Walt Drenth

A Monumental Season for MSU Cross Country

Their season started in Eugene, Oregon, battling the Oregon Ducks in 90-degree heat and ended in Terre Haute, Indiana dominating a field of the country’s best runners. The Michigan State women’s cross country team ended a perfect, undefeated season as NCAA Cross Country Champions for the first time in program history.

The Spartans’ road to the championship has been impressive to say the least, while exhibiting nothing but perfect performances the whole season. As USTFCCA pointed out, the women won all six (and now seven) races, with their top squad dominating the runner-up team at each race by at least half the points. Read More…

Cross Country on the Last Leg of the Season

Michigan State’s cross country team is down to the last leg of the season, literally (and no pun intended). The No. 1 ranked women and No. 17 ranked men ran last week in the Great Lakes Regional meet to qualify for the NCAA Cross Country National Championship this Saturday in Terre Haute, Indiana.

While this is the race that it all comes down to, according to head coach Walt Drenth the teams have already met the outcomes they put forth in the beginning of the year. Read More…

A Home-Grown Team: MSU Cross Country

To an outsider, a team’s success is most often seen in the numbers. A No. 1 national ranking, four invitational team wins and consistently placing multiple runners in the top-15 can weigh heavy in the books, but for the Michigan State University women’s cross country team, success in numbers is not the only reason to feel triumphant.

The state of Michigan is finding itself at the center of collegiate cross country, and is home to two nationally ranked top-five teams. MSU and the University of Michigan have danced around each other in the polls since the beginning of the year. 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…

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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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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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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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 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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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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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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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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