MSU - Spartans Collect Three Event Wins On Day One Of Big Ten Indoor Track & Field Championships

MSU - Spartans Collect Three Event Wins On Day One Of Big Ten Indoor Track & Field Championships

Provided by MSU

Feb. 27, 2015

Big Ten Indoor Championship Results: Day One

GENEVA, Ohio - The Michigan State track & field teams kicked off the 2015 Big Ten Indoor Championships with a pair of record-breaking performances at the SPIRE Institute on Friday.

Rachele Schulist was the first Spartan to claim a gold medal after a dominating win in the women's 3,000m run. Schulist broke her own MSU and SPIRE facility record in the event with a time of 9:01.25, finishing more than 14 seconds ahead of second-place. Sara Kroll finished seventh with a time of 9:28.66 to score two more points for Michigan State.

"Rachele's wire-to-wire was a great run and there were some exceptional distance runners in that race," said Michigan MSU Director of Track & Field/Cross Country Walt Drenth. "What a statement. To run 9:01 solo is just an outstanding effort. I couldn't be more pleased with her as a young runner to have that kind of poise and persistence."

In the men's pole vault, Tim Ehrhardt came through with his first career Big Ten title. Ehrhardt converted at 5.37m and prevailed in a tiebreaker with Nebraska's Steven Cahoy to win the event. After four events - 60m dash, long jump, shot put, high jump - in the men's heptathlon, Ehrhardt also sits in second place with a score of 3,207, trailing Luca Wieland of Minnesota by 89 points in th event. He was the top performer in the long jump with a PR of 7.28m, and also placed second in the 60m dash with a time of 7.06 (tying his personal best) and third in the high jump with a PR of 2.05m. The heptathlon competition will wrap up with the 60m hurdles, pole vault and 1,000m run on Saturday.

"Tim is just a great competitor. To compete in four events in the heptathlon and then go on to win the pole vault is a great accomplishment for him. The guy just competes like crazy," said Drenth.

The team of Katie Landwehr, Tori Franklin, Aubrey Wilberding and Leah O'Connor capped off the day with a thrilling win in the women's distance medley relay, shattering the MSU school record with a time of 10:57.80. In the last leg of the event, O'Connor came from behind to catch Brook Handler of Michigan to give the Spartans the win by almost five seconds.

"Just like any track meet, you're going to have a few ups and a few downs," added Drenth. "We just have to finish the job tomorrow. We're going to have a few more champions I would expect. Most importantly, I just need to see the team continue to rally and we need everybody to continue to bring our energy up. Tori [Franklin] was exceptional in her leg of the distance medley and she'll come back and be a monster in the triple jump tomorrow."

In the women's mile preliminary round, O'Connor posted the second-fastest time (4:42.29) in the group to qualify for Saturday's finals. The 2014 Big Ten champion will look to defend her title on Saturday, with the final race slated to be run at 1:20 p.m. ET.

DeVantre Whitelow was the top finisher in the preliminaries of the men's 60m dash as he tied a season-best with a time of 6.72. He will advance to tomorrow's final, scheduled for 2:10 p.m. ET. Austin Sanders also qualified for tomorrow's championship race with a career-best time of 21.36 in the men's 200m dash. Saturday's 200m final is set for 3:30 p.m. ET.

Katelyn Daniels got MSU on the scoreboard with a throw of 14.63m in the women's shot put, good for two points and seventh place overall. The Spartan men's distance medley team of Drake Veitenheimer, Antonio Clarke, Brandon Wallace and Nick Soter recorded four points with a fifth-place time of 9:43.79. Montae Nicholson tied for fifth and picked up two points for MSU in the men's long jump with a mark of 7.23m.

The Spartan women are currently tied with Ohio State for second place overall with 24 points, trailing Wisconsin by seven points. The MSU men's squad is tied with Minnesota for third place with 17.5 points, with Nebraska (39.5) and Penn State (33) leading the way.

Events will resume tomorrow morning at 10:00 a.m. ET. Live results will be available along with Twitter updates from @bigtenchamps and @MSUTrackFieldXC.