June 19, 2013
EAST LANSING, Mich. - Members of the Michigan State track & field team will compete at the USA Championships this weekend in Des Moines, Iowa. Hosted by Greater Des Moines and Drake University, events will be held June 20-23 at the famous Drake Stadium. Competing will be Beth Rohl (discus), Tori Franklin (triple jump), Antonio James (discus) and Jaime Salisbury (pole vault). Also contested this weekend will be the Canadian Championships in Moncton, New Brunswick, where Jellisa Westney (100m and 200m) will also be competing.
The meets will serve as the selection event for the coveted spots to represent Team USA or Team Canada at the IAAF World Championships held on August 10-18 in Moscow, Russia. The top-three finishers with the standard qualifying mark in each event will automatically travel with the team to compete at the World Championship event.
"It's an exciting time of the year for everyone who remains in competition," said director of track & field/cross country Walt Drenth. "The stakes keep going up for everyone who remains involved. The experience everyone gains from the USA or Canadian Championships is invaluable for coaches and athletes alike. For a couple of people, a genuine chance to earn a spot on a national team is at stake and an honor most in the sport have at the top of their goal list. The key for everyone to succeed is to be themselves. It is imperative they trust the work and compete as they have all year. If they control their environment and avoid distractions, it will go very well."”
Coming off of a career-high third-place finish at the NCAA Championships in Eugene, Ore., graduated senior Beth Rohl will look to represent Team USA in the discus competition. This past weekend, Rohl threw a personal-record mark of 59.79m/ 196-2 to hit the Olympic B standard. She is a seven-time USTFCCCA All-American and was recently named the MSU George Alderton Co-Female Athlete of the Year. Rohl will compete in the women's senior discus event on Sunday, June 23 at 3:20 p.m. ET.
Redshirt sophomore Antonio James will represent the Spartans in the men's discus competition. He finished 10th at the NCAA Championships, the highest of his outdoor career, with a mark of 58.85m/ 193-1. He earned his second outdoor All-American recognition, third overall of his career. James will compete in the men's senior discus event on Friday, June 21 at 7:30 p.m. ET.
Also representing the Spartans will be sophomore Tori Franklin competing in the triple jump. Franklin posted the highest NCAA finish of her career with fourth-place honors at the national meet. Her mark of 13.56m/ 44-6 broke her own school record and earned her First-Team All-American honors. She will compete in the women's senior triple jump event on Thursday, June 20 at 4 p.m. ET.
Set to compete in the Junior USA Championships is freshman Jaime Salisbury. His personal-record mark of 5.00m/ 16-4¾ in the pole vault qualified him to compete at the event. It will mark his first national competition. Salisbury will compete in the men's junior pole vault event on Thursday, June 20 at 5:45 p.m. ET.
Sophomore Jellisa Westney will also be competing this weekend, representing the Spartans at the Canadian Track & Field Championships. Earning second-team All-American honors in the 4x400-meter relay at the NCAA Championships, she will attempt to earn a spot on Team Canada in the 100-meter and 200-meter dash. Westney will compete in the 100m qualifying round on Thursday, June 20 at 11:20 a.m. ET and the 200m qualifying round on Friday, June 21 at 12:10 p.m. ET.