RECAP: MSU track and field takes two first-place finishes at the Len Paddock Open


MSU track and field runner Shakira Dancy competes at the 2022 Raleigh Relays/ Photo Credit: MSU Athletic Communications

Jake Lyskawa, Track and Field Beat Reporter

EAST LANSING—In the last meet of the regular season, the Michigan State track and field team, led by Trevor Stephenson and Day’Anna Marr, took home two first-place finishes on May 7 at the Len Paddock Open in Ann Arbor.

Stephenson took the top spot in the men’s pole vault event for the fifth time this season. This time he finished with a top vault of 5.23m to start the day.

Marr, the freshman high jumper, was the second Spartan to win an event at the meet. She had not competed since the Spartan Invitational on April 2, finished with a personal-best height of 1.67m to defeat Eastern Michigan’s Nina Ward and Toledo’s Promise Cross. 

On his fourth attempt in the men’s hammer throw, sophomore Joshua DeVries threw 60.98m to take fourth place. His throw was less than one meter off his PR of 61.41m, which he set at the Ashland Alumni Open on March 30. 

Unattached freshman Brendan Vander Meer took seventh in the event, throwing for a top distance of 46.23m. He followed that up with a second-place finish in the men’s discus event, throwing for a top distance of 41.19m on his fifth attempt. 

Also competing unattached was freshman Elle Adrian, who finished sixth in the women’s hammer throw event with a 50.12m toss on her third try.

Senior Sophia Franklin took third in the women’s pole vault event with a top height of 4.19m. Franklin finished behind Grand Valley State alum and the Division-II record holder Kristen Leland, whom she competed against at the Spartan Invite.

On the track, junior Jalen Smith paced two other Spartans in the men’s 800m race. Smith came in sixth place, running an outdoor season-best time of 1:53.27. Behind him were junior Jeremy Kloss (1:55.64) in seventh and sophomore Hunter Zartman (2:04.27) in 12th. 

The trio finished the race behind a top-five that was dominated by Michigan’s top-three 800m runners, high school phenom Hobbs Kessler and unattached Tufts University alum Mitchell Black, who competed in the 2020 Olympic Trials. 

Michigan State will now begin its postseason preparations for the 2022 Big Ten Championships held in Minneapolis starting on May 13.