Feb. 21, 2013
WATCH: Track & Field Preview
EAST LANSING, Mich. - The Michigan State track & field program will return to the SPIRE institute this weekend to compete against conference foes in the 2013 Big Ten Indoor Championships. Competition will begin on Friday, Feb. 22 and continue on Saturday, Feb. 23 in Geneva, Ohio.
Big Ten Indoor Championship History
The Michigan State men have won three indoor conference titles in 1966, 1972 and 1999. Overall, the Spartans boast 156 Big Ten individual champions, including 110 men and 46 women.
At the 2012 Big Ten Indoor Championships, the women finished fifth overall with 77.5 points and were led by three medalists. Looking to follow-up this year will be Beth Rohl who earned a bronze medal in the weight throw with a mark of 20.38m/ 66-10½. In the long jump, Ashley Stacey brought home another bronze with a mark of 6.05m/ 19-10¼. Winning a silver medal as a freshman, Tori Franklin will look to improve in the triple jump after her mark of 12.84m/ 42-1½.
Also scoring for the Spartans and returning in 2013, Sara Kroll clocked a time of 9:26.38 to place fourth in the 3,000-meter. Placing seventh in the in the mile with a time of 4:48.54 was Leah O'Connor. Stacey also finished seventh in the triple jump with a mark of 12.47m/ 40-11. The women's 4x400-meter relay placed third for the Spartans, clocking a time of 3:39.90 while the distance medley relay finished sixth with a time of 11:30.69.
Meanwhile, the men's team compiled a total of 32.33 points to place ninth at last year's Championships. Scoring for Michigan State was DeVantré Whitelow, who finished fifth in the 60-meter dash, while Josh McAlary placed seventh in the mile with a time of 4:08.58.
In the weight throw, Lonnie Pugh finished fifth with a mark of 20.78m/ 68-2¼ and Antonio James threw for a mark of 20.61m/ 67-7½ to place sixth overall. Pugh also scored points for the Spartans, placing eighth in the shot put with a mark of 17.81m/ 58-5¼. Codi Mattix posted a mark of 5.12m/ 16-9½ to place seventh in the pole vault, while Kevin Jackson also finished eighth in high jump with a height of 2.07m/ 6-9½.
Last Time Out
The Spartans claimed four individual wins at the Silverston Invitational on Saturday, Feb. 16 in Ann Arbor, Mich. Redshirt senior Beth Rohl brought home a win in the shot put for the second time this season with a career-best mark of 14.43m/ 47-4¼. Rohl also took first-place honors in the weight throw, recording a mark of 20.86m/ 68-5¼ to claim the win.
On the track, redshirt freshman Lauren Lampman placed second overall in the 400-meter dash with a season-best time of 57.14.
Qualifying for the NCAA Indoor Championships, redshirt sophomore Antonio James claimed his third win of the season in the weight throw with a personal-best mark of 21.59m/ 70-10 setting the new school record. Meanwhile, redshirt senior Lonnie Pugh recorded a mark of 20.30m/ 66-7¼ to finish second.
Pugh later earned a runner-up finish in the shot put with a mark of 17.43m/ 57-2¼, and James threw for a mark of 17.22m/ 56-6 to place third overall.
The Spartans have already rewritten the MSU record books during indoor competition. So far, four school records have been broken during the 2013 season.
• Leah O'Connor
Mile (4:38.39) - SPIRE Invitational
• Beth Rohl
Weight Throw (21.40m/ 70-2) - Michigan Dual
• Amanda Impellizzeri
Pole Vault (4.05m/ 13-3½) - Notre Dame Invite
• Antonio James
Weight Throw (4.05m/ 13-3½) - Silverston Invite
Big Ten Performance List
Heading into the 2013 Big Ten Indoor Championships, the Spartans have 13 student-athletes that rank in the top-eight of the conference.
#2 - Antonio James - Weight Throw - 21.59m/ 70-10 (Silverston Invitational)
#6 - Lonnie Pugh - Weight Throw - 20.85m/ 68-5 (GVSU Big Meet)
#8 - Antonio James - Shot Put - 18.10m/ 59-4¾ (Michigan Dual)
#8 - Keenan Michael - 400-meter - 47.55 (Notre Dame Invite)
#8 - Josh McAlary - Mile - 4:00.52 (SPIRE Invite)
#1 - Beth Rohl - Weight Throw - 21.40m/ 70-2½ (Michigan Dual)
#1 - Sara Kroll - 3,000-meter - 9:18.32 (SPIRE Invite)
#2 - Leah O'Connor - Mile - 4:38.74 (SPIRE Invite)
#2 - 4x400m relay - 3:38.47 (Notre Dame Meyo Invite)
#3 - Amanda Impellizzeri - Pole Vault - 4.05m/ 13-3½ (Notre Dame Meyo Invite)
#5 - Alicia Evans - 400-meter - 54.63 (SPIRE Invite)
#5 - Alysson Bodenbach - 600-meter -1:31.15 (Michigan Dual)
#5 - Tori Franklin - Triple Jump - 12.50m/ 41-0¼ (Notre Dame Meyo Invite)
#7 - Ashley Stacey - Long Jump - 5.94m/ 19-6 (Michigan Dual)
#8 - Ashley Stacey - Triple Jump - 12.28m/ 40-3½ (SPIRE Invite)
#8 - Lauren Lampman - 600-meter -1:31.32 (Michigan Dual)
Climbing the Rankings
Nine members of the Michigan State track & field team currently rank nationally in the USTFCCA computer rankings.
The top-ranked Spartan for the women is Rohl, who ranks sixth in the weight throw with her school-record mark to 21.40m/ 70-2½. In addition to O'Connor's 22nd ranked time of 4:38.39 in the mile, senior Amanda Impellizzeri is No. 25 in the pole vault with a mark of 4.05m/ 13-3½.
On the men's side, James's mark of 21.59m/ 70-10 moved him into the fourth overall spot in the weight throw while redshirt senior Lonnie Pugh remains in the top-10 nationally with a ninth-ranked mark of 20.85m/ 68-5. Senior Kurt Schneider sits at 15th in the heptathlon with 5,648 pts. Rounding out the Spartans, redshirt senior Josh McAlary is ranked 37th in the mile with a time of 4:00.52. Rounding out the Spartans, James also ranks No. 34 in the shot put with a mark of 18.10m/ 59-4¾.
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.
Qualifying Standards for NCAA Championships
For the second-straight season, there are no qualifying standards for the championships season. Qualification to the championships is based on descending-order list for the season. For each individual event, the fields will first be filled with the top-16 student-athletes who declare for their events with automatic status. The remainder of the field will be filled by the highest-remaining ranked performances. For each relay event contested, the top-12 declared relay teams will be accepted into the competition.
The Spartans will return to South Bend, Ind., for the Notre Dame Alex Wilson Invitational. Competition will be held at the Loftus Sports Center on March 1-2.