Feb. 27, 2013
EAST LANSING, Mich. – Redshirt senior Beth Rohl was chosen Big Ten Indoor Field Athlete of the Year as announced by the conference office on Wednesday, Feb. 27. The 2013 Big Ten champion in the weight throw, Rohl posted a career-best mark of 22.17m/ 72-9 to set a new school record. This marks the second Field Athlete of the Year recognition for Rohl, her first for the indoor season, as she received the award for the first time in the 2011 outdoor season.
“It’s a good way for me to go out with it being my last year,” said Rohl, “I was excited to hear the news. I’ve just been giving it my all since it’s my last go around. I’ve been doing all the work, so it’s great to finally get the award for indoor. This pushes me even more to go for it at NCAAs.”
Rohl’s Big Ten title win this past weekend was the fifth individual weight throw title this season for the New Buffalo, Mich., native and second Big Ten Indoor title of her career. She claimed her first indoor weight throw title in 2009.
“It’s a great honor,” said director of track & field/cross country Walt Drenth. “When you consider the high quality of athletes in the Big Ten, to be chosen among her peers in all field event areas, it’s well-earned. She has consistently proved through the course of the indoor season that she is a great athlete. She comes through in the clutch. Her performances have been timely. Winning a Big Ten title, regardless of how talented you are, is no easy task. I’m really proud of her work and her efforts. With an award like that, it sets a standard in something that’s hard to do. Beth has set a standard for the people on the team now that these things are achievable. Hopefully it won’t be long until we receive another award like this.”
The two Spartans join 20 other track & field athletes who have distinguished themselves through sportsmanship and ethical behavior. In addition, the student-athletes must be in good academic standing and have demonstrated strong citizenship outside of the sports-competition setting.
These student-athletes are now candidates for the Big Ten Sportsmanship Award, as the conference office will honor one male and one female student-athlete from each institution at the end of the academic year.
“The sportsmanship award for both Alysson and Lonnie are well-earned,” Drenth said. “They do everything we ask them to do. They are products of their hard work, their expectations and good coaching. Both of them exemplify what were going for as program and what expect out of the student-athletes. We’re very fortunate to have both Alysson and Lonnie in the program and proud that they will be alumni of the program in a few short months.”
Bodenbach left the 2013 Big Ten Indoor Championships with a gold and two silver medals to bring back to East Lansing. In Saturday's finals, Bodenbach turned in a personal-record to earn first-place points and her first Big Ten individual title in the 600-meter run with a time of 1:29.45. She went on to anchor the 4x400-meter relay to a second-place finish and Michigan State record with a time of 3:36.34. On the first day of competition, she also helped the MSU distance medley relay to a second-place finish with a time of 11:15.21.
Breaking his own school record, Pugh won a gold medal in the weight throw with a mark of 22.21m/ 72-10½. Not only was it Pugh's first Big Ten title, but also marks the first indoor weight throw title in MSU history and the first individual event title for the men since 2010. Earlier in the meet, he recovered in the shot put to score eighth-place points for the Spartans with a throw of 17.77m/ 58-3¾.
Also announced by the conference were the members of the All-Big Ten First and Second Team.
Receiving First Team All-Big Ten honors for the Michigan State women were Bodenbach and Rohl for each of their individual Big Ten wins.
All-Big Ten Second Team honors went to the members of the second-place 4x400-meter relay team members Tori Franklin, Jaelynn Pryor, Jellisa Westney and the members of the silver-medal winning distance medley relay team of Lauren Lampman, Rachel McFarlane and Leah O’Connor.
On the men’s side, Pugh was named to the First Team All-Big Ten, while Antonio James received Second Team honors after receiving a silver medal in the weight throw.
The Spartans return to action on this weekend as they travel to South Bend, Ind., for their last meet of the regular season as they compete in the Notre Dame Alex Wilson Invitational on March 2-3.