MSU - Spartans Finish Strong At Raleigh Relays

MSU - Spartans Finish Strong At Raleigh Relays

Provided by MSU

RALEIGH, N.C. - The Michigan State track & field teams wrapped up their first outdoor meet of the 2015 season on Saturday at the Raleigh Relays, hosted by North Carolina State University. The Spartans had 38 athletes compete in 15 events on the day.

"I thought we handled ourselves well and embraced the competition this weekend," said Michigan State Director of Track & Field/Cross Country Walt Drenth. "The weather and conditions weren't ideal, but I didn't think we let that affect us on the track or in the field events. I thought the entire group did an outstanding job. Considering the conditions and how we came out and performed, I thought this was one of our better outdoor starts in recent memory."

Senior Jellisa Westney recorded a pair of wins on the track in the women's 100m and 200m races, running ttimes of 11.80 and 24.77, respectively. Senior TeJuanna Williams also finished fifth in the 200m with a time of 25.55. Westney and Williams teamed with Tori Franklin and Cierra Pryor to win the women's 4x100m relay with a time of 46.45.

In the women's 800m, sophomore Aubrey Wilberding clocked in with a time of 2:12.18 to finish fourth. The women's 4x1500m relay team of Julia Otwell, Kennedy Beazley, Lindsay Clark and Sara Kroll ran a time of 18:35.00 to finish second overall.

On the men's side, senior DeVantre Whitelow was the runner-up in the 100m with a time of 10.45 as he finished just .05 seconds off the lead. MSU had three different relay teams finish in the top-10 in the men's 4x400m, 4x800m and 4x1500m events. The 4x400 group of Antonio Clarke, Tim Ehrhardt, Whitelow and Austin Sanders clocked in at 3:15.85 to finish eighth. Ryan Haag, Edward Clifton, Brandon Wallace and Alex Whitmer ran a time of 7:40.93 in the 4x800m race, good for fourth overall. The 4x1500m squad of Nick Soter, Chris Collier, Drake Veitenheimer and Max Benoit finished fourth with a time of 16:11.03.

"Really happy with the efforts of our sprinters today and excited about their development. DeVantre and Jellisa had to qualify yesterday and then came out today and got some first round marks out of the way for nationals," said Drenth.

Junior Lauren Chorny led five competitors from MSU in the women's pole vault with a first-place mark of 3.80m. Senior Kassie Powell and sophomore Hannah Sailar each cleared at 3.65m and tied for second in the event. Junior Cynthia Watt was the top perfomer in the women's hammer throw with a mark of 59.80m.

"Cynthia Watt was very good in the hammer throw and we're excited about her potential going forward. We think she's got a really good chance to score for us at the conference meet," added Drenth.

Senior Jarred Gambrell placed third in the men's triple jump with a mark of 15.12m. Sophomore Vinny Gjokaj led three Spartans in the men's hammer throw, finishing eighth with a personal best of 58.43m. Junior Connor Kostrzewa finished 10th with a throw of 57.05m. In the men's pole vault, junior Jaime Salisbury posted a third-place mark of 4.85m and fellow junior Tim Canfield placed fourth after clearing the bar at 4.70m.

"I though our pole vaulters on both sides were very good today given the elements," said Drenth. "They pushed it back from yesterday to today, so they had to wait around a while before getting to compete. But I thought there were a lot of positives from their performance and I think they'll continue to improve throughout the outdoor season."

MSU will be idle next weekend before competing in the Big Ten/ACC Challenge on April 11 in Louisville, Kentucky.