Michigan State Track & Field Takes On Big Ten/ACC Challenge On Friday
Full meet will take place Friday, April 13 in Louisville, Kentucky.
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EAST LANSING, Mich. - Michigan State track & field is set to compete in the Louisville Invitational, a scored dual meet hosted by Louisville as the Big Ten/ACC Challenge at Cardinal Park in Louisville, Kentucky.
“Any time we do a scored meet, I think it gives us an indication of who is willing to disregard the variables, disregard who they’re competing against and just find out who they are at their best,” MSU Director of Track & Field, Walt Drenth, said. “It poses different kinds of challenges because there’s something tangible besides the outcome at stake, and that is we’re scoring points. It gives us a chance as coaches to assess where everybody is at from the mental standpoint, and it’s an exceptional meet. Purdue, Louisville and Notre Dame have great teams, so it’ll be a good test for everyone.”
Originally set for April 13-14, impending inclement weather pushed the meet to only April 13. The hammer throw kicks off the field events at 11 a.m., while the 3,000m steeplechase begins at 2 p.m. on the track side.
MSU will compete with Louisville and Notre Dame from the ACC, while Purdue is the other representative from the B1G conference. According to Track & Field News, Louisville is No. 16 in dual meet rankings on the men’s side, and the Purdue women’s team comes in at No. 5. The Purdue women are also ranked nationally overall, ranking 12th in the United States Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association poll.
“Purdue has a good track & field team. They’re balanced. They have people everywhere. We just have to improve ourselves, so really it’s a better point of reference for us. This is what a good team looks like, and where are we close? Where are we ahead? Where are we behind? It will give us those ideas,” Drenth said.
Over 50 Spartans will compete in the 46 events on Friday. Redshirt-sophomore Dillon McClintock, who currently ranks No. 2 in the conference and No. 3 in the nation with a 1500m time of 4:13.82, will run in the 800m. Redshirt-sophomore Jeralyn Poe, whose 5,000m time of 16:22.42 ranks seventh in the conference, is set to compete in the 1500m run. Junior Taylor Mullins will compete in the 400m hurdles, in which she set a PR at 59.42 at the Raleigh Relays on March 30-31 for No. 5 in the Big Ten. Redshirt-sophomore Karrigan Smith will run the 3,000m steeplechase, where she is currently third in the conference with a time of 10:22.86 at the Raleigh Relays.
Redshirt-junior Ellen DiPietro will make an appearance in the high jump, where she is currently No. 2 in the conference, and freshman Sophia Franklin leads the pole vaulters, currently with the No. 2 jump in the Big Ten. Redshirt-senior Katelyn Daniels, who ranks fourth in the B1G in both the shot put and discus, will throw in both events on Friday.
On the men’s side, junior Justine Kiprotich will run the 800m, though he is currently in third in the Big Ten in the 1500m. Redshirt-freshman Morgan Beadlescomb leads MSU in the 1500m on Friday, owning the No. 6 time in the conference at 3:46.39. Junior Will Agodu will run in the 110m hurdles, where he is ninth in the B1G with a time of 14.34. Redshirt-senior Max Benoit will run in the 3,000m steeplechase for the first time this season on Friday.
In the field events, redshirt-senior Tim Ehrhardt and senior Noah Gary lead the Spartans with the No. 2 and No. 4 vault in the conference, respectively. Redshirt-freshman Jerimiah Evans, who set a PR at the Raleigh Relays in the discus at 54.00m, will throw in the discus and the shot put. Redshirt-freshman Nick Kramer will compete in the hammer throw and discus, while senior Max Knoblock will make an appearance in the javelin, where he currently ranks No. 7 in the Big Ten with a throw of 62.69m.
“Having a lot of people together and having most of our top kids back together, that’s generally always good for us. You go out there with a better sense of purpose. Everybody that has a chance to score is there, but that’s not completely true yet because we’re leaving our 10,000m people at home. For the most part, we’re going to be pretty whole.”
Following the Louisville Invitational, MSU track & field will split next weekend between the Jesse Owens Classic in Columbus, Ohio, and the Virginia Challenge in Charlottesville, Virginia, on April 20-21.