Women’s Track & Field

Last Leg – #10 – 9/5/14

Football may be the sport on everyone’s mind this week, but the MSU cross country team has plenty of reasons to garner some hype.

For her first Last Leg podcast of the season, host Alexa McCarthy talks about team goals, beginning of season jitters and runners to look out for.

McCarthy also talks about this week’s meet in Eugene, Ore. and its significance in the Spartan’s schedule.

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Cross Country to Run against Oregon Same Weekend as Football

The No. 8 Michigan State Spartans’ Sept. 6 football matchup against the No. 3 Oregon Ducks has received plenty of hype over the past summer, but another MSU team will also be making the trip out to the University of Oregon.

On Friday Sept. 5, the Spartan runners will find themselves on Pre’s Trail (named after famed Oregon runner Steve Prefontaine) for the Bill Dellinger Invitational, running against some of the top runners on the west coast.

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Tori Franklin Wins Gold Abroad

Tori Franklin may have just won a gold medal Saturday evening at the 2014 North American, Central American and Caribbean (NACAC) Under-23 Championship in Kamloops, British Columbia, but she is already getting back to work.

Franklin competed for the United States in the triple jump and posted a mark of 13.42 meters to finish first overall in the event and earned an invitation to represent the USA in her event at the Pan American Olympic Festival in Mexico City, Mexico.

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Last Leg – #9 – 7/26/14

While summer may be slow for some, MSU redshirt freshman thrower, Katelyn Daniels, has been training in East Lansing all summer and competed in the USATF Junior Championship in early July placing second in the discus and third in the shot put. This week, she is back in Eugene, Oregon preparing for the IAAF World Junior Championship on July 24-25.

Alexa McCarthy talks to the Columbus, Ohio native about the similarities between gymnastics and throwing, her recruiting journey and even Lebron James’ move back to Ohio.
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Spartans Return from NCAA Outdoor Championship

In a sport like track and field, you win some and you lose some. In a place like Eugene, Ore., home of this year’s NCAA Outdoor Championship, it is hard to not go in with high expectations.

Michigan State track and field saw five of their top athletes take on the nation’s best this past week at the Outdoor Championship. Junior Leah O’Connor was the star of the week, with a well-planned first place finish in the 3,000m steeplechase on Friday. Since her last visit to Eugene for the 2013 Outdoor Championship, she has made it her goal to stand on the podium and take part in the “victory lap” tradition.

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Last Leg – #8 – 6/10/14

Alexa McCarthy, host of Last Leg, is back just in time for the NCAA Outdoor Track and Field Championship this week in Eugene, Oregon.

McCarthy runs through all five of MSU’s athletes who will be attending the Championship and talks with the women making their way to nationals: Leah O’Connor, Rachele Schulist and Tori Franklin. With them, she covers everything from motivational rituals, first time jitters and teammate bonding.

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And Then There Were Five

Michigan State track and field just got a lot smaller after this past weekend’s NCAA Eastern Regional meet in Jacksonville, Fla.

The team had five athletes place in the top 12 of their event to qualify for the NCAA Outdoor Championship in Eugene, Ore.

Qualifiers include Antonio James in the shot put and discus, Leah O’Connor in the 3,000m steeplechase, Tori Franklin in the triple jump and Rachele Schulist in the 5,000m. Kurt Schneider previously posted a qualifying mark in the decathlon.

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Spartans Head South and Think Straight before Regionals

Classes have been out for a month, but Michigan State track and field is still hard at work.

The team has been in Jacksonville, Fla. for the past week, preparing for the NCAA Eastern Regional meet that will take place this weekend.

Skilled thrower Antonio James does not put it lightly when asked what it takes to do well in this meet.

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Progress Made and Lessons Learned for Track and Field

The way head track and field head coach Walt Drenth sees it, having a presence is better than none at all.

The Spartans ended their weekend at the Big Ten Outdoor Championship with a total of 10 medals and lessons learned. The women finished sixth with a total of 85 points and the men finished 11th with 37.

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Spartans Looking to Fill Gaps at Big Ten Outdoor Championship

Spartan track and field is heading to Indiana to show the Big Ten the progress they have made in the short months, since the conference last convened in early March.

After an arguably more successful, but scattered, outdoor season than indoor season, the team is looking to fill the gaps they left open and have since filled since the Indoor Championship.

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Track and Field Create Momentum over the Weekend

The word “momentum” has been the key word lately for Michigan State track and field.

With one last major meet before the Big Ten Outdoor Championship, the athletes were hoping for a good outcome to surge them into a good place in the rankings.

At the Dave Rankin Invitational hosted by Purdue this weekend, the team had the opportunity to race against Big Ten teams such as Ohio State and Purdue giving MSU a taste of the competition to come. MSU proved that certain events were no longer a work in progress. Read More…

Track and Field Racing Together for the First Time in a Month

After a month of competing separately, Spartan track and field is back together again.

The team will be competing at the site of the 2014 Big Ten Outdoor Championship in Bloomington, Ind. for the Billy Hayes Invitational.

“I think spending some time together is important to get reconnected, get a better sense of team,” said head coach Walt Drenth. “The other advantages of going down to Purdue, is that they are the hosts of the conference meet.” Read More…

Track and Field Looking to Keep Their Momentum This Weekend

The school year may be quickly coming to a close, but Michigan State track and field athletes are just getting started.

For the third weekend in a row, the team will be splitting up competition in three different locations. The Spartans will be represented at the Drake Relays (Des Moines, Iowa), the GINA Relays (Hillsdale, Mich.) and Ashland University Alumni Open (Ashland, Ohio). Each location was picked specifically for certain events, in an effort to find the best competition in preparation for the Big Ten Outdoor Championship taking place May 16-18.
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Track and Field Sees Progress over the Weekend

Michigan State track and field head coach Walt Drenth has said that the sport does come with many surprises; it is all about waiting for a breakthrough.

This weekend, MSU track and field saw some of the breakthroughs they have been waiting for (and needing) since the indoor season.

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Last Leg: Remembering the Boston Marathon Bombing

Monday, April 21 will mark the first anniversary of the tragic events that plagued one of the oldest and most well-known running events in the world: the Boston Marathon.

In episode seven of Last Leg, host Alexa McCarthy talks to Chris Ford, a Northville High School teacher and five-time participant in the marathon. He reflects on last year’s events and the hours after the bombs went off as him and his wife searched for each other with little idea of what really happened at the finish line on Boylston Street.

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Track and Field Finish up Their Split Weekend

Michigan State’s track and field team concluded their split weekend at the Tennessee Relays and the Don Kleinow Invite at Siena Heights University with progress on their minds.

Starting off the competition on Friday at the Tennessee Relays in Knoxville, Tenn., redshirt freshman Vinny Gjokaj earned his first collegiate win in the discus with a PR of 53.46m.

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A Split Weekend for MSU Track and Field

Michigan State track and field are splitting up.

At least for this weekend’s competition.

The majority of the sprinters, pole vaulters, vertical jumpers and throwers will be heading south to Knoxville, Tenn. for the Tennessee Relays. Meanwhile, the distance group and some younger athletes will stay close to home for the Siena Heights Invitational in Adrian, Mich.

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Track and Field Stays Home This Weekend for Spartan Invite

For most athletes, the “home court advantage” saying is tired and true. But for MSU track and field athletes, they only get one chance to reap the benefits of their own facilities.

This weekend, MSU’s track and field program welcomed close to 1,200 athletes at the Spartan Invite, with competition taking place at Munn Field, Jenison Field House and Ralph Young Field.

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