Track & Field
Track & Field Travels for Weekend Competition
April 10, 2014
EAST LANSING, Mich. - Heading back out on the road, the Michigan State track & field team will split weekend competition as the Spartans travel to the 2014 Tennessee Relays and the Don Kleinow Invitational at Siena Heights.
Sponsored by Sea Ray, the Tennessee Relays will take place at the Tom Black Track at LaPorte Stadium in Knoxville, Tenn. The Spartans will compete in the hammer throw on Thursday, April 10. The events on Friday, April 11 will begin at 10 a.m., while the running events will kick off the final day of competition on Saturday, April 12 at 10:30 a.m.
"It will be a good, competitive meet for us," said director track & field/cross country Walt Drenth. "We’re going there for weather and for the right kind of competition. The Tennessee meet is really designed for our skill, speed and power people. We just have to make progress. I think the throwers are making decent progress. It’s time for our sprinters to get going and moving up the ladder in terms of our times and performances. If we do the one thing we talk about all the time, and that is compete, then the meet will go pretty well. I think that some of the things we haven’t done well in terms of marks is really engaging, being fully intent on what we’re going for. I think the women sprinters are being a little bit timid and we need them to step up. They’ve trained, they are upperclassmen and they’ve earned the right to start having some expectations and hopefully this weekend we’ll see that manifest itself a little bit.”
Held at the brand new O’Laughlin Stadium, the Don Kleinow Memorial Invitational is hosted by Siena Heights in Adrian, Mich. The Spartan distance group will compete in the one-day meet, beginning at 10 a.m., on Saturday with the men’s 10,000-meter run.
"Our lifeblood for long-term success is going to have a developmental element," Drenth said. "If we don’t have some of our younger athletes, people who weren’t highly-recruited elsewhere, if they don’t develop into Big Ten-level athletes, then we won’t ever be as competitive as we are capable of being. You can’t score all of your points with scholarship people. You have to have some people who are developmental in nature. Some of it is just getting some people a chance to race. We’re looking at it from multiple aspects, but giving people a chance to compete is critical to their development. This meet gives us that opportunity."
Last Time Out
The Spartan throwers had a busy weekend as redshirt sophomore Connor Kostrezewa won the men's hammer throw on Friday, hitting a career-best mark of 59.76m/196-1. Winning the event for the second-straight week, redshirt junior Antonio James finished first in the men's discus throw on Saturday with a mark of 58.37m/ 191-6, before he added another win in the shot put with a mark of 17.83m/ 58-6.
In the pole vault, redshirt junior Sarah Birkmeier took first-place honors en route to earning an NCAA regional qualifying mark of 4.15m/ 13-7¼, tying her career high. Also hitting a personal-mark of 4.05m/ 13-3½ was redshirt sophomore Lauren Chorny to also qualify for the regional meet. The men dominated the event, led by freshman Tim Ehrhardt with a jump of 4.95m/ 16-2¾ for first place.
On the track, MSU swept the 800 and 1,500-meter runs with top-three finishes led by redshirt junior Leah O’Connor (2:08.02) and redshirt senior Julia Otwell (4:28.05) on the women’s side, while redshirt freshmen Sherod Hardt (1:55.66) and Nick Soter (3:56.03) topped the men. Representing the sprints group was sophomore David Washington, who clocked a personal-best 52.73 to win the 400-meter hurdles, while junior Alicia Evans placed first overall in the 200-meter dash with a time of 24.48.
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