MSU Track & Field Heads To Big Ten Championships
 
 
 
Redshirt sophomore Leah O'Connor looks to defend her 2012 Big Ten title in the 3,000-meter steeplechase.
 
Redshirt sophomore Leah O'Connor looks to defend her 2012 Big Ten title in the 3,000-meter steeplechase.
 
 

May 8, 2013

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EAST LANSING, Mich. - The Michigan State track & field team will travel to Columbus, Ohio to face conference foes in the 2013 Big Ten Outdoor Championships. Hosted by Ohio State University, the events will be held Friday, May 10 through Sunday, May 12 at Jesse Owens Memorial Stadium. The Big Ten Network will broadcast the meet on May 19 at 1 p.m.

Last Time Out
The Spartans split their last few competitions as members of the team dispersed across the country to bi-coastal meets. Sophomore Tori Franklin had a season-best meet at the Drake Relays on April 27, breaking the MSU outdoor triple jump record with a mark of 13.41m/ 44-0 to rank second in the Big Ten. At the Triton Invitational hosted by UC-San Diego, redshirt senior Beth Rohl was the top collegiate finisher in the discus throw on April 25 to become the conference leader and first in NCAA East Region.

The majority of the team had their last meet at the Hillsdale College Gina Relays, where the Spartans earned 10 individual wins and 25 personal-best performances.

Winning their individual events at the Gina Relays were Sara Kroll (5,000m), Leah O'Connor (1,500m), Ben Miller (3,000m steeple),  Kevin Jackson (high jump), Lindsay Seymour (400m hurdles), Chelsea Ross (100m hurdles), Jelissa Westney (100 and 200m), Lauren Lampman (800m), Austin Wissler (800m) and James Nixon (pole vault).

Recording personal-best performances at the Gina Relays were Melanie Brender (10,000m), Chris Collier (3,000 steeple), Meggan Freeland (3,000m steeple), Liana Eckert (3,000m steeple), Caleb Rhynard (1,500m), Lindsay Clark (1,500m), Sara Stassen (1,500m), Angela Swain (1,500m), Noriah Williams (200m), Brittany Dobson (800m), Eric Buday (800m), Edward Clifton (800m), Connor Kostzrewa (hammer), James Nixon (pole vault), Sarah Birkmeier (pole vault), Lindsey Seymour (400m hurdles), Jelissa Westney (100 and 200m), Janae Hill (100m), TeJuanna Williams (100 and 200m), Alicia Evans (200m), Lauren Lampman (800m), Austin Wissler (800m), Ryan Haag (800m) and Jibril Mims (400m).

While at the Toledo Invitational this past weekend, Kelsey Prena posted season-best marks in the shot put and discus, while Jake Bennett recorded a career-best performance in the shot put.

MSU At The Big Ten Outdoor Championships
Michigan State holds four Big Ten Championship titles in the program's history, including three for the men in 1965, 1966 and 1972 and one for the women in 1982. In total, the men have earned 75 event title wins and the women have won 35 titles.

At the 2012 Big Ten Championships, the women finished in sixth place with 72 points, while the men earned 19 points to finish in 10th place.

As a redshirt freshman, Leah O'Connor won Michigan State's first gold medal of the 2012 Big Ten Outdoor Championships in the 3,000-meter steeplechase with a personal-record time of 10:12.36.

Beth Rohl won the bronze in the hammer throw, shattering her own school record with a distance of 62.87m/ 206-3. She later won her sixth-career medal with a bronze in the discus with a throw of 54.47m/ 178-8.

Ashley Stacey claimed her third career Big Ten medal in the long jump, earning a bronze with a mark of 5.98m/ 19-7½. Tori Franklin won her first outdoor medal, taking bronze in the triple jump with a distance of (42-04 ¼). As the only freshman in the top-eight, Sara Kroll posted a time of 16:24.32 in the 5,000-meter run, earning her first career bronze medal.

Jaelynn Pryor, who also won a bronze medal in the 400-meter hurdles and dropped below the 58-second barrier for the first time in her career with a third-place time of 57.33. Pryor was also a part of the 4x400-meter relay team composed of Alysson Bodenbach, Jellisa Westney and Alicia Evans that placed fourth overall and broke the school record with a time of 3:35.39

Record-Breaking Spartans
With the outdoor season winding down, the Spartans have already rewritten the MSU record books. The following records have been broken in the 2013 season:

Antonio James
Discus Throw (59.78m/ 196-1) - Jesse Owens Classic

Tori Franklin
Triple Jump (13.41m/ 44-0) -Drake Relays

Conference Honors
Redshirt senior Beth Rohl was named Big Ten Outdoor Co-Field Athlete of the Week on Thursday, May 2. It was the first outdoor weekly conference laurel for the New Buffalo, Mich., native who is the Big Ten and NCAA East Regional leader in the discus throw. She was recognized as the 2011 and 2013 Big Ten Indoor Field Athlete of the Year and was twice named Indoor Field Athlete of the Week on Feb. 14, 2011 and Jan. 21, 2013.

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 led the Big Ten in the triple jump and earned her first outdoor conference laurel and third of her career. It marked 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 24 individuals and two relays in the top-48 in the NCAA East Regional rankings. The women's 4x400-meter relay is currently fourth in the Big Ten and No. 26 in the East Region, while the 4x100-meter relay is fourth in the conference and No. 32 in the East Region. The Spartans ranked in their individual events include the following student-athletes:

Men:

Antonio James

5th

Discus (59.78m/ 196-1)

21st

Shot Put (17.87m/ 58-7½)

22nd     

Hammer (61.37m/ 201-4)

Keenan Michael

7th

400-meter hurdles (51.44)

Josh McAlary

8th

1,500m (3:42.25)

Lonnie Pugh

15th

Hammer (62.47m/ 204-11)

17th

Discus (56.26m/ 184-7)

Caleb Rhynard

21st

5,000m (13:57.99)

Jarred Gambrell

24th

Triple Jump (15.34m/ 50-4)

James Nixon

27th

Pole Vault (5.11m/ 16-9¼)

Cliff Miller

28th

Pole Vault (5.10m/ 16-8¾)

Ben Miller

34th

3,000 Steeple (9:00.19)

Austin Wissler

35th

800m (1:49.89)

Derik Peterman

35th

Pole Vault (5.08m/ 16-8)

Codi Mattix

48th       

Pole Vault (5.08m/ 16-8)

Women:

Beth Rohl

1st

Discus (57.10m/ 187-4)

14th

Hammer (60.12m/ 197-3)

Tori Franklin

2nd

Triple Jump (13.41m/ 44-0)

Leah O'Connor

5th

3,000m Steeple (10:09.82)

30th

1,500m (4:20.75)

Melanie Brender

18th

10,000m (34:20.35)

Amanda Impellizzeri

19th

Pole Vault (4.02m/ 13-2¼)

Ashley Stacey

22nd

Triple Jump (12.66m/ 41-6½)

36th

Long Jump (6.07m/ 19-11)

Jaelynn Pryor

26th

400m hurdles (59.45)

Jellisa Westney

27th

100m (11.58)

 

27th

200m (23.64)

Sarah Birkmeier/ Kassie Powell

T-38th

Pole Vault (3.90m/ 12-9½)

Sara Kroll

44th

5,000m (16:22.15)

Katie Landwehr

47th

3,000m Steeple (10:36.27)

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

Men:

Antonio James

4th  

Discus (59.78m/ 196-1)

Keenan Michael

4th

400-meter hurdles (51.44)

Jarred Gambrell 

4th

Triple Jump (15.34m/ 50-4)

Women:

Beth Rohl

1st

Discus (57.10m/ 187-4)

 

4th

Hammer (60.12m/ 197-3)

Tori Franklin

2nd    

Triple Jump (13.41m/ 44-0)

Leah O'Connor

2nd

3,000m Steeple (10:09.82)

Melanie Brender

2nd

10,000m (34:20.35)

Jellisa Westney

4th

100m (11.58)

Amanda Impellizzeri

4th

Pole Vault (4.02m/ 13-2¼)

Ashley Stacey

4th

Triple Jump (12.66m/ 41-6½)

5th

Long Jump (6.07m/ 19-11)

Kassie Powell

5th

Pole Vault (3.90m/ 12-9½)

Sarah Birkmeier

5th

Pole Vault (3.90m/ 12-9½)

Jaelynn Pryor

5th

400-meter hurdles (59.13)

Next Up
The Spartans will travel to the NCAA East Regional Championships in Greensboro, N.C. Competition will begin on Thursday, May 23 and will continue through Saturday, May 25.