MSU Track & Field Travels West For NCAA Championships

MSU Track & Field Travels West For NCAA Championships

Provided by MSU

HEADING WEST Michigan State men's and women's track & field programs will be well represented at the 2015 NCAA Championships at historic Hayward Stadium in Eugene, Oregon. The Spartans will be sending 10 entries to the NCAA Championships this season which is the most under nine-year head coach Walt Drenth.

NCAA Outdoor Championship Notes Get Acrobat Reader

NCAA NOTES The Big Ten has the fourth-most women's entries in the nation with 60. The SEC leads with 116. On the men's side, the Big Ten has the third-most entries with 61 with the SEC leading with 107. After setting a new school record in the 3,000m steeplechase (9:35.33), senior Leah O'Connor is the top seed in the steeplechase. The MSU women are currently ranked No. 14 in the USTFCCA polls. Oregon holds the top spot, while Arkansas is ranked No. 2.

HOW TO WATCH The ESPN family of networks will cover the 2015 Outdoor Track & Field Championships. On Wednesday, June 10, ESPNU will broadcast events beginning at 7 p.m. (ET) On Thursday, June 11 ESPN will cover events beginning at 8:30 p.m. (ET). ESPN will also broadcast events on Friday, June 12 at 7:30 p.m. (ET). On the final day of competition, ESPN2 takes the reigns beginning its coverage at 5 p.m. (ET). For live results go to:

LOOKING BACK Last season, senior Leah O'Connor registered the third-fastest performance in meet history in the 3,000m steeplechase, 9:36.43, en route to the largest margin of victory since 2010, 7.39 seconds, over Boise State's Marisa Howard. O'Connor became the first female in Michigan State history to win the event and the first female champ in any outdoor event since 1997 (Sevatheda Fynes, 100 and 200 meters).

QUARTET RETURNS TO EUGENE Michigan State has a quartet returning to Eugene for the NCAA Championships. Seniors Antonio James (discus), Tori Franklin (triple jump) and Leah O'Connor (3,000m steeplechase) and sophomore Rachele Schulist (5,000m) will make repeat performances at Hayward Stadium. James, Franklin and O'Connor are all making their third-straight appearances in the NCAA Outdoor Championship.

O'CONNOR DEFENDING HER TITLE Senior Leah O'Connor is continuing her defense of her NCAA 3,000m steeplechase title. At the 2014 NCAA Outdoor Track & Field Championships, O'Connor set a school record with a time of 9:36.43 to become the first steeplechase champion in MSU history. She also became the first Spartan outdoor champion since Sevetheda Fynes won the 100m and 200m in 1997, and just the fifth women's NCAA outdoor champion in program history. O'Connor enters this week's finals with the third-fastest time in the country, running a 3:35.33 at the East Preliminary in Jacksonville last week. In her four year career, O'Connor is a five-time All-American.

JAMES MAKING A REPEAT PERFORMANCE For the fourth-straight season, senior Antonio James has qualified for the NCAA Championship in the discus, finishing sixth with a mark of 58.89m. Last season, James finished 23rd in the discus with a toss of 50.88m.

TERRIFIC THROWERS Under the direction of throws coach Blaine Maag, the Michigan State throwers have excelled this season. Four different throws advanced to Eugene, including senior Antonio James (discus), sophomore Vinny Gjokaj, junior Cynthia Watt (hammer) and freshman Katelyn Daniels (discus). Watt, James and Daniels were all Big Ten Champions.

Michigan State NCAA Championship Participants


Name Event Seed Mark/Time Day - Time

Cynthia Watt Hammer 19 59.52 6/11 - 1:30 p.m.

4X100 Relay (SF) 11 44.28 6/11 - 4 p.m.

Leah O'Connor 3,000m Steeple 1 3:35.33 6/11 - 4:38 p.m.

Sarah Birkmeier Pole Vault 19 4.18m 6/11 - 4:45 p.m.

Katelyn Daniels Discus 4 57.30m 6/13 - 1:35 p.m.

Tori Franklin Triple Jump 7 13.06m 6/13 - 2:00 p.m.

Rachele Schulist 5,000m 8 15:53.29 6/13 - 4:00 p.m.


Name Event Seed Mark/Time Day - Time

Vinny Gjokaj Hammer 18 64.37m 6/10 - 1:30 p.m.

Antonio James Discus 7 58.89m 6/12 - 4:05 p.m.

All Times Pacific