Track & Field
Beth Rohl Places Fifth in Discus During Opening Day of NCAA Championships
June 9, 2010
EUGENE, Ore. - The Michigan State track & field team opened action today (June 9) at the NCAA Championships in Eugene, Ore. Completing action in the first day of competition was senior Kyron Foster (triple jump), sophomore Becca Buchholtz (high jump) and freshmen Keenan Michael (400m hurdles) and Beth Rohl (discus). The Spartan women currently are 13th with four team points.
Rohl highlighted competition for the Spartans with her fifth-place showing in the women's discus throw to earn MSU's lone points. Rohl recorded a distance of 53.44m during her first toss of the competition, which at the time was the top mark in the event. As a result, Rohl becomes MSU's first All-American discus thrower in school history.
"Beth has really turned the corner the last couple of weeks," said director of track & field and cross country Walt Drenth. "Since the conference meet, she has really gone back to who she was when she was successful last year. She is calm under pressure, and really for a freshman, to come out here and do what she has done, she has made tremendous progress. I really liked the way she competed. It's really hard to come out and make a statement with your first throw. I think it really changed the dynamics of her entire flight.
"This is really going to do a lot for her momentum tomorrow in the hammer throw. Really, she has had more success in the hammer than she has had in the discus. So I have to believe this is going to give her a lot of confidence going into tomorrow, and really in to the future."
"It's great to be able to win this not only for myself, but for Michigan State. It's crazy and wasn't something that I expected to do. I just went out there tonight and had fun and tried to compete. Hopefully, I will be able to use this momentum tomorrow as I begin the hammer throw," Rohl said.
Finishing off his career as a Spartan was senior Kyron Foster who turned in a distance of 14.78m in his only legal jump of the meet. Foster dug deep in his final attempt while fighting an injury to turn in his mark. Foster ends his career as an All-American and a two-time Big Ten Champion in the triple jump.
"It's tough to see Kyron go out in this manner. It's a little easier when they go out and it's going well. To not be able to see him give it a go and having him injured is just really disappointing. I think he truly had a chance to score, but all you can do is say that he wasn't able to do it today. He has been a tremendous competitor. For us in the development of our program, having him be a two-time Big Ten Champion is really important. The fact that he was able to do that while not having competed all spring was a great example of someone who knows how to step-up for competitions," Drenth added.
Freshman Keenan Michael made his NCAA Championships debut with an eighth-place showing in the second heat of the 400m hurdles. Michael started strong, but looked to have stumbled over the third hurdle to fall behind early in the race. The Slippery Rock, Pa., native, rallied back to turn in a time of 54.56 in the race.
Sophomore Becca Buchholtz also made her NCAA Championships debut with a height of 1.72m in the high jump. After missing the first two attempts, Buchholtz jumped the third and final attempt at the mark to advance to the 1.76m height. Buchholtz battled strong, but was unable to clear the height, failing in all three attempts at the mark. Buchholtz and the rest of the jumpers were battling adverse rainy conditions throughout the competition. After jumpers were introduced, the rain arrived, forcing the event to be delayed slightly. Nine jumpers fouled out of the competition at the opening height.
"We talked in a team meeting today before heading to the track about taking this experience and really making it count. This kind of experience is vital for the progress of both Becca and Keenan. You could tell that they were both in a new environment and were a little out of character at times. Hopefully that whatever they learned here, they will be able to convey that to the younger athletes as we get more people here to the NCAA Championships," said Drenth.
The Spartans will continue action tomorrow as freshman Josh McAlary will compete in the 1,500m semi-finals and Rohl will close out her championships action in the hammer throw finals. Rohl throws at 3 p.m. PT, while McAlary runs at 4:45 p.m. PT.
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