Jan. 26, 2012
EAST LANSING, MICH. - The Michigan State track & field team will return to action tomorrow when it travels to Bloomington, Ind. for the Indiana Invitational. Action is scheduled to begin on Friday, Jan. 27th, at 3 p.m. with the long jump, and Saturday, Jan. 28th, at 10:20 a.m. with the weight throw.
In the Spartans' last competition, the Notre Dame Invitational - a meet with primarily Big East opponents - MSU saw success in multiple events. Becca Buchholtz highlighted the women's side with a first-place finish and a school record in the high jump at 6-0 (1.83m). The jump topped her previous mark of 5-11 ½ (1.82) which she accomplished at last year's Big Ten Outdoor Championships. The performance earned her Big Ten Co-Field Athlete of the Week honors.
Buchholtz's honors are the second recognition in two weeks for the Spartans. On January 16th, Tori Franklin was awarded Big Ten Field Athlete of the Week for her meet-record performance in the triple jump at the GVSU Bob Eubanks Open.
The women had a fine showing in the long jump and weight throw, taking the top three spots in both events. Senior Ashley Stacey led the way with a leap of 19-6 ¼ while senior Katie Guikema and freshman Tori Franklin had efforts of 18-1 ½ and 18-0 ½ respectively. Beth Rohl led the field in the weight throw, placing first with a toss of 66-10 ¾. Second and third spots went to her teammates, junior Shatora Lewis (a personal record 62-2 ¼) and Senior Catherine Daniels (58-4 ½).
Leading the way for the men was Junior Kurt Schneider who placed in three events. His outright victory in the long jump (24-1 / 7.34m) was a personal record. Schneider's second personal best of the day was a second-place finish in the 60m hurdles with a time of 8.23. Schneider also placed third in the high jump (6-9) - with the top marks coming from his teammates Kevin Jackson and Owen Hughes.
The Spartan men had strong distance performances from Kevin Yarnell who placed first in the mile (4:11.07) and freshman Austin Wissler who won the 800m (1:52.71). In field events, it was Jay Gillespie who won his second straight meet in the weight throw with an effort of 68-9 ¼. Taking top honors in the triple jump was freshman Jarred Gambrell (49-1).
Thus far in the indoor season, the Spartans boast several members on the squad who rank in the Top 10 nationally and amongst the best within the conference. Buchholtz's high jump ranks her second in the nation and first in the conference. Jay Gillespie's weight throw performance at the Notre Dame Invitational ranks him fourth in the country and first in the Big Ten. Teammate Lonnie Pugh also ranks tenth nationally in weight throw, fourth in the Big Ten. Beth Rohl has the seventh best weight throw in country, which places her second within the conference. Zach Hill has the ninth best ranking nationally in the shot put and has a second-place ranking in the conference. Tori Franklin's triple jump at the GVSU Invite is the currently best in the conference, and fourth in the nation.