Watt, Gjokaj Pace Spartan Track & Field On Day One

A pair of second-place efforts in the hammer has MSU leading the men’s competition and third in the women’s


LOUISVILLE, Ky. – A second-place finish by senior Cynthia Watt in the women’s hammer throw and junior Vinny Gjokaj’s second-place effort in the men’s hammer throw paced Michigan State men and women’s track & field action Friday in the opening day of the ACC/Big Ten Challenge at Owsley B. Frazier Cardinal Park, hosted by the University of Louisville.

Watt was second in the hammer throw with a distance of 59.34m, launching that on her fifth of the six throws. Watt’s mark was part of a 1-2-3 Big Ten finish as Indiana’s Laura Schroeder and Nakel McClinton were first and third, respectively. Shroeder took top honors with a 62.42m distance, while McClinton’s top mark of 58.43 was good for third.

Spartan teammates junior Meg Goettsch was 11th with a 49.66m mark, while freshman Stephanie Pajot was 12th with a distance of 49.21m.

Watt’s second-place finish garnered eight points in the team standings for the Spartans, putting MSU third after the one event. Indiana leads with 16 points from its first and third finishes, while host Louisville is second with nine points off a 5-6-7 placing.

On the men’s side, Gjokaj notched a throw of 62.98m to garner eight points for the Spartans. His second-place performance led MSU’s 2-3-4 finish in the event. Senior Connor Kostrzewa took third with an effort of 62.50m, while sophomore Riley Norman was fourth with a career-best heave of 60.70m.

Purdue’s Enekwechi’s 64.64m throw won the men’s competition. The Big Ten claimed the first five spots in the event, with Indiana’s Andrew Miller rounding out the top five.

Michigan State leads the men’s field with 19 points. Purdue is currently second with 10 points, while Indiana rounds out the top three with a team score of five.

The prelims of the 110 hurdles open Saturday’s running events at noon, while the discus at 11 a.m. is the day’s first field event. The meet closes with the 4×400-meter relays at approximately 5:45 p.m. on day two.

Friday’s action was only the women and men’s hammer throw, while the remainder of the field events and all running events take place on Saturday, April 16. The ACC/Big Ten Challenge features three schools from each conference. The Big Ten is represented by Indiana, Purdue and the Spartans, while the host Louisville, Notre Dame and Pittsburgh hail from the ACC.