Michigan State track & field totaled seven qualifiers for the NCAA Championships.
JACKSONSVILLE, Fla. – Michigan State track & field concluded the three-day NCAA East Preliminary Round at Hodges Stadium on the campus of North Florida with a total of seven qualifiers for the NCAA Championships. Sophomore Katelyn Daniels had the Spartans’ top finish of the day, coming in 16th in the shot put.
“I was pleased about how this weekend went,” said Director of Track & Field and Cross Country Walt Drenth. “We had a good meet. I don’t think, with maybe the exception of Aubrey (Wilberding) who we believe was good enough to make it, I don’t think there were any surprises. We felt good about the 10,000 meters and the throwers, and Lauren (Chorny) had been jumping well in practice. It is a nice number, especially in a competitive meet such as this. We have a good group.”
Daniels opened the first round of the shot put in 10th with a mark of 15.81m. With second and third round efforts of 15.36m and 15.35m, respectively, she fell back to 16th.
“Katelyn keeps growing,” Drenth said. “She was close to her personal best, and she’ll explode here soon in that event. I don’t think there is any question about it. We were really hoping she would pop one out there and have a chance to do both discus and shot at nationals.”
Sophomore Riley Norman notched career-best distance of 17.42 in the first flight of the men’s shot put. The effort was the third best in his flight and fifth after the first two flights. Norman finished 26th overall.
“Riley did a nice job. When you come to a meet like this and throw the best you ever have, it shows a lot of characteristics of a successful thrower,” said Drenth. “He’ll be excited to get back here next year.”
In MSU’s final event of the NCAA East Prelims, freshman Kelsie Schwartz finished 15th in the women’s 5,000 meters with a time of 16:54.84. Senior Lindsay Clark crossed the line in 21st with a 17:18.79.
“I was glad to see Lindsay make it,” Drenth said. “To get herself back to normal after the frustration of this past year, it was nice for Lindsay to get here and enjoy this to be part of the national championships.
“Kelsie, as a freshman, just went out there and ran. She will learn from this. I think her best event is not the 5,000, but maybe the 10,000 meters, and next year may be the year for her.”
Seniors Cynthia Watt (hammer), Rachele Schulist (10,000 meters), Lauren Chorny (pole vault) and Katie Landwehr (3,000-meter steeplechase), along with juniors Alexis Wiersma (10,000 meters) and Aubrey Wilberding (800 meters), and Daniels (discus) punched their tickets to the NCAA Championships in Eugene, Oregon, on the first two days of competition.
“We will recover from the trip, and we do not have a much time,” Drenth said. “We will have a quick turnaround. As far as tweaking anything, we will maybe adjust some things in the throws and continue to work with Lauren and adjusting poles, but for the distance runners it will be about keeping their fitness up.”
The qualifiers out of the east and west regions will compete in the NCAA Division I Men’s and Women’s Outdoor Track and Field Championships in Eugene, Oregon, from June 8-11.