Daniels Concludes Storied MSU Career With Eighth-Place Finish in Discus
MSU’s final competitors Daniels and McClintock both earn All-American honors.
EUGENE, Ore. – In the final NCAA Track & Field Championships at Historic Hayward Field, Michigan State women concluded action with two more All-American honors Saturday in Eugene, Oregon. Senior Katelyn Daniels finished eighth in the discus, while sophomore Dillon McClintock was 10th in the 1,500m.
The NCAA Championships will move to Austin, Texas the next two seasons, while Hayward Field undergoes renovations.
“I am really proud of the kids, and I am really proud of the coaching staff. I work with a great coaching staff, saying I want to have a balanced program,” Director of Track & Field and Cross Country Walt Drenth said. “I want to have a team that has people in a lot of events that gives to be competitive consistently. People like Tim (Ehrhardt), Katelyn and Max (Benoit) have done a lot in terms of helping us grow.”
With heavy rain falling during much of the competition, Daniels fought hard to reach the very competitive final. She fouled on her first attempt during some of the hardest rain. Standing in 12th place heading into her final attempt, the senior came up clutch with a throw of 53.84m to reach the final for the fourth-straight season. Last year, she reached the final in the ninth spot. During the final, she wasn’t able to improve on her position, ending in eighth. Arizona State’s Maggie Ewen won the title with a throw of 60.48m.
“It is stressful waiting like that. You keep thinking ‘what could I have done better,’ but I was just happy to get there. I had have a better throw at the end, but yes I was a little anxious,” Daniels said.
With the eighth-place finish, the senior earned her third-straight first-team All-America honor. Last season, she finished sixth in the discus to earn first-team All-American honors and was fifth in 2016, as a freshman she finished 15th to garner second-team accolades. With honorable mention honors in the shot put on Thursday, she will leave MSU as a five-time All-American. She is the most decorated Spartan women’s track athlete since Leah O’Connor who was a six-time All-American, including both indoor and outdoor.
“This has been the best experience of my life and the biggest blessing, and I can’t believe it is kind of wrapping up. All the people that I have met here are going to be life-long friends. I have enjoyed my experience here. So regardless of what I left at Michigan State, this has been one of the greatest blessings of my life. I am very, very thankful and putting All-American on top of that is really rewarding,” Daniels added.
“She always adds a little drama, but that is just her in the clutch,” Drenth said. “In these conditions, there are a lot of variables, so making the final and being an All-American one more time is fantastic. It has been a tremendous career for her. I understand her frustration and disappointment because there was some space out there where she could have filled the void and moved up a couple spots. I am just proud of her; she has been an amazing competitor and a fantastic leader. We will miss her immensely.”
In the final event on the track for Michigan State, McClintock competed in her first NCAA Championships in a loaded field. The sophomore finished 10th with a time of 4:15.29, which was just slightly faster than her semifinal time of 4:15.35. Oregon’s Jessica Hull captured the title with a time of 4:08.75. For her efforts, McClintock garnered second-team All-American honors.
“Today was definitely a learning experience. I have never been in a race this competitive before in both semifinals and the race today,” McClintock said. “Honestly, it was just plain awesome to be able to race all the way to the finals. I have learned that gaining confidence is something that I need to work on. I am someone who deserves to be here, and I can compete with anyone out there.”
“For Dillon, there was no part that that I thought was a failure. I asked her if there was a point of the race where you thought that you could have done more. And she said, ‘that is all that I had,’” Drenth said. “For her to get here to the national championship and make a final is huge. She sort of understands what it takes and give her a point of reference for her training. Once you have a taste of something like this and an understanding of what it takes in the race, you can start to simulate that in your training.”
USC captured the women’s team title with 53 points, while the Spartans finished tied for 63rd with one point. Eight of the 13 Big Ten teams that have track & field teams scored at least one point.
Michigan State Results
Women’s 1,500m – Final (Saturday)
10. Dillon McClintock / 4:15.29
Women’s Discus – Final (Saturday)
8. Katelyn Daniels / 53.84m
Men’s 1,500m – Final (Friday)
7. Justine Kiprotich / 3:45.75
Men’s 3,000m Steeplechase – Final (Friday)
11. Max Benoit / 8:47.15
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