MSU - Three Spartans Record Individual Wins on Final Day of SPIRE Invitational

MSU - Three Spartans Record Individual Wins on Final Day of SPIRE Invitational

Provided by MSU

GENEVA, Ohio - The Michigan State track and field teams wrapped up a weekend of competition at the SPIRE Invitational on Saturday afternoon at the SPIRE Institute in Geneva, Ohio. MSU had 38 athletes compete in 16 events on the day, which included three individual wins.

Tori Franklin claimed her third victory of the indoor season in the women's triple jump with a mark of 13.11m. Jarred Gambrell followed with a win in the men's triple jump, posting a 15.13m mark and DeVantré Whitelow took home top honors in the men's 60m dash with a time of 6.80.

"Our leaders did a nice job of picking us up today. Tori, DeVantré and Jarred each won their respective events, which is always a positive," said Michigan State Director of Track & Field/Cross Country Walt Drenth. "I think all three of them were a bit frustrated and wanted to perform better, but some times you take what you can get against good competition in a high-level meet.

"Overall, it was a good meet. We got to go up against some really good competition across the board and get an idea of what we need to do better when we get to the Big Ten Championships. We need to get off the mark better and have a better start than we did yesterday, but we'll go back to work over the next two weeks to get us prepared to compete at a high level."

Kassie Powell led three Spartans who competed in the women's pole vault, recording a runner-up finish with season-best 3.95m mark. In the women's high jump, Ellen DiPietro converted 1.68m to finish sixth overall.

Tim Ehrhardt finished third overall to lead MSU in the men's pole vault, converting a mark of 5.15m.Montae Nicholson and Darian Hicks of the Spartan football team competed in their first meet of the indoor season and took part in the men's long jump. Nicholson placed third overall with an impressive mark of 7.24m, while Hicks (6.21m) came in 24th. Nicholson also competed in the 60m hurdles, posting a time of 8.33 in the preliminary round. Hicks clocked in at 7.24 in the preliminaries of the men's 60m dash.

"Those two guys [Montae and Darian] just joined us about three weeks ago, but we definitely see the potential for them to improve and help us going forward," added Drenth. "Montae had a nice performance in the long jump and is obviously a very gifted athlete, so we're looking forward to see what he can do at Big Tens."

In the women's distance events, Rachele Schulist narrowly missed a personal-best in the mile and finished sixth overall with a time of 4:43.74. Lindsay Clark (9:24.39) and Julia Otwell (9:26.80) paced MSU in the women's 3,000m, finishing third and fourth respectively. Sara Kroll (9:28.04; seventh) and Raquel Serna (9:30.50; eighth) also finished in the top ten.

Nick Soter was the Spartan's lone participant in the men's mile and ran a time of 4:11.65, good for seventh overall. Caleb Rhynard was MSU's top performer in the men's 3,000m with a sixth-place time of 8:05.15.

Michigan State will return to the SPIRE Institute to compete in the Big Ten Indoor Track & Field Championships on Feb. 27 and 28. The Spartans will compete in their final event before the Big Ten Indoor Championships next Friday, Feb. 20, when they travel to Notre Dame, Indiana for the Alex Wilson Invitational.