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Preview: 2012 Big Ten Track & Field Outdoor Championships

Director of Track & Field, Walt Drenth

May 10, 2012

Big Ten Championship Information / Live Results / Start Times
Seeded Perfomance List
MSU Track on Youtube
MSU Track on Facebook
MSU Track on Twitter

Head Coach Walt Drenth (sixth season)
Central Michigan '81
Assistant Coaches Lena Bettis (Sprints/Jumps)
Chris Bostwick (Jumps/Mulit-Events)
Randy Gillon (Sprints/Hurdles)
John Newell (Throws)
Lisa Senakiewich (Distance)
Outdoor Titles 1965, 1966, 1972
2011 Big Ten Outdoor
Championships Result
Women (5th) - 74.50 pts.
Men (10th) - 34.50 pts.
Television Coverage Big Ten Network, Tape-Delay: May 20, 11 a.m. CT
Media Contact Bernie Rosendahl
c: 517-402-8123

EAST LANSING, MICH. - Michigan State heads to Madison this weekend for the Big Ten Outdoor Championships, hosted by the University of Wisconsin.  The Spartans, who claimed outdoor titles in 1965, 1966, and 1972, hope to claim a fourth Big Ten title in 2012 under the guidance of the Director of Track & Field, Walt Drenth.

All events will be held at the Dan McClimon Memorial Track/Soccer Complex, beginning on Friday, May 11, with the Decathlon 100-meter dash at 12:00pm.  Action continues on Saturday with the Decathlon 110-Meter Hurdles at 9:30 a.m., and Sunday begins with the Women’s Triple Jump at 11:00 a.m.  For all information related to this weekend’s activity, please visit the links above.

Michigan State is led by trio of national-caliber jumpers in senior Becca Buchholtz (East Troy, Wis./East Troy), sophomore Ashley Stacey (Riverdale, Ill./Thornton Township), and freshman Tori Franklin (Westmont, Ill./Downers Grove South).  All three were medal winners in the Big Ten Indoor Championships with Buchholtz claiming her sixth Big Ten medal in the High Jump, Stacey claiming her second Big Ten medal with a bronze in the Long Jump, and newcomer Franklin earning her first medal with a silver in the Triple Jump. 

Entering the Big Ten Outdoor Championships, Buchholtz currently has the conference’s top mark in the High Jump at 5-10 (1.78m).   She is also the school’s record holder in both indoor and outdoor competition with her career-best jump of 6-0 coming during the indoor season this past January.

Franklin has the school’s indoor record in the Triple Jump, leaping 13.34m (43-9 1/4) at the NCAA Indoor Championships, while Stacey has the school’s indoor record in the Long Jump, achieving a mark of 6.33m (20-9) during the 2011 season.

Michigan State’s top pole vaulter on the women’s side is redshirt sophomore Amanda Impellizzeri (Kentwood, Mich./East Kentwood), who achieved a personal-best 13-0 1/4 ( 3.97m) at the Spartan Invitational in early April.

Men’s jumps will be lead by true freshman Jarred Gambrell (Sayre, Pa./Athens) and redshirt junior High Jump specialist Kevin Jackson (Detroit, Mich./Martin Luther King).  Gambrell has career bests of 15.18 meters in the Triple Jump and 6.96 meters in the Long Jump – a distance he achieved in the indoor season.  Jackson is just under the 7 foot barrier in his event, with a top high jump mark of 2.13 meters (6-11).

The Spartans have four solid pole vaulters in redshirt sophomore Derik Peterman (Livonia, Mich./Winston Churchill), senior Logan Lynch (Lambertville, Mich./Bedford), redshirt junior Cliff Miller (Ann Arbor, Mich./Ann Arbor Huron), and junior Codi Mattix (Saranac, Mich./Saranac).

Peterman has the season’s top mark, passing 16-6 3/4 at the Jesse Owens Track Classic, while Mattix was a U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association Outdoor Second-Team All-American and a NCAA East Preliminary Round Qualifier a year ago.

Women’s throws will be led by All-American Beth Rohl (New Buffalo, Mich./New Buffalo), a redshirt junior who has four Big Ten medals to her credit.  Rohl is the school record holder in the discus (55.94m / 183-6), the indoor weight throw (20.63m / 67-08.25), and hammer throw (60.28m / 197-9).

Senior Stephanie Bochenek (Hamilton, Ont./Bishop Ryan), a former member of MSU’s Rowing team, is the squad’s top thrower in the Javelin with a career-best throw of 42.25 meters (138-07).

The Spartans will be bringing four of their top men’s throwers to Madison. Redshirt junior Lonnie Pugh(Grosse Ile, Mich./Grosse Ile)  is a two-time All-American and the defending Big Ten outdoor champion in the discus.  He has a personal-best mark of 58.64m (192-4) in that event.  He is also MSU’s record holder in the hammer throw (62.82m / 206-1) and the indoor weight throw (21.40m / 70-2 1/2).

Senior Jay Gillespie (Allen Park, Mich./Allen Park), an NCAA Regional Qualifier a year ago, achieved a career best in the hammer throw this season at the Spartan Invitational with an effort of 59.23 meters (194-04), while redshirt freshman Antonio James (Romulus, Mich./Romulus) has top marks of 53.59 meters (175-10) in the discus and 56.28 meters (184-8) in the hammer throw.

Senior Aaron Ide (Byron Center, Mich./Byron Center) will compete in the Shot Put for Michigan State.  He earned a new career-best in 2012 at 16.98 meters (55-8 1/2).

Senior Leslie Aririguzo (West Bloomfield, Mich./West Bloomfield/Virginia Tech) , redshirt junior Alysson Bodenbach (Clinton Township, Mich./Chippewa Valley), and redshirt freshman Jaelynn Pryor (Jackson, Mich./Jackson) have been the most consistent Spartan sprinters.

Aririguzo, a 2011 NCAA Regional Qualifier, tied the school record in 100-Meter Hurdles in 2011 with a time of 13.46 seconds and has run as fast as 13.55 this season. 

Alysson Bodenbach specializes in distances ranging from the 200 to the 800 meters.  Her 400 meter time of 53.89 at the Jesse Owens Classic is the best amongst the squad.  Bodenbach’s teammate, Jaelynn Pryor, is MSU’s best competitor in the 400-meter hurdles, with a career best of 59.79 seconds.

The 4x400 Relay Team consisting of freshmen Alicia Evans (Quakertown, Pa./Quakertown), TeJuanna Williams (Oak Park, IL/Oak Park-River Forest), Jellisa Westney (Cambridge, Ont./St. Benedict C.S.S.), and Pryor are amongst the best in the conference, compiling a time of 3:40.79 at the Polytan Invitational.

Men’s sprints with rely on the experience of 2011 NCAA Regional Qualifier Keenan Michael (Montoursville, Pa./Montoursville Area) who specializes in hurdles. He has personal records of 50.65 in the 400-meter hurdles and 14.35 in the 110-meter hurdles.

Freshman DeVantré Whitelow (Centralia, Ill./Centralia) has been plagued by injuries during the outdoor season, but has Michigan State’s top indoor time in the 100 meters at 10.73 seconds.

The Spartans hope to find success this weekend with the women’s distance team, who have continued to build on their success since taking back-to-back Big Ten titles Cross Country.

Redshirt freshman Sara Kroll (Westland, Mich./Livonia Churchill) is MSU’s top runner in the 1500 (4:24.46) and the 5000 meters (16:16.52).  During the indoor season, Kroll established a new school record in the 3000 meters with a time of 9:12.25.

Michigan State hopes to find strong performances from seniors Carlie Green (Milford, Mich./Milford) and Rebekah Smeltzer (Monroe, Mich./Jefferson) who have had career best times of 16:25.74 and 16:36.28 in the 5000 Meters.

Redshirt freshman Leah O’Connor (Croswell, Mich./Croswell-Lexington) and senior Tiffany Evans (Dublin, Ohio/Dublin) will compete in the 3000-Meter Steeplechase for the Spartans.  O’Connor won the Steeplechase at the Penn Relays, posting a season-best time of 10:25.65, while Evans has a personal record of 10:33.85, which came at the Raleigh Relays.  

Redshirt freshmen David Madrigal (Durand, Mich./Durand), Alex Wilson (Kent City, Mich./Kent City), Ben Carruthers (Dexter, Mich./Dexter), and senior Joe Dimambro (Fenton, Mich./Fenton) will compete distance events.  Madrigal, Wilson, and Carruthers will run the 5000 meters, with Madrigal leading the field at 14:02.54.  Wilson and Carruthers have posted times of 14:15.13 and 14:19.43 this season, respectively. 

Joe Dimambro, who was injured for the duration for the indoor season, will compete in the 10000 meters.  Dimambro ran a career-best time of 14:29.08 in the 5000 Meters at the Gina Relays in late April. 

The 800 meters will see the return of redshirt junior Joe Banyai (Royal Oak, Mich./Royal Oak) and senior Stephen Humes (Troy, Mich./Troy) who were both out with various injuries during the winter.  Banyai has the team’s best time at 1:51.85, while teammate Humes has a 2012 best of 1:52.38 to his credit.

Junior Kurt Schneider (Lake Orion, Mich./Oakland Christian) is MSU’s lone decathlete.  He is a former jumps specialist and has a career best high jump of (7-0 1/4).

At the Drake Relays, Schneider earned wins in the long jump and high jump and amassed a grand total of 7269 points, a new personal-best in multi-events. He also earned PR’s in the 100-meter dash (11.05 seconds), Discus Throw (39.38 meters), and the Javelin (46.80 meters).

Big Ten Top Ten...
The following listings rank individual performances amongst Big Ten competition.

400 Meters  - 5th, Alysson Bodenbach (53.89)
5000 Meters  - 4th, Sara Kroll (16:16.52), 9th, Rebekah Smeltzer (16:36.28), 10th, Carlie Green (16:38.09)
10000 Meters - 10th, Klare Essad (35:45.60)
 100 Hurdles - 6th, Leslie Aririguzo (13.48)
 400 Hurdles  - 8th, Jaelynn Pryor (59.79)
 3000 Steeplechase - 6th, Leah O'Connor (10:25.65)
 4 x 100 Relay  - 5th, 46.23 Jesse Owens Track Classic
 4 x 400 Relay - 6th, 3:40.79 Polytan Invitational
High Jump - 1st, Becca Buchholtz  (5' 10" / 1.78m), 9th, Molly Duda  (5’8” / 1.73m)
Pole Vault  - 6th, Amanda Impellizzeri (13' 0.25" / 3.97m)
Long Jump  -  10th, Ashley Stacey (19' 6" / 5.94m)
Triple Jump  -  2nd, Tori Franklin (42' 6.25" / 12.96m)
Discus  - 6th, Beth Rohl (175' 5" / 53.47m)
Hammer - 7th, Beth Rohl (188' 7" / 57.48m)
Javelin  - 10th, Stephanie Bochenek (138' 7" / 42.25m)

1500 meters  - 9thJosh McAlary (3:45.19)
5000 meters - 10th, David Madrigal (14:02.54)
3000 Steeplechase - 10th, Josh McAlary (8:58.68)
High Jump - 6th, Kurt Schneider (7' 0 1/4" / 2.14m), 9th, Kevin Jackson (6' 11" / 2.11m)
Triple Jump - 7th, Jarred Gambrell  (49' 9.75" / 15.18m)
Shot Put  - 4th, Zack Hill (60' 7.75" / 18.48m)
Discus - 6th, Lonnie Pugh (186' 11" / 56.98m)
Hammer - 6thJay Gillespie (200' 11" / 61.23m)
Decathlon - 6th, Kurt Schneider (7269 pts)



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