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.

In the pole vault, Codi Mattix competed in his first outdoor event since 2011, winning the men’s pole vault with 16-0 ¾ .

In the women’s pole vault, Lauren Chorny finished in second with a mark of 13-1 ½ . After a win last weekend, Sarah Birkmeier finished in seventh with a mark of 12-05.50.

In sprints, Alicia Evans had a successful weekend with a third place finish in the 200-meter at 23.37 seconds. She also placed ninth in the 400-meter dash at 56.34 seconds.

The women sprinters found the most success in a group. The 4×400-meter relay team of Jaelynn Pryor, Lindsey Seymour, TeJuanna Williams and Jellisa Westney finished fourth overall with a time of 3:43.14.

The 4×100-meter team finished second at 45.32 with a team of Westney, Evans, Williams and Seymour.

The men’s 4×400-meter relay team of David Washington, Ross Parsons, Austin Sanders and Devantre Whitelow finished fifth overall with a time of 3:12.

In 110-meter hurdles, freshman Lauren Rose set a personal record and finished fifth with a time of 14.10. In the triple jump, Jared Gambrel placed fourth with a mark of 50-0.

Meanwhile at Siena Heights University in Adrian, Mich., the meet saw a few firsts for Spartans.

Stephon Foster and Aubrey Wilberding both competed and won their first collegiate 400 races. Foster won the men’s race with a time of 48.38, and Wilberding came in at 55.64 in the women’s race.

“Just because it was such a relaxed meet, it was often hard to get excited and to get the athletes motivated,” distance coach Lisa Senakiewich said. “But the ones who did well, they were the ones who found those pre-race jitters.”

In the 800-meter race freshman Erin Billette led a group of top-10 Spartan performances at 2:13 mins. in the 1,500 meter run redshirt sophomore Sara Stassen took first with a time of 4:36.26 and redshirt freshman Natalie Smith finished in fourth with a time of 4:44.79.

Nadia Lorencz placed third in the 110-meter hurdles with a time of 15.45.

For the men, Edward Clifton placed second overall in the 800-meter with a time of 1:53.99. In the 1,500-meter run Eric Buday led a pack of Spartans to the finish line at 4:05.22. Andrew Cusmano and David Madrigal followed behind with only .45 second differences between the three.

In the field, redshirt freshman Jordan Keefe won the women’s pole vault with a mark of 12-6 ¾. In the javelin Kaylee Finney.

The team is hoping that the good performances this past weekend can create momentum for next week’s meet at Ohio State University’s Jesse Owens Track Classic.

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

Photo: Alexa McCarthy/Impact Sports