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Spartan Track & Field Set For Bi-Coastal Competition

Josh McAlary will be the lone Spartan competing at the Payton-Jordan Invite.

April 25, 2013

WATCH: Track & Field Preview

Drake Relays Meet Information

Gina Relays Meet Information

Triton Invitational Meet Information

Payton-Jordan Invitational Meet Information

EAST LANSING, Mich. - With meets taking place across the county, the Michigan State track & field program will split competition again as it heads into the weekend. The Spartans will be competing at the Drake Relays, the Hillsdale GINA Relays, the Payton-Jordan Invitational and the Triton Invitational.

The 104th Drake Relays is one of the most prestigious track & field events in the country. Hosted by the Drake University in Des Moines, Iowa, the meet will see competition from over 8,000 track and field athletes. The Spartans will be competing in the long jump on Friday, April 26, and continue with the long jump and 400-meter hurdles on Saturday, April 27.

The majority of the team will travel in-state to the GINA Relays at Hillsdale College. The 47th annual meet will take place at the Ken Herrick Track with events beginning at 12 p.m. on Friday and continue on Saturday at 10 a.m.

Spartan throwers are competing with some of the top athletes in the nation at the Triton Invitational in La Holla, Calif. Hosted by UC-San Diego, the competition will include many Olympians in the throws events. Redshirt seniors Lonnie Pugh and Beth Rohl as well as redshirt sophomore Antonio James will compete at the Triton Track & Field Stadium beginning Thursday and concluding on Saturday.

Redshirt senior Josh McAlary will be the sole Spartan to represent MSU at the Payton-Jordan Invitational at Stanford University in Palo Alto, Calif. He will compete at the Cobb Track and Angel Field on Sunday, April 28 in the 1,500-meter run scheduled for 10:45 p.m.

Last Time Out
MSU was split competition last weekend as the members of the team competed at the Larry Ellis Invitational, the Jesse Owens Track Classic as well as the EMU Twilight Invitational. The Spartans posted a new school record, seven individual wins in addition to seven personal-best performances.

Setting a new Michigan State record at the Jesse Owens Classic, redshirt sophomore Antonio James improved his personal best in the discus throw for the second-straight meet. He was the top collegiate finisher, throwing for a career-best mark of 59.78m/ 196-1. James is currently third in the Big Ten and fifth in the NCAA East Region in the discus.

Also at the Jesse Owens Classic, the saw individual wins from redshirt junior Ben Miller, who posted a season-best in the 3,000-meter Steeplechase, redshirt freshman Caleb Rhynard in the 5,000-meter run, redshirt senior Josh McAlary in the 1,500-meter run and redshirt senior Cliff Miller  who recorded a career-best mark in the pole vault.

Shaving over 20 seconds off of her season-best time, redshirt sophomore won the 3,000-meter Steeplechase at the Larry Ellis Invitational to move into the No. 2 spot in the Big Ten, No. 5 in the NCAA East Region and No. 9 in the nation.

Just two feet shy of his school record mark, redshirt senior Lonnie Pugh won the hammer throw by posting a season-best mark of 62.47m/ 204-11 at the EMU Twilight Invite.

Conference Honors
For her winning mark at the Spec Towns Invitational, sophomore Tori Franklin was named Big Ten Field Athlete of the Week on Wednesday, April 17. The Westmont, Ill., native is the Big Ten leader in the triple jump and earns her first outdoor conference laurel and third of her career. It marks the first Outdoor Athlete of the Week honors for Michigan State since 2008.

Qualifying for the NCAA Preliminary Championships
Qualification to NCAA Preliminary Championship Competition is based on the descending order list for the season, segregated by east and west sites, and prepared solely from the mandatory submission of meet results during the season. For each individual event contested at each Preliminary Championship Competition, the top-48 declared student-athletes will be accepted into the competition. For each relay event contested at each Preliminary Championship Competition, the top-24 declared relay teams will be accepted into the competition.

Climbing the Rankings
Michigan State currently has 20 individuals and two relays in the top-48 in the NCAA East Regional rankings. The women's 4x400-meter relay is currently second in the Big Ten and No. 17 in the East Region, while the 4x100-meter relay is fourth in the conference and No. 25 in the East Region. The Spartans ranked in their individual events include the following student-athletes:

Keenan Michael 6th 400-meter hurdles (51.44)
Antonio James 4th Discus (59.78m/ 196-1)
19th Shot Put (17.86m/ 58-7½)
21st      Hammer (61.37m/ 201-4)
Caleb Rhynard 16th 5,000m (13:57.99
Josh McAlary 18th 1,500m (3:45.44)
Jarred Gambrell 21st Triple Jump (15.34m/ 50-4)
Lonnie Pugh 15th Hammer (62.47m/ 204-11)
22nd Discus (54.78m/ 179-9)
Cliff Miller 26th Pole Vault (5.10m/ 16-8¾)
Derik Peterman 33rd Pole Vault (5.08m/ 16-8)
Ben Miller 37th 3,000 Steeple (9:06.82)
Austin Wissler 38th 800m (1:50.26)

Codi Mattix/ James Nixon          

T-43rd        Pole Vault (4.95m/ 16-2¾)
Tori Franklin 4th Triple Jump (13.13m/ 43-1)
Leah O'Connor 5th 3,000m Steeple (10:09.82)
14th 1,500m (4:20.75)
Beth Rohl 8th Discus (52.53m/ 172-4)
13th Hammer (60.12m/ 197-3)
Amanda Impellizzeri 18th Pole Vault (4.02m/ 13-2¼)
Ashley Stacey 20th Triple Jump (12.66m/ 41-6½)
33rd Long Jump (6.07m/ 19-11)
Jaelynn Pryor 24th 400m hurdles (59.45)
Kassie Powell T-32nd Pole Vault (3.90m/ 12-9½)
Sarah Birkmeier 44th Pole Vault (3.87m/ 12-8¼)

The following Spartans rank among the top-five in the Big Ten conference this season:

Antonio James 3rd   Discus (59.78m/ 196-1)
Keenan Michael 4th 400-meter hurdles (51.44)
Jarred Gambrell  4th Triple Jump (15.34m/ 50-4)
Tori Franklin 1st     Triple Jump (13.13m/ 43-1)
Leah O'Connor 2nd 3,000m Steeple (10:09.82)
4th 1,500m (4:20.75)
Amanda Impellizzeri 2nd Pole Vault (4.02m/ 13-2¼)
Ashley Stacey 3rd Long Jump (6.07m/ 19-11)
3rd Triple Jump (12.66m/ 41-6½)
Beth Rohl 4th Discus (56.85m/ 186-6)
4th Hammer (62.87m/ 206-3)
Kassie Powell 5th Pole Vault (3.90m/ 12-9½)
Jaelynn Pryor 5th 400-meter hurdles (57.33)

Next Up
The Spartans will take week off before taking on conference rivals at the Big Ten Outdoor Championships. Hosted by Ohio State University, the meet will begin on Friday, May 10 and will continue through Sunday, May 12.



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