MSU track and field records 14 first-place finishes in Ashland and Kalamazoo


MSU track and field’s Jalen Smith competes in relay at the Alex Wilson Invite/ Photo Credit: MSU Athletic Communications

Jake Lyskawa, Track and Field Beat Reporter

EAST LANSING—The Michigan State track and field team recorded 14 first-place finishes – the most in a single weekend this season – on March 29 and 30 at the Ashland Alumni Open in Ashland, Ohio, and the Jack Shaw Invitational in Kalamazoo. 

Graduate student Quiara Wheeler recorded two of the top finishes for the Spartans, finishing with a season-best 63.70m toss on her second attempt in the elite women’s hammer throw event. Wheeler’s toss is the top mark in the Big Ten conference and the 28th-best in the nation. 

Wheeler followed up that performance with her second first-place finish of the weekend, taking the top spot in the elite women’s discus event with a 50.20m throw on her third attempt. The distance was just over 1 meter shy of her personal best, which she set last weekend at the Indiana Invitational. 

Later that day, freshman Valadian Pallett placed third in the women’s shot put with a PR of 13.79m. 

On the men’s side, sophomore Joshua DeVries set a personal record in the hammer throw with a 61.41m toss on his fifth attempt. He placed seventh in the men’s elite event, though he finished within 2 meters of the fifth-place finisher Zak Dysert, who competed unattached.

The final Spartan in Ashland was freshman Dylan Terryberry, who placed ninth in the men’s long jump and 11th in the javelin throw. 

At the Jack Shaw Invite in Kalamazoo, unattached freshmen Opal Jackson (13.42m) and Brendan Vander Meer (14.58m) started off the day by winning their respective shot put events. Sophomore Ryan Talbot finished right behind Vander Meer, throwing for a PR of 14.35m.

The Spartans won both high jump events, with sophomore Elizabeth Knoll finishing at 1.60m on the women’s side, and sophomore Tylor Leedom and junior Heath Baldwin finishing in a three-way tie at 1.95m on the men’s.

Senior high jumpers Calli Ostapowicz (3.65m) and Michael Davenport (4.65m) both took first place in their events as well. 

On the track, senior Courtney Krupp won the women’s 1500m with a personal best time of 4:36.99. Freshmen Olivia Millen (4:46.45), Natalie Miller (4:48.93) and sophomore Madison Price (4:49.64) finished behind Krupp in fifth, sixth and seventh place, respectively. Price’s time was good for a PR in the event. 

The men’s 1500m also featured multiple Spartan finishers, including junior Aden Smith, who ran a time of 3:54.23 to take first place in his collegiate debut in the event. Unattached freshman Drew Seabase (3:55.50), sophomore Tyler Pritchett (3:59.22) and redshirt junior Jack Huber (4:03.40) placed second, fourth and fifth, respectively.

Although she could not best her 13.80 second PR that she set last week in the 100m hurdles, sophomore Kaia Scheffler took first place in the event on March 30 with a 13.98 second time. Scheffler recorded her second victory in the event this season.

The final first-place finishes for MSU came in the sprinting events where sophomore Antonio Postell II earned a top time of 11.08 seconds in the men’s 100m dash. Redshirt junior Zachary DiStefano followed that up by winning the men’s 400m in 50.33 seconds, while senior Shakira Dancy won the women’s 200m in 24.72 seconds. 

Michigan State wraps up its regular season at the Len Paddock Open on Saturday May 7, in Ann Arbor.