Michigan State University’s track and field sprints team is not something to forget about. While they are taking things easy for now, watch out for them as they make a transition in coaching staff and move forward to the Big Ten Championship meet.
Changing coaches would be hard for any team, but not something MSU cannot handle. Duties are split between assistant coach for sprints and jumps Vanitta Kinard and assistant coach for multi-events, sprints and hurdles Ceith Creekmur.
“Coach Kinard takes the long sprinters and I take the short sprinters.” Creekmur continued, “I think overall from the feedback that we have received from the kids directly has been nothing but positive. So far we have kids running at or close to PRs already; first or second week of the season we’re already at that point.”
At the Meyo Invitational two weeks ago, the squad was able to compete against fellow Big Ten teams.
“Most of the time we don’t get the opportunity to be at the same meets, we normally only see each other at the Big Ten Championship meet,” said Kinard.
As the team moved to the Spire Invitational Valentine’s Day weekend they decided to only take with them only the jumpers to allow the female and male sprinters to rest.
“I decided to rest the sprinters,” Kinard said. “They’re still getting used to the type of training that we do.”
Not only are there fast runners on the sprints team but also football players as well, cornerback Montae Nicholson and defensive back Darian Hicks. Opening up for the Spire Invitational, Nicholson ran the 60-meter hurdles placing 19th with a time of 8.33 and placed 3rd on the long jump with his longest jump at 23’ 9”. Hicks ran the 60 meters placing 37th with a time of 7.24 and placed 24th on the long jump with his longest jump at 20’ 4.5”.
Seniors Tori Franklin and Jarred Gambrell also participated in the invitational.
“Tori Franklin and Jarred Gambrell will be doing the triple jump. Tori will be making her début if you will, in the women’s distance medley she will run the 400 leg portion of the distance medley relay.”
Tori and fellow teammates placed first in the distance medley and she also placed first in the triple jump, her longest jump was at 43’ 0.25”. Jarred also placed first in the triple jump, with his longest jump at 49’ 7.75”.
Ms. Franklin is an athlete to watch. This season she will be competing in the 400m, 200m and her specialty, the triple jump.
“She’s definitely someone to look out for,” Kinard said. “She’s doing things that people who are in her event and have jumped for the events she has, are not doing… placing in her rank, so that makes her stronger than they are. She’s definitely someone to look out for in terms of not just indoor season but outdoor season and when she’s done with Michigan State because she is a caliber of athlete that could be a professional athlete.”
Keep an eye out for this indoor season as the team move towards the Alex Wilson Invitational February 20th and then onto the Big Ten Championship February 27th and 28th.
DeAnna Sanders is a multimedia journalist for Impact Sports.
Photo: Alexa McCarthy/Impact Sports