April 28, 2012
HILLSDALE, MICH. - Michigan State's distance squad made the trip south to Hillsdale to compete in the Gina Relays, a three-day event that gave the Spartans one of their final tune-ups prior to the Big Ten Outdoor Championships in two weeks.
Standout performances came from Tiffany Evans who was just five seconds away from beating her personal best in the 3000-Meter Steeplechase. Evans placed third in the event with a final time of 10:38.35, close to her season best 10:33.85 at the Raleigh Relays.
Evans' teammates Liana Eckert ( 11:02.71) and Megan Freeland (11:05.43) also finished within the top ten of the event, placing eighth and tenth.
The Spartans saw two distance runners break the 17-minute barrier in the 5000 meters. Sophomore Megan Rodgers established a new personal-best time of 16:46.65 which was good for fourth place, while fellow distance runner Kathleen Landwehr competed unattached, placing seventh at 16:57.18.
Other top efforts came from Rachel McFarlane who achieved a new PR of 4:30.30 in the 1500-Meter Run, finishing fourth - and Senior Klare Essad who competed in the 10000 meters for the first time in her career, placing third at 35:45.50.
MSU's top middle distance runners Joe Banyai, Stephen Humes, and Austin Wissler competed in the men's 800 meters - with Banyai topping the group in fourth place at 1:51.85. Banyai's mark was nearly a personal best, just split seconds away from the 1:51.85 half mile he ran during the 2011 indoor season. Humes (1:52.38) and Wissler (1:52.84), placed in sixth and seventh, respectively.
Two Spartans made top ten placements in the men's 5000 meters. Alex Wilson was eighth at 14:18.25 while freshman Caleb Rhynard competed unattached, placing tenth at 14:18.53.