MSU - Ehrhardt Finishes Fifth in Decathlon; O'Connor Advances to Steeplechase Finals

MSU - Ehrhardt Finishes Fifth in Decathlon; O'Connor Advances to Steeplechase Finals

Provided by MSU

EUGENE, Oregon - Sophomore Tim Ehrhardt scored the first points for the Michigan State track & field team in the NCAA Championship by finishing fifth in the decathlon with a career-best 7,677 points. Ehrhardt jumped from 10th to fifth to earn All-American honors.

Thursday's Results/Live Results

After earning 3,980 points in the first day of the decathlon, Ehrhardt continued his strong showing with the first event of the day the 100m hurdles. He had a personal best with a time of 15.80, which placed him 17th and earned him 755 points. In the second event of the day the discus, he set a personal best in all three throws, topping out of with a throw of 41.06m to finish eighth in the event.

This is the second-straight season that the Spartans have had an All-American in the decathlon after Kurt Schneider earned Second-Team honors last season.

Ehrhardt excelled in one of his best events the pole vault. He finished second in the pole vault with a mark of 5.20m, earning 972 points. He also had a personal best in the javelin with a throw of 49.72m. Ehrhardt ended the day with the 1,500m, finishing with his fourth career-high with a time of 4:36.96 to help preserve his fifth-place finish.

"It was fantastic; what an athlete. To be able to come back from yesterday, having to high jump with the other foot was amazing. Nearly everything he did today was better than anything he had ever done," said MSU Director of Track & Field Walt Drenth. "I can't say enough about his competitiveness. It was one of our team goals to make men's cross country nationals, score at NCAA Indoors and Outdoors. There are very few teams in the country that have achieved that."

O'Connor advanced to the finals in the 3,000m steeplechase by winning heat one with a time of 9:55.58. Overall, she finished sixth with North Dakota State's Erin Teschuk finishing first overall with a time of 9:53.93. O'Connor will return to defend her NCAA title on Saturday.

"I am more comfortable when I am running fast and locked in. I wasn't locked in today, but you don't have to be when you are trying to be relaxed and qualify for the finals. I think that Saturday's final will be very exciting," O'Connor said.

Competing in her first NCAA Championship, senior Cynthia Watt finished 11th, just shy of making the final. She finished third in her flight with a throw of 60.01m, earning Second-Team All-American honors. Senior Sarah Birkmeier competed in her second and final NCAA Championship in the pole vault. She had no height in three attempts.

The women's 4X100m relay team of seniors TeJuanna Williams, Lauren Rose, Alicia Evans and Jellisa Westney were 12th in the semifinal with a time of 44.53.

As a team, the MSU men are tied for 24th with 4.0 points.

Under the new NCAA schedule, on Friday, June 12 the men return to the forefront. Michigan State will have only one athlete in action with senior Antonio James taking part in his fourth-straight discus. The discus will begin at 7:05 p.m. (ET). ESPN will broadcast events on Friday beginning at 7:30 p.m. (ET).