Track & Field
Track & Field Opens Indoor Season Friday
Dec. 4, 2008
EAST LANSING, Mich. - The 2008-09 track & field squad will kick off the indoor season this Friday as it plays host to the MSU Invitational at 12 p.m. inside Jenison Field House. Several in-state opponents, including Central Michigan and Grand Valley State, will be in attendance at the meet.
"We are looking forward to the meet as an early litmus test for the throws, jumps and sprint groups," director of track & field/cross country Walt Drenth said. "We have an excellent group of young athletes all anxious to compete for the first time for Michigan State. We have had an exceptional fall of training, now we are interested in how that work translates to live competition."
The meet will begin with the women's pentathlon at 12 p.m., followed by the men at 12:30 p.m. The men will follow the women in each event with the exception of the 60m hurdle finals. From there, the meet will advance to the jumps and throws segment at 3:30 p.m. During that portion of the meet, both the long jump and triple jump will be contested, along with the pole vault, high jump and weight throw.
Following the jumps will be the preliminary heats of the sprints and hurdles, scheduled to begin at 5 p.m. The 300m, 600m, and 1,000m run will be run following the preliminary heats, followed by the sprint and hurdle finals.
The track & field program will look to build on a strong 2007-08 campaign that saw its women's team finish 25th at the NCAA National Championships last March. Erica Mann (Battle Creek, Mich.) leads the women sprinters into the season. Mann posted four of the top five team times in the 60m dash last season and the top three times in the 200m dash. Also returning will be senior Kyle Strotbaum (Grand Rapids, Mich.), the school record-holder in the weight throw. Strotbaum will get his first chance to set a new mark on Friday.
Ashley Lawrence (Troy, Mich.) will lead the women throwers into the indoor season. Lawrence notched a personal-best throw of 17.91m (58-9) at last season's Big Ten Indoor Championships. She continued to improve during the outdoor season and will look to continue her success during the indoor schedule.
The jumps should be highly contested area as the Spartans have several key returning leapers, including pole vaulter Logan Lynch (Lambertville, Mich.). Lynch finished fourth at the Big Ten Indoor Championships as a freshman last season after clearing a personal-best 5.03m (16-6). Rounding out the jumpers for the men will be triple jumper Kyron Foster (Deltona, Fla.) and high jumper Kristopher Amos (Detroit, Mich.). Both Foster and Amos competed at the Big Ten Indoor Championships last season. Foster, who specialized in the triple jump last season, will make his long jump debut on Friday.
The women will be led by Katie Shaw (Lakeview, Mich.) who put together a fine outdoor season that saw her qualify for NCAA Regional competition. Shaw will look to continue that success during the indoor slate this season. Making her Spartan debut will be freshman Becca Buchholtz (East Troy, Wis.), who cleared 1.75m (5-9), the height that won at the Big Ten Championships last season, multiple times during high school.
No distance races will be run at the event, but two mid-distance races will be run, the 600m and the 1,000m. Leading the Spartan mid-distance runners this season will be Leah Elenbaas (Greenville, Mich.) on the women's side and Shane Knoll (Warren, Mich.) for the men. Elenbaas is the school-record holder in the 1,000m run as she notched a 2:50.56 at the Meyo Invite during the indoor season last year. Knoll posted the team-best times in the 800m run, the 1,000m run and the mile run during the indoor season in 2008.
Following the meet, complete results will be posted on www.msuspartans.com.
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