Track and Field Journey to OSU to Compete


Michigan State track and field will begin its descent into the Big Ten Outdoor Championship with one final bout of competition this weekend at the Jesse Owens Track Classic hosted by Ohio State University.

The women’s squad enters the competition as the only ranked team, with a 13th place standing in the NCAA D1 Outdoor Track and Field rankings. The Spartan women are the top ranked Big Ten team in the standings. At this same time last year, the women’s team was ranked 34th and went on to finish sixth at the Big Ten Outdoor Championship.

This weekend at Jesse Owens will act as a precursor for what is to come on their home turf in two weekends.

“This is our last turn in individual events, and taking care of some finals things before the conference meet,” said head coach Walt Drenth. “Some of us will be pretty busy this weekend in preparation for the conference meet.”

The goal this weekend is preparation. For the sprinting and jumping groups this means competing in their primary events to make any last final tweaks. All eyes are on the women’s 4×100 team, comprised of seniors TeJuanna Williams, Jellisa Westney, Alicia Evans and Tori Franklin. This weekend, the women will have to make a case for a national qualification.

Another group expected to make waves this weekend is the women’s throwing group. Led by transfer junior Cynthia Watts and redshirt freshman Katelyn Daniels, both athletes have broken records and surpassed personal bests throughout both the indoor and outdoor season. Watts leads the Big Ten and is sixth in NCAA rankings for the hammer throw and Daniels is second in the Big Ten and eighth in the NCAA for discus.

The women’s team has 11 individuals that fall into the top 20s of their events, and for Coach Drenth that makes it pretty clear that the Spartan women have a chance to be pretty competitive at the championship level.

Competition for the Jesse Owens Track Classic will run Friday, May 1 to Saturday May 2 at Ohio State’s Jesse Owens Memorial Stadium.