Last Leg

Cross Country Makes Statement at Wisconsin Adidas Invitational

The Michigan State cross country team traveled to the Wisconsin Adidas Invitational this weekend to face 26 nationally ranked teams. Pegged as one of the most premier races during the regular season, the invite was the biggest test the Spartans have had this year.

The MSU women entered the race with the highest ranking – a No. 2 coaches ranking and No. 1 by FloTrack – and left with an even better reason for why they are at the top and deserve to stay there. Read More…

Track and Field Loses Sprints and Hurdles Coach

The Michigan State track and field team lost a valuable member of their staff recently. Sprints and hurdles coach Randy Gillon returned to the University of Illinois, his alma mater, as assistant head coach of track and field.

“He was a great addition to our program, and did a great job while he was here,” head coach Walt Drenth said. “We’re going to miss him, but this is an opportunity for both parties to grow.” Read More…

Athlete of the Week: Rachele Schulist

This week’s Athlete of the Week is Rachele Schulist, a redshirt sophomore and top cross country runner for Michigan State. Schulist is currently leading the No. 2 ranked Spartan women, who brought home a first place team finish this past weekend at Minnesota’s Roy Griak Invitational.

Schulist has already received the title of USTFCCCA Women’s NCAA Division I National Athlete of the Week and Big Ten Women’s Cross Country Athlete of the Week this season. Read More…

Cross Country Competes at Roy Griak Invitational

For NCAA Cross Country, this weekend marked a rise in the stakes as points start to matter. The Michigan State cross country team accomplished exactly what they wanted this weekend at Minnesota’s Roy Griak Invitational.

The No. 3 ranked Spartan women grabbed a first place team finish in an impressive fashion. The team recorded 66 points in the 6K race. The men’s team finished fourth among a competitive field with 153 total points in the 8K race.

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MSU Cross Country Prepares for Big Weekeend

The Michigan State cross country team travels to Minneapolis this Saturday, Sept. 27 for the 29th annual Roy Griak Invitational hosted by the University of Minnesota.

As a whole, MSU cross country is in a unique position, with the women out to defend themselves and the men looking to prove that rankings do not mean everything. Read More…

Cross Country Competes at Spartan Invite

Cross country is not a sport where each play can be planned out. The coach gets one shot to discuss the race plan, and from there it is all up to the athletes who rely on each other more than anything.

After a fast and intense race last week in Oregon, the Michigan State cross country team went in with a much different plan for the Spartan Invite on Friday, Sept. 12.

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Women Win Oregon’s Bill Dillinger Invite, Men Finish Second

The Michigan State cross country team started their season like they never had before, in Eugene, Ore.

Battling not only a nationally ranked team but also 90-degree temperatures, the Spartans found themselves up for the challenge.

The women took home first place in the five-team portion of the 6K event with top three individual finishers, while the men placed second behind Oregon in the 8K race.

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Cross Country Has Good Showing Oregon Bill Dillinger Meet

The Spartans competed at the ninth annual , Friday, Sept. 5 against a small batch of teams including: University of Oregon, University of Portland, Portland State and American University.

In the women’s 5K race, the Spartans came out on top, sweeping the top five with Rachele Schulist in first at 19:38 at a 5:16 mile pace, Leah O’Connor in second at 19:53 and 5:20 pace and Lindsay Clark in third at 20:11 and a 5:25 pace.

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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…

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