A little friendly competition never hurts.
And on Friday afternoon, MSU’s track and field team hosted their annual inter-squad Green and White Meet. Short distance and field event athletes were split into a green team and white team.The competition was a chance for the athletes to test themselves after a semester of conditioning prior to the regular season that begins in January.
“We set this meet up every year to give them an opportunity to celebrate their fall training and to catapult themselves into the season ahead,” sprint and hurdling assistant coach Randy Gillon said.
The meet included field events, pole vault, high jump, shot put and long jump. Short distance included non-competitive distances with men’s and women’s 300-meter and 150-meter, men’s 600-meter and women’s 500-meter. These non-competitive distances kept the meet less stressful, since they are not usually ran at official meets.
“It’s low pressure and it’s a good way to have a starting point and get back into competing at meets before the [season starts] so once we start going to meets we know what to expect,” freshman jumper Adeline Grier-Welch said.
Notable performances came from Alicia Evans, sophomore sprinter, in the 300m running 39.01, with Tori Franklin, sophomore jumper and sprinter, right behind her, setting up a great 4x400m team.
Sophomore jumper Owen Hughes and senior jumper Kurt Schneider both looked promising, jumping over 6’11’’.
This event was not just a chance for athletes to gain a point of reference, but to also show their leadership.
Head coach Walt Drenth said that one of the things he is most excited about is “watching athletes that have matured becoming leaders.”
“One of the biggest challenges to any program is whether they have leadership and whether [the upperclassmen] are sending the right message and I feel like today I’m really seeing that,” Drenth said.
While things are looking good for the team, “the challenge now is that the [athletes] stay resilient and stay focused with the holidays ahead,” Gillon added.
But the coaches are not as worried as usual about the upcoming three-week break.
“[The athletes] have shown to have a lot more leadership, maturity and better attitude. I’m confident they will go into the break seeing it not as a break, but as an opportunity to improve,” Gillon said.
Alexa McCarthy is a multimedia journalist for Impact Sports.
Photo: Michigan State Track and Field and Cross Country