MSU Track & Field Competes In First Split Weekend Of The Season
Spartans set to compete in both the Meyo Invitational and Akron Invitational.
EAST LANSING, Mich. -
Michigan State track & field is on the road for a split weekend, competing at both the Meyo Invitational in Notre Dame, Indiana, and the Akron Invitational in Akron, Ohio, on Friday and Saturday, Feb. 2-3.
The Meyo Invitational, hosted by Notre Dame at the Loftus Sports Center in Notre Dame, Indiana, is set to begin on Friday, Feb. 2 with five field events commencing at 4 p.m. followed by six track events that get underway at 4:30 p.m. On Saturday, Feb. 3, the track events resume at 9:45 a.m. and the field events follow at 10:30 a.m. A portion of the meet will be broadcast live on ACC Network Extra from 2-4 p.m. and is available on WatchESPN.com.
“The Meyo is one of the elite events for track & field in the country, certainly in this neck of the woods,” MSU Director of Track & Field, Walt Drenth, said. “It’s going to give us an opportunity to grow and apply the things that we’ve done as we’ve progressed so far this winter and it’s a nice point of reference in where we fit in with other elite teams. I think it’ll give some of us a chance to run our primary event closer to our best now. We’re getting closer to championship season. We move from a transition now from trying to hit some good marks to really learning to be really competitive. The Big Ten Championships are just around the corner in some respects. We’ve got essentially this weekend and next weekend, a weekend off and then we go to the Big Ten Championships, so we’ve got to start getting things right to give us an idea of who we’ll take and who has earned the right to participate in Big Tens.”
A small group of Spartans will compete at the 14th-annual Akron Invitational at the Stile Athletics Field House in Akron, Ohio on Friday, Feb. 2 and Saturday, Feb. 3. Field events begin at 4 p.m. on Friday followed by track events at 8 p.m. On Saturday, running events pick back up at 10 a.m. and field events start at 11 a.m.
“The Akron Invitational is one of the few meets that we attend that has a multi-event. The heptathlon and pentathlon are contested there. Those are really important meets for us. We have a couple of exceptional multi-event athletes, so we want to give them the best chance to prepare for the Big Ten Championships and getting involved in that competition is a big preparation for that,” Drenth said. “They’ve been doing all of their events, each meet they do a couple of different events, but this is putting it all together with the flow of the competition. If it goes well, let it run off your back. If it doesn’t go like you’d hoped, let it run off your back and just move to the next thing in the five or seven events, because that’s what a multi-event athlete has to do. They have to have short memories one way or the other and they have to just perform at their best in each one of the events on the schedule. It’s also a very elite pole vault competition, and because Coach Creekmur coaches the vaulters and the multi-events, we’ve sent them all to Akron.”
Michigan State last competed at the Simmons Harvey Quad in Ann Arbor, Michigan. The Spartans picked up two first-place and five second-place finishes among some of the best track & field competition in the country. Freshman Morgan Beadlescomb took first in the men’s mile with a time of 4:08.33 and junior Andrew O’Connor claimed first in the 600m, crossing the line at 1:21.90.
Senior Katelyn Daniels nabbed second place in both the shot put (15.45m) and weight throw (18.67m). Senior Tim Ehrhardt finished second in the pole vault with a mark of 5.35m, senior Shelby Allen took second in the triple jump with a mark of 11.82m and senior Clark Ruiz crossed the finish line second in the 3,000m with a time of 8:12.9
“The one thing that is unique about track & field is that each athlete has a different responsibility,” Drenth said of what they’ve learned and how they can apply those lessons. “That’s been between the coaches and the athletes, but for me, it has more to do with getting more engaged in the process in terms of their responsibility to be their best, so learning what we’ve learned, whatever those lessons are, like I said they’re all individual, but going into a race and seeing us engage, process who we’re competing, apply the lessons they’ve learned. Those are the sorts of things that they all need to do and be part of our assessment as coaches.”
Following the Meyo Invitational and Akron Invitational, the Spartans will also split next weekend at the Music City Challenge in Nashville, Tennessee, and the GVSU Big Meet in Allendale, Michigan, on Feb. 9-10.