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Track & Field Travel to SPIRE Invitational and GVSU Big Meet

Redshirt senior Lonnie Pugh, No. 6 nationally in the weight throw, will travel with the throwers to the GVSU Big Meet.

Feb. 7, 2013

WATCH: Preview with Coach Randy Gillon

WATCH: Preview with Amanda Impellizzeri

EAST LANSING, Mich. - The Michigan State track & field program will split competition this week as part of the team will head to the SPIRE Invitational, while others will travel to the GVSU Big Meet.

The Spartans will return to Allendale, Mich., for the third time this season as they compete in the GVSU Big Meet at the Kelly Family Sports Center. A total of 60 schools will participate at the meet with events scheduled to begin on Friday, Feb. 8 at 11 a.m. and continue Saturday, Feb. 9.

Michigan State will also be sending competitors to the SPIRE NCAA Division I Indoor Track & Field Team Invitational in Geneva, Ohio. The facility will also host the 2013 Big Ten Indoor Championships. Events will be held on Friday and Saturday.

Last Time Out
The women's 4x400m relay took home a win as the Michigan State track & field team competed at the Notre Dame Meyo Invitational in South Bend, Ind., on Feb. 2. The team of sophomore Alicia Evans, sophomore Jellisa Westney, sophomore Tori Franklin and redshirt senior Alysson Bodenbach crossed the finish line first in 3:38.47 to break the school record in the event. 

Meanwhile, the throwers traveled to Ohio for the Findlay Open. For the second-straight meet, redshirt senior Beth Rohl (No. 5) claimed an individual title in the weight throw while breaking a facility and meet record, as she hit a mark of 21.38m/ 70-1¾ in the elite competition. In the shot put, redshirt sophomore Antonio James (No. 13) threw for a mark of 17.91m/ 58-9¼ to place fifth overall in the elite competition. 

Record-Breaking Spartans
Although it's early in the season, the Spartans have already rewritten the MSU record books during indoor competition.  So far, three school records have been broken during the 2013 season.

Leah O'Connor
Mile (4:40.41) - Michigan Dual

Beth Rohl
Weight Throw (21.40m/ 70-2) - Michigan Dual

Amanda Impellizzeri
Pole Vault (4.05m/ 13-3½) - Notre Dame Invite

Climbing the Rankings
The Michigan State women's track & field team is currently ranked No. 24 nationally in the USTFCCA computer rankings.

The top-ranked Spartan for the women is Franklin who ranks third overall in the country with a mark of 13.34m/ 43-9¼ in the triple jump. Rohl remains in the top-five in the weight throw with her school-record mark to 21.40m/ 70-2½. Bodenbach ranks 20th in the 400-meter with a time of 53.56, while redshirt junior Sara Kroll sits at 22nd with a time of 9:12.25 in the 3,000-meter run.

In addition to O'Connor's 28th ranked time of 4:40.41 in the mile, senior Amanda Impellizzeri is No. 32 in the pole vault with a mark of 4.05m/ 13-3½.

On the men's side, redshirt senior Lonnie Pugh remains in the top-10 nationally with a sixth-ranked mark of 21.40m/ 70-2½, while teammate Antonio James's mark of 20.92m/ 68-7¾ places him 13th. Senior Kurt Schneider sits at 14th in the heptathlon with 5,648 pts.

Conference Honors
Earlier this season, the Michigan State women's track & field team swept the Big Ten weekly honors as  O'Connor was named Track Athlete of the Week and Rohl was named Field Athlete of the Week, as announced by the conference office on Monday, Jan. 28.

O'Connor broke the facility, school and her personal record as she took home an individual win in the one-mile run with a time of 4:40.41 at the Michigan dual meet. Rohl received the Field Athlete of the Week honor from the Big Ten for the second-straight week. She broke her own school record in the weight throw, winning the event in the Michigan dual meet with a personal-best mark of 21.40m/ 70-2. She earns the third indoor track & field award of her career and second this season.

Next Up
The Spartans will stay on the road next weekend as they are set to compete at the Silverston Invitational in Ann Arbor, Mich. Competition will be held at the Michigan-Indoor Track Center on Feb. 16.



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