore Lindsey Seymour was barely off her season-best time, crossing the finish line in 1:02.64 to place fourth overall.
"Lindsey Seymour did excellent considering the conditions," Drenth said. "I was really please with her run, because she is an NCAA kid if she keeps making progress. That's progress under these conditions, which means give her a decent day and she will run under 60 seconds."
In the men's 800-meter run, redshirt senior Joe Banyai turned in a runner-up finish with a time of 1:51.32.
Sophomore Owen Hughes placed third overall in the men's high jump, recording a mark of 2.00m/ 6-6¾.
In the women's hammer throw, redshirt senior Beth Rohl posted a fifth-place mark of 59.02m/ 193-8.
The Spartans were well represented in the women's 400-meter. Sophomore Alicia Evans finished fourth with a time of 56.03. She was followed by redshirt senior Alysson Bodenbach in sixth and sophomore Jellisa Westney in seventh, who posted times of 56.37 and 56.41, respectively.
Meanwhile, the Spartans also competed on Saturday at the EMU Twilight Invitational in Ypsilanti, Mich.
With a runner-up finish in the 100-meter hurdles, senior Chelsea Ross clocked a timed of 14.46.
Junior Chelsea Henderson posted a mark of 32.31m/ 106 to place fourth overall in the javelin.
Redshirt freshman Reed Payant and redshirt sophomore Ben Carruthers each placed in the top-five of the 3,000-meter run. Payant clocked a time of 8:44.40 for a runner-up finish, while Carruthers placed fourth with a time of 8:50.30.
In his first collegiate race, freshman Austin Sanders finished eighth in the 100-meter dash with a time of 11.14.
Michigan State will be back in action this week to compete at the nationally-renowned Drake Relays in Des Moines, Iowa, the Penn Relays in Philadelphia, Pa., and the Triton Invitational in La Jolla, Calif. Events will begin on Wednesday, April 24 and continue through Saturday, April 27.