Franklin Breaks MSU Triple Jump Record At Drake Relays

Franklin Breaks MSU Triple Jump Record At Drake Relays

Provided by MSU

EAST LANSING, Mich. - With a new school record from Tori Franklin at the Drake Relays and a day full of seven wins and 14 personal records, Michigan State track & field had a successful day of competition on Saturday. The team was dispersed, with the jumpers and hurdlers at the nationally-renowned Drake Relays in Des Moines, Iowa, while the majority of the team competed at the Hillsdale College Gina Relays.

Earning wins in their individual events were Lindsay Seymour (400m hurdles), Chelsea Ross (100m hurdles), Jelissa Westney (100 and 200m), Lauren Lampman (800m), Austin Wissler (800m) and James Nixon (pole vault).

Posting personal-best performances Tori Franklin (triple jump), James Nixon (pole vault), Sarah Birkmeier (pole vault), Lindsey Seymour (400m hurdles), Jellisa Westney (100 and 200m), Janae Hill (100m), TeJuanna Williams (100 and 200m), Alicia Evans (200m), Lauren Lampman (800m), Austin Wissler (800m), Ryan Haag (800m) and Jibril Mims (400m).

Setting a new school record in the triple jump, sophomore Tori Franklin improved her career-best mark to 13.41m/ 44-0 to finish second overall.

"We went into the competition looking to further our best jump," said assistant coach Vanitta Kinard. "I believe she exceeded that. She did a pretty good job of staying focused and listening to the cues of what to do next. She was definitely competing back and forth with the senior from Nebraska. I was proud of how she did."

Sophomore Jaelynn Pryor posted a season-best time of 59.13 in the 400-meter hurdles, good for an eighth-place finish. In the men's race, redshirt senior Keenan Michael finished fifth overall with a time of 51.62.

"I think the athletes definitely rose to the occasion. It was a pretty packed meet and the energy from the crowd really got the athletes going. Everybody did a good job in understanding where they're at. What's going to help us moving forward is this kind of competition. It makes them hungry for the competition at Big Tens and to weigh in on the goals they set for themselves."

Meanwhile, the Spartans also competed at the Gina Relays. Hosted by Hillsdale College, MSU matched its success from the first day of competition.

"As a whole, the team competed really well," said assistant coach Randy Gillon. "What we needed all along this year was time and opportunity and we got that today. We got some good conditions, favorable winds and just a gorgeous day and the athletes took advantage of that. They did follow up yesterday's outstanding performances by the distance group and they did not disappoint today. Seeing individuals really perform at a high level and compete with great poise and maturing gives us confidence moving forward into Big Tens. It's good to go into a break with some momentum and they did just that. All in all, it was a good day. We had a lot of positive things to build upon and lessons to be learned."

Earning a win in the 400-meter hurdles, sophomore Lindsey Seymour posted a career-best time of 1:00.91. Senior Chelsea Ross took first-place honors in the 100-meter hurdles, crossing the finish line in the personal record time of 14.06.

"Lindsay is arguably for me the brightest spot because we challenge her and introduced her to a new event, one that is very intimidating, and she started to believe what we're telling her. She's starting to see in herself what we see in her, and as a result she had almost a second and a half personal record."

The Spartans dominated the women's 100-meter dash, led by sophomore Jellisa Westney who won the event with a career-best time of 11.58. She was followed by freshman Janae Hill who clocked a season-best time of 11.73 to finish second, while sophomore TeJuanna Williams placed fourth with a career-best time of 11.85.

The women were also well represented in the 200-meter dash as Westney took home her second win of the day with a career-best time of 23.64. With a runner-up finish, sophomore Alicia Evans posted a personal record time of 23.91. Williams posted her second career-best time of the day, crossing the finish line in 23.98, good for fourth place.

"On the women's side, Jelissa finally had the race that I believe was always there," said Gillon. "For much of this outdoor season, we were reminding her of what she can do and telling her we were waiting for the big race and today she really came out in doing so. She had two outstanding performances. Both marks will qualify her for the first round of nationals.

"The group as a whole with Jelissa, Janae, Alicia and TeJuanna were coming off of a very disappointing 4x100-meter relay effort. We were poised and ready to run something special and they had two bad handoffs and the last was fairly costly. So I challenged them afterwards. They held it together and showed great poise and maturity and as a result were able to get season bests and personal records. That group being able to respond like they did shows maturity because you may go to a conference meet and things might not go well and you might have adversity. How you respond when that adversity comes about is what is going to define you. These women responded accordingly with personal records."

Also earning an individual win was redshirt freshman Lauren Lampman in the 800-meter run. She crossed the finish line in a personal-record time of 2:10.46 for the win. Sophomore Austin Wissler took first-place honors in the men's race, posting a time of 1:49.89. Redshirt senior Joe Banyai finished fourth with a season-best time of 1:50.62. Clocking a personal-best time of 1:52.54 was redshirt freshman Ryan Haag, while freshman Brandon Wallace earned an outdoor season-best performance of 1:53.82.

"Austin had a significant personal record running a very savvy race," Gillon said. "The time is one thing, but how he raced is even better because how you race is what leads to better performances. Lauren Lampman as well had a personal record. After a bit of a shaky start to the season, she managed to pull herself together and have a solid competitive outing. Ryan Haag also had a savvy race and very physical race. He managed himself so well with so much poise and was awarded with a personal record. Brandon Wallace didn't have the best race, but was still able to pull himself together for an outdoor personal record. All in all, the 800-meter group did an outstanding job competing and racing."

Redshirt senior James Nixon earned an individual win in the pole vault, posting a personal record mark of 5.11m/ 16-9¾. In the women's pole vault, redshirt sophomore Sarah Birkmeier hit a career-best mark of 3.90m/ 12-9½ for a runner-up finish.

"James had a significant personal record today," said Gillon. "He made it simple and just kept going to the next bar and as a result he was clearing that bar. He did make things complicated; he went at it and competed and as a result was the last man standing. The pole vaulters competed very well with marks relative to their season bests or personal records. They did a great job gaining valuable momentum going into the Big Ten meet."

With a runner-up finish in the 400-meter dash, redshirt senior Alysson Bodenbach posted a time of 55.93. Freshman Jibril Mims turned in a personal-best performance in the men's, finishing third with a time of 48.79.

"Jibril Mims made some good progress today in the 400-meter, starting to show the talent that I believe is there. He's got some maturing to do, but he's taking a positive step in the right direction.

After a break this coming weekend, the Spartans will take on conference foes at the 2013 Big Ten Outdoor Championships. The meet will be held on May 10-12 in Columbus, Ohio.