Ehrhardt Finishes Sixth in Decathlon at NCAA Championships
MSU completes the day with four All-Americans and one more finalist.
EUGENE, Ore. – Senior Tim Ehrhardt capped off his storied Michigan State track & field career by finishing sixth in the grueling two-day decathlon on the second day of the NCAA Championships at Historic Hayward Field in Eugene, Oregon. In another eventful day, sophomore Nick Guerrant was 10th in the decathlon to earn second-team All-American, while sophomore Dillon McClintock reached the final of the women’s 1,500m.
“Remarkable is the first thing that comes to mind,” Director of Track & Field and Cross Country Walt Drenth said about Ehrhardt’s performance. “The perseverance and the toughness throughout the whole meet is remarkable. Everyone who has seen his injury wonders how he’s doing this, and to come out here and to compete like he has done is amazing. My heart breaks for him because at his best he could have been one of the top couple guys, but his resiliency made quite a statement.”
The second day of the decathlon began with the 110m hurdles. Guerrant was close to a career best, running a 15.11. His best was 14.90 en route to the Big Ten title in April. Ehrhardt clocked in at 15.90, with both athletes winning their respective heats. In the discus, Guerrant registered a PR with his first throw with a 43.29m, picking up 836 points. Battling injury, Ehrhardt registered throw of 33.61m in the discus.
Ehrhardt collected 913 points in one of his best events, the pole vault. He finished second in the event with a vault of 5.01m. Guerrant continued to climb his way up the standings with a strong showing in the javelin. The sophomore earned a personal best with a throw of 55.48m. His previous best was 54.82m at the Big Ten Championships earlier this season. Ehrhardt added to his total with a throw of 50.49.
After a break of several hours, the event concluded with the grueling 1,500m. Ehrhardt saved some of his best for last, finishing third with a personal-best time of 4:27.23. Guerrant completed the championship, finishing 10th in the 1,500m with a time of 4:43.80.
“To come back here and get first-team All-American with an injury is pretty exciting. I am never going to be disappointed with being a first team All-American. It just all depends on how you compete on the day. One of the things I am most excited about is that Michigan State is becoming a decathlon school. There are not very many teams who have multiple people in the decathlon. Nick still has a couple years left so Michigan State isn’t going to be leaving this meet anytime soon,” Ehrhardt added.
Guerrant ended the meet with his second-straight personal best. At the Big Ten Championship, he won the title with 7,569 points. He finished his first NCAA Championship with a 7,619 points.
“I think that Nick has a chance to be the school record holder in a few years. He is going to be the next 8,000 point guy at Michigan State. He is a great student of the sport and his temperament out here was fantastic. Coach (Ceith) Creekmur has done a remarkable job with both Tim and Nick. He has kept them moving forward and it is a testament to his skill set,” Drenth said.
In her first NCAA Championship, freshman pole vaulter Sophia Franklin finished tied for 18th. On her first attempt, she cleared 4.00m, but was not able to clear, 4.15m. Senior Katelyn Daniels finished 20th in her first NCAA Championship in the shot put with a best throw of 15.52m. Both Franklin and Daniels earned honorable mention All-American honors.
McClintock will continue her stellar sophomore campaign, reaching the finals in her first NCAA Championships. The Spartan runner was among the leaders from the beginning of the race, leading for a portion before finishing fourth in her heat and qualifying on time (4:15.35). She joins Penn State’s Danae Rivers as the only Big Ten athletes in the final.
“This is really exciting, and a super humbling experience. This isn’t something that I ever figured that I would be out here doing. The coaches and I had talked about how it could be a really tactical race, and it ended up slowing down. I tend to do better with a more honest race at this point of my career so they told me if it was slow not be afraid to go to the front and just go for it,” McClintock said.
“I think that Dillon did a phenomenal job following our race plan today,” Drenth said. “I think it was the difference between making it and not making it. We got into a little of a kick contest at Big Tens and she kicked really well she just finished seventh. So, we talked to her about competing on her own terms. As a first-time athlete coming here and trusting me and executing the race plan very well was outstanding. She stayed composed and she stayed fast and that showed great progress for her.”
Michigan State will continue action on Friday, June 8 with senior Max Benoit and junior Justin Kiprotich competing in the finals of the men’s 3,000m steeplechase and the 1,500m, respectively.
Michigan State Results
6. Tim Ehrhardt / 7,736 points
100m – 10.87
long jump – 7.43m
shot put – 12.73m
high jump – 2.01m
400m – 49.67
110m hurdles – 15.90
discus – 33.61m
pole vault – 5.01m
javelin – 50.59m
1,500m – 4:27.35
10. Nick Guerrant/ 7,619 points
100m – 10.90
long jump – 7.16m
shot put – 12.56m
high jump – 1.98m
400m – 47.92
110m hurdles – 15.11
discus – 43.29m
pole vault – 4.41m
javelin – 55.48m
1,500m – 4:43.80
Women’s 1,500 – Prelims (Thursday)
4 (heat 2). Dillon McClintock / 4:15.35 points
Women’s Pole Vault (Thursday)
18. Sophia Franklin /4.00m
Women’s Shot Put (Thursday)
20. Katelyn Daniels /15.52m
Men’s 1,500m – Prelims (Wednesday)
5 (heat 2). Justine Kiprotich / 3:50.53
Men’s 3,000m Steeplechase – Prelims (Wednesday)
5 (heat 2). Max Benoit / 8:44.94