MSU - Four Spartans Earn Track & Field All-Big Ten Honors
Provided by MSU
May 14, 2013
EAST LANSING, Mich. - Following their accomplishments at the 2013 Big Ten Outdoor Championships, four members of the Michigan State track & field team were named to the All-Big Ten teams. Leah O’Connor, Beth Rohl and Antonio James were recognized as First Team All-Big Ten honorees, while Tori Franklin was named to the Second Team All-Big Ten.
For the second year in a row, redshirt sophomore was named to the First-Team All-Big Ten. She defended her 2012 3,000-meter steeplechase title in a dramatic fashion on Saturday, running past the Big Ten leader from Nebraska to take the win. Her time of 9:53.53 is the third fast time in the NCAA East Region and fifth in the nation. O’Connor wasn’t finished as she came back the next day to beat the competitive field in the 5,000-meter run for her second gold medal of the meet. In her first ever race in the event, she clocked a time of 16:09.46 to win her third gold medal of her career. With her performances this past weekend, O’Connor has won every race she has ever competed in at the conference meet.
The Big Ten discus record-holder, redshirt senior Beth Rohl earned her second First-Team All-Big Ten recognition after winning her sixth career Big Ten outdoor medal on Sunday. With her first throw in the discus event, Rohl took the lead and never let go winning the event with a mark of 55.22m/ 181-2. She is currently the NCAA East Region leader in the discus and third in the nation. She kicked off her last conference meet as a Spartan by earning her second-straight bronze medal in Friday’s hammer throw competition, throwing a season-best mark of 60.25m/ 197-8.
A first-time honoree on the All-Big Ten First-Team, redshirt sophomore Antonio James won the first Big Ten outdoor medal of his career with a gold-medal winning performance in the discus throw. Among a stacked field of competitors, James threw his winning mark of 58.25m/ 191-1 in his last attempt of the finals to take the lead and earn his first Big Ten gold medal of his career, second overall. He followed up with a sixth-place finish in the men’s shot put competition, hitting a career-best mark of 18.17m/ 59-7½ to score points for the Spartans.
Representing the Spartans on the Second Team All-Big Ten, sophomore Tori Franklin took home a silver medal in the triple jump competition on Sunday. The mark of 13.16m/ 43-2¼ gave Franklin her second Big Ten Outdoor medal of her career as she won bronze in the event at the 2012 conference meet. She is currently ranked second in the NCAA Region in the event and sixth in the nation. Franklin scored in every event she competed in this past weekend as she placed eighth overall in the finals of the 400-meter dash and was a part of the 4x400-meter relay team that finished fifth.
The Spartans will continue competition after a weekend break when they travel to the NCAA East Region Preliminary Round in Greensboro, N.C. Members of the team will attempt to qualify for the NCAA Championships on May 22-25.