Sailar and Madison Advance to Eugene After First Day of East Preliminary Round
Justine Kiprotich and David Washington advance to quarterfinals.
Day One Results | Championship Central | Heat Sheets
LEXINGTON, Ky. - Fighting through rainy and windy conditions, the Michigan State track & field team began action at the East Preliminary Round in Lexington, Kentucky on Thursday. Inclement weather delayed many events, but the Spartans had two athletes advance to the NCAA Championships in Eugene.
Junior Jade Madison will also advance to the NCAA Championships, finishing 11th in the very competitive group. Madison finished first in flight two with a throw of 47.86, just shy of her career-best heave of 48.30m at the Big Ten Championship.
“Coach (Pugh) and I kind of made a game plan to just go out there are be relaxed and win the flight. I am just excited to be moving on. I didn’t think that I would go this far at the beginning of the season, having built on every meet and end it with going to Eugene is pretty exciting,” Madison said.
“She (Madison) did a fantastic job of competing, It was really important as it turned out that she won her flight. She has made progress in every meet. It has been fun to watch. My hat is off to her,” said Director of Track & Field and Cross Country Walt Drenth. “Hannah (Sailar) was a little bit distracted by the weather. She did a good job of getting into the competition. It wasn’t ideal for vaulting. Coach Creekmur did a great job coaching her. Advancing is really hard to do. To say that you are one of the top 12 vaulters in the Eastern part of the United States is fantastic. It was nice to see the bounce back from the conference meet that was deeply disappointing to her.”
Senior Hannah Sailar became the first Spartan woman to punch her ticket to Eugene in the pole vault. The will be her first appearance in the NCAA Championships. The senior entered the event as the 10th seed and finished tied for ninth with Penn State’s Hannah Mulhern with a vault of 4.10m. With eight athletes vaulting 4.20m, Sailar had to wait to see if she was going to advance.
“In the 10 minutes, I was waiting; I didn’t think I was going to make it. I thought I was going to have to do a jump off. Then I thought I was going to make it in. I was just bouncing back and forth between all three of those. When I found out, it was kind of a shock, but I am just so happy to be in for the first time,” Sailar said.
In the women’s 10,000m, senior Alexis Wiersma narrowly missed advancing to the NCAA Championships. The All-American finished 13th with a time of 34:04.09, just five tenths of a second off the 12th place finish. Wiersma was just shy of her season-best time of 34:01.65. Sophomore Kelsie Schwartz finished 28th with a time of 35:12.25, while freshman Amber Way was 33rd with a time of 35:27.13. Jessica Goethals rounded out the Spartan quartet finishing 43rd with a time of 36:18.46.
“She (Wiersma) ran so well late. She clearly was pulling people in; she just gave them too much space. In a meet like this if you are a little apprehensive you are going to get swallowed up. She has been a phenomenal leader. In every way shape and form, we are going to miss her immensely. Her will and her competitiveness were on display. I am so disappointed for her to not make the final,” Drenth said.
Sophomore Justine Kiprotich was originally not allowed to race in the 1,500m due to a uniform rule technicality. He will now advance to the quarterfinals on a clerking clarification.
Senior David Washington finished fourth in the first heat of the 400m hurdles with a time of 52.05. Washington finish 14th overall, advancing to Friday’s quarterfinal. He is one of three Big Ten athletes moving on to the quarterfinal along with Michigan’s Taylor McLaughlin (50.77) and Indiana’s Zach Reitzug (51.61). Washington will try to punch his ticket to Eugene on Friday, May 26 at 7:15 p.m.
In the long jump, junior Tim Ehrhardt finished 29th. His best jump of 7.10m was his first of the day. Ehrhardt’s season is not over though as he has already qualified for the NCAA Championships in the decathlon.
Sophomore Max Knobloch improved on each throw in the men’s javelin, but finished 36th. On his final throw, Knobloch finished with a throw of 57.57m. In the men’s 10,000m, junior Clark Ruiz finished 28th with a time of 30:54.09.
The Spartan men and women will continue action on Friday, May 26. Michigan State will begin at 2 p.m. with junior Katelyn Daniels in action in the women’s discus. Junior Noah Gary will be the first Spartan man to take the field in the men’s pole vault at 4:30 p.m.