Alexa McCarthy

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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Last Leg – #6 – 4/5/14

School is starting to wind its way down, but the outdoor MSU track and field season is just revving up.

In episode six of Last Leg, Alexa is joined by Coxswain host Nathaniel Gaynor in studio as mid-distance freshman runner Aubrey Wilberding and distance coach Lisa Senakiewich stop by to talk about the season.

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Last Leg – #5 – 4/4/14

Spring has sprung and that means it is finally outdoor season for MSU track and field.

In this episode of Last Leg, Alexa talks about the team’s first outdoor meet and then talks to assistant coach Randy Gillon about the team’s expectations and their upcoming home meet. Alexa also talks to senior runner Sara Kroll about what it is like to travel so much throughout the year and their anticipations for this weekend.

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Spartan Playbook: Weight Throw – Antonio James

MSU track & field’s Antonio James teaches how to become an expert in the weight throw. When it comes to these events, James takes it to another level.

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Spartan Playbook connects sports fans to the most high-profile athletes at Michigan State University. In each episode of Spartan Playbook, the most strategic moves in each sport are explored.

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Outdoor Track and Field Season Starts with Raleigh Relays

Spring has finally arrived, and with it brings the Michigan State outdoor track and field season.

Unlike the indoor season, running outdoors opens the gateway for a number of other events. The majority of these events take place in the middle of the day, which allows for athletes that specialize in speed and power to spend the morning physically and mentally preparing for their event.

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Last Leg – #4 – 3/22/14

On this episode of Last Leg, Alexa takes a break from talking about MSU track and field and talks to Michelle Phillipich, marketing director for Playmakers, a local and well-known running store.

Alexa and Phillipich not only talk about the store, but also all of the opportunities it provides for local runners. Phillipich also talks about Playmakers’ philosophy, upcoming races, fun runs and some changes that have been going on in the running community.

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Spartans Return from NCAA Indoor Championships

A little altitude never hurt anybody, right?

When it comes to running and competing altitude can definitely be a factor and something that six MSU track and field athletes had to face this past weekend at the NCAA Indoor Championship in Albuquerque, N.M.

By looking at their times and marks you would think that the athletes had an off weekend, but track and field is not about winning and losing. Rather this weekend was about handling adversities and spotlighting some things to work towards in the upcoming outdoor season.

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Six Spartans Head to the NCAA Indoor Championship

This weekend, six Spartans will find themselves among the sun and mountains of Albuquerque, N.M. for the 2014 NCAA Indoor Track and Field Championship, hosted by the University of New Mexico. Being held on Friday, March 14 and Saturday, March 15, MSU will be represented in seven different events.

The team is taking twice the amount of athletes as last year, and Antonio James and Tori Franklin are the only returnees. Head coach Walt Drenth cites a growing number of athletes who have matured and made a lot of progress over the course of the year.

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