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Kiprotich Wins 1,500m on Final Day of Big Ten Outdoor Championships

May 14, 2017

Final Results | Championship Central

Michigan State track & field had its best day on the final day of action at the Big Ten Outdoor Track & Field Championships at Nittany Lion Outdoor Track in University Park, Pennsylvania. The Spartan men were led by top-the finishes by Justine Kiprotich and Sherod Hardt.

After the final day of action, the women finished 10th with 34 points, while the men were 11th with 28 points.

The Purdue women came on strong on the final day and won with 133 points, while the host Penn State men led wire-to-wire, ending the final day with 117 points.

“I thought that we had a strong final day of competition. The evidence is there with people scoring in some improbable finishes. I am frankly really pleased with the way that today went,” said Director of Track & Field and Cross Country Walt Drenth.

Sophomore Justine Kiprotich captured the first gold medal of the 2017 Big Ten Outdoor Championship by winning the men’s 1,500m. Kiprotich won his first career Big Ten title with a time of 3:48.72. He was just shy of his personal best time of 3:42.36 at the Virginia Challenge in April. The sophomore was a runner-up last season.

“Justine has turned into one of the best milers in the region, and clearly has a chance to be an NCAA finalist. To be a Big Ten champion as a sophomore is amazing. I am seeing a guy really maturing,” Drenth said. “He has a good race savvy. He made a bold move with about 500 or 600 meters to go to get into running position. When he got to the front with a little over 200 meters to go, he just powered away from the field.”

Fellow sophomore Will Agodu finished sixth in the men’s 110m hurdles with a personal best time of 13.90. Agodu topped his time during the prelims of 13.95 which was his personal best.

“Will came through with another personal best. There was a lot of chaos around him; he has never been in a field of hurdlers that good. I thought he did a great job. I am excited to see him learn,” Drenth said.

Senior Sherod Hardt had a solid showing in his final Big Ten Championship, finishing third in the men’s 5,000m. Hardt clocked in with a time of 14:25.10. In her first B1G Outdoor Championship, freshman Jeralyn Poe was eighth in the women’s 5,000m with a time of 16:37.20. Poe earned a point for the Spartans by passing Penn State veteran Tori Gerlach at the end of the race.

“One of the hallmarks of a really good team is to be good at the end of the meet, in the 4x400 and the 5,000, it is a long weekend. Some kids have doubled and some kids have waited their turn, but you still have to be mentally tough. I was really pleased with how Sherod battled through the whole race. He ran a tough race from start to finish,” Drenth said.

Junior Katelyn Daniels continued a very strong Big Ten Outdoor Championship, finishing fifth in the shot put. Yesterday, Daniels finished second in the discus at the, finishing second with a throw of 53.73m. The 2015 gold medalist in the discus captured the silver for the second-straight season.

“We got some really necessary points from both Katelyn and Jade (Madison). Katelyn with her back troubles has really been able to rally herself. Aside from the N.C. State meet, this has been one of her best competitions in the shot. That was a national class shot field. She was a little more relaxed today,” Drenth said. “Jade was eighth last year and that is amazing for her to move up to fourth this year. It is a testament to her training and trusting her coach.”

Junior Jade Madison finished just out of medal contention, ending the javelin fourth with a heave of 48.30m. She significantly improved on her previous personal best of 46.22 at the Jesse Owens Classic in April.

In the men’s pole vault junior, Noah Gary was fourth with a vault of 5.21m. Junior Tim Ehrhardt passed at 4.85m and wasn’t able to clear the bar at 5.00m.

“Noah has been really consistent. Actually I think that Noah didn’t have a great indoor championship, so they kind of switched roles. It is unlike Tim to have a bad day, and what we have stressed is ‘what have you learned?’ Noah did an outstanding job competing. The conditions were really tough today, and it is a really long competition. He was really fun to watch today,” Drenth added.

The women’s 4x100 team of Denise Spann, Taylor Mullins, Autumn Robinson and Cierra Pryor finished seventh with a time of 46.74.

The Spartan men and women will now prepare for the NCAA First Round in Lexington, Kentucky, May 24-26.



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