Reynolds, Daniels Set Program Records As Landwehr Wins Steeplchase At Big Ten Track & Field Championships
Lincoln, Nebraska – Senior Katie Landwehr raced her way to a Big Ten title in the steeplechase on Saturday, May 14, at the Ed Weir Stadium in Lincoln, Nebraska. Sophomore Katelyn Daniels and freshman Asya Reynolds set program records on the second day of the Big Ten Outdoor Track and Field Championships.
“This was really the first time Katie had been in this position in a meet of this magnitude,” said Director of Track & Field and Cross Country Walt Drenth. “She led from start to finish. She hurdles well and handles the water well. Most people don’t do both well. Most only do one well. She came off the hurdles and would have a gap. People had to run and chase.
“We exceeded our seedings today, and with this young group they had to grow. They took good steps today. You have to put the day behind you, though, and manage the fatigue of the week and what you can. No one will feel good tomorrow, and it has been a long week. You just can’t get distracted by what you can’t control.”
After two days of competition, the women’s team is in fourth with 29 points. On the men’s side, MSU is currently eighth with 15.5 points.
Landwehr became the first Spartan to podium this week, winning the steeplechase with a time of 10:08.59.
“The erosion of trying to catch up with Katie was just too much for the field,” said Drenth. “She separated herself well by the final barrier. It is rare to win a Big Ten championship, and I am glad she was able to soak it in.”
Daniels rewrote MSU history in the shot put, breaking her own school record with a heave of 16.06m for fourth place. The record-breaking put came on her sixth and final attempt of the afternoon.
Reynolds broke the program record in the heptathlon for the second time this season, amassing 5,211 points to finish fifth. She sat in seventh place after the first day. Reynolds smashed her personal best in the javelin throw by nearly nine meters, recording a mark of 34.73m to tally 566 points toward her total.
“Asya competed well,” Drenth said. “She competed well all weekend and PRed in the javelin. She did what we talked about all season. She managed the passes and was engaged. The consequence of doing those things was competing at a high level. She has continued to grow and was fun to watch.”
The Spartans notched six points on the men’s side in the steeplechase, led by sophomore Max Benoit’s fourth-place finish. Benoit turned in a 9:00.61, while senior Chris Collier finished eighth with a time of 9:04.02.
“The steeplechasers ran well today,” Drenth said. “At the end of the day you want to beat the people around you. Chris and Max did a really good job of that in a really competitive field. There were a lot of people that have ran faster this season behind them, but they out ran their seedings and did a great job.”
Sophomore Noah Gary finished in a four-way tie for sixth in the finals of the pole vault. Gary cleared 4.96m on his second attempt at the height. He was knocked out at 5.11m.
Sophomore Jade Madison added a point to MSU’s total, finishing eighth in the javelin throw. Madison’s career-best throw of 45.50m came on her third attempt of the day.
“Jade did a nice job and won her flight to score, which was a big deal for us,” said Drenth. “She has been a great addition, and we will continue to see her get better.”
In the 1,500 meters, sophomore Kennedy Beazley qualified for Sunday’s final with a 4:27.41 in the prelims. Beazley took second in her heat. Freshman Justine Kiprotich raced his way out of the prelims, winning the first heat with a time of 3:50.44.
“They (Kennedy and Justine) followed race plans really well,” said Drenth. “Justine is getting comfortable in this high level, and Kennedy really executed the plan we put out there for her. She was an automatic qualifier and beat out some of the better 1,500-meter runners in the conference. She was patient. Justine is just an exceptional talent. He’ll have a chance to do something special tomorrow.”
Freshman Will Agodu will race on Sunday in the finals of the 110-meter hurdles after crossing the line with a 14.69 to finish second in the first heat of the prelims.
Junior Aubrey Wilberding just missed out on a spot in the finals, taking 11th in the prelims of the 800 with a time of 2:10.08. Senior David Washington also fell short of the finals, rounding out the top 10 in the 400-hurdle prelims. Washington ran a 52.03.
Minnesota leads the women’s competition with 56 points. Nebraska and Wisconsin are second and third, respectively, with scores of 43 and 36. The Cornhuskers have 64.5 points to lead on the men’s side. Michigan has totaled 48.5 points, while the Golden Gophers have 39.
The third day begins at noon with the finals of the women’s triple jump and discus, and carries through to the 4×400-meter relays at approximately 4:30 p.m.
Championship Sunday will be streamed via BTN2GO on Sunday, beginning at 2:40 p.m. ET.