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.

The women sprinters were represented very well, placing three separate first-place finishes. Jellisa Westney in the 200-meter dash at 24.95, Alicia Evans in the 300-meter dash with a time of 39.12 and Tori Franklin in the 400-meter dash with a time of 56.00.

In the shot put, Katelyn Daniels placed first with a mark of 14.60m/47-11.

On the men’s side, Antonio James threw a career-best mark of 18.95m/62-2 ¼ for a win in the shot put. James ranks first in the preseason rankings for the weight throw.

“When you go to your first meet, you know what to expect. What you’re hoping to see are some things you didn’t expect,” head coach Walt Drenth said. “I thought we saw some nice surprises out of David Washington and it was nice to see Kurt Schneider get going again.”

Washington led the 300-meter dash with a first place finish of 34.73.

Schneider won the high jump with a mark of 2.08/6-9 ¾ and had a runner-up finish in the 60-meter hurdles with a time of 8.43.

“I thought for the most part we competed well as an entire group,” Drenth said.

In the USTFCCCA NCAA Division I Program of the Year final standings for the 2012-13 seasons, the men placed 15th and the women placed 10th nationally. The standings span cross country, indoor and outdoor track and field seasons.

This weekend will be the first time this season the team will compete as a whole.

“It should be a great meet,” Drenth said. “Notre Dame is consistently one of the better teams in the east and we always have a good back and forth with them… It’s a great test for us.”

Southern Illinois and Illinois State will also be competing at the meet.

Notre Dame Invitational Schedule

Alexa McCarthy is the host of The Last Leg for Impact Sports.

Photo: Alexa McCarthy/Impact Sports