Last Leg

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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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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Track and Field Returns from Indoor Championship

Unlike many sports, a track and field meet is often over a two-day period. This can mean two different mentalities and two different outcomes.

This weekend at the Big Ten Indoor Championship, MSU track and field played with these changing mentalities. The women finished in seventh and the men not far behind in eighth place. The team earned nine medals total and broke seven school records.

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Last Leg — #3 — 2/28/14

It is Big Ten week for track and field and the Spartans are heading to the famed SPIRE Institution to take on the rest of the Big Ten conference.

In the third episode of Last Leg, Alexa McCarthy breaks down some of the top teams in the conference and their athletes to watch out for.

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Track and Field Coming off a Great Weekend

After a very successful campaign at the SPIRE Invite last weekend, MSU track and field is looking to use that momentum this weekend and in the upcoming Big Ten Indoor Championship.

“We saw a group of individuals with a great deal of purpose and as a result the outcome was pretty favorable…just an all around great performance,” assistant coach Randy Gillon said.

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Hearing from the Coaches

Track and field is a big sport. Along with head coach Walt Drenth there are five other coaches that assist in each specific event. Before the meet this weekend, I talked with Ceith Creekmur the multi-events/vertical jumps coach and Randy Gillon the sprints and hurdles coach. I talked with each of them about how they are feeling about their athletes’ performance in the season so far and the Big Ten Indoor Championship which is two weeks away.

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Last Leg — #2 — 2/12/14

Have you ever wondered how to do the weight throw? Or what throwing athletes are like? Well, even if you didn’t, show host Alexa McCarthy gets some insight on the throwing events portion of track and field.

In part one of a two-part series, she talks with new throws coach Blaine Maag about what his plans are for the MSU throwers. She also talks with Antonio James who is ranked No. 3 in the NCAA for the weight throw. Hear about how he got started in the sport and some of his past and present pre-meet rituals.

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Tori Franklin Awarded Big Ten Field Athlete of the Week

After her third Big Ten Athlete of the Week award, you would think Michigan State junior Tori Franklin would be unphased by the attention. But this is the girl who received her first award after only her first meet as a Spartan.

Announced on Monday, Franklin was named Big Ten Field Athlete of the Week after her record-breaking performance at this past weekend’s Meyo Invite. She broke her own school record in the triple jump with a mark of 13.39m 43-11 ¼.

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Track and Field Break Records at Meyo Invite

As MSU head coach Walt Drenth said, the team’s goal each week is, “simply choosing to compete.”

With three records broken and a slew of great performances, the Michigan State track and field team was nothing short of true competitors this weekend at the Notre Dame Meyo Invitational.

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Spartans Head to South Bend for Meyo Invite

After an unexpected cancellation of last weekend’s meet, the Spartans are ready for some competition. MSU’s track and field team will head back to South Bend, Ind. this weekend for the Meyo Invitational. The competition will start on Friday, Feb. 7 and will continue on Saturday, Feb. 8.

“This is a big invitational as far as the country is concerned.” MSU head coach Walt Drenth said. “This is a good test of where we stand, as far as our [team members] in the national rankings and also the people we think can score in the Big Ten and to see some elite competition.”

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Last Leg – #1 – 1/31/14

Indoor track and field season is well underway and the Spartans are taking on the University of Michigan Wolverines this weekend.

In episode No. 1 of Last Leg, host Alexa McCarthy talks with MSU head coach Walt Drenth and student-athletes Kurt Schneider and Sara Kroll about the upcoming meet.

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Spartans Travel to South Bend for Notre Dame Invitational

After kicking off their indoor season at the Grand Valley State Bob Eubanks Open two weekends ago, the Michigan State track and field program is heading to South Bend, Ind. on Saturday, Jan. 25 for the Notre Dame Invitational.

The team has already showed several great performances, posting 13 individual wins at their first meet of the 2014 season at GVSU. The team took primarily sprinters, jumpers and throwers.

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