MSU - Spartan Men Win Bob Eubanks Open, Women Second
Provided by MSU
ALLENDALE, Mich. - Powered by 13 top five-finishes, the Michigan State men’s track & field team took home first-place honors at the GVSU Bob Eubanks Open in Allendale on Friday night, tallying 84.5 points. The No. 19-ranked women’s team earned second with a score of 86.5.
“I learned a lot from watching today and felt that we were really engaged throughout the meet,” said Director of Track & Field and Cross Country Walt Drenth. “There were some good things and bad, but the bad things are simple fixes that can be corrected by paying closer attention and not pressing as much.”
The throwers anchored the men’s performance, accounting for 38 of the Spartans points. In the weight throw, MSU went 2-3-4 with junior Vinny Gjokaj leading the way with a heave of 69-03.25. Senior Connor Kostrzewa was third with a mark of 68-09.75, as sophomore Riley Norman’s toss of 64-01.75 earned fourth-place honors.
In the shot put, Gjokaj took second, recording a 58-08.75 on his sixth and final attempt. Norman was second with a 56-04.00, as freshman Michael Schauer was sixth with a throw of 52-07.25. Senior Jake Bennett ended the day with a best of 51-06.25 for seventh.
On the track, sophomore Devin McKinney earned second in the 60-meter hurdles with an 8.21, coming on strong over the final three hurdles. Freshman Will Agodu finished fifth with an 8.28.
“You could really see the difference in experience, even just one year,” said Drenth. “Devin was very poised throughout his race and sat back until the final three hurdles. Will (Agodu), who has a lot of speed, may have gotten a little distracted down the stretch and lost what we could control.”
Senior David Washington raced to a top-five finish in the 400 meters, clocking a 48.87 for fourth overall and first in his heat.
In the jumps, junior Reggie Ferrell and freshman Cody Stemple each turned in fourth-place performance in the long jump and high jump, respectively. Ferrell leaped for a mark of 21-11.50 on his second attempt of the day, as Stemple cleared 6-05.00 on his first attempt at the height.
The Spartans had two more top-five efforts, both coming in the pole vault with junior Jaime Salisbury and sophomore Noah Gary finishing in second and fourth, respectively. Salisbury sailed over the bar at 16-02.75 after missing on his first attempt at the feat. Gary’s highest clearance came at 15-11.00.
In similar fashion as the men’s competition, it was the women’s throwers that stood out at the Bob Eubanks Open. Sophomore Katelyn Daniels won the shot put with a heave of 48-09.50. Daniels turned around to take fourth in the weight throw with a mark of 56-02.00. Senior Cynthia Watt led the charge, taking first with a best throw of 64-03.25 coming on her fourth attempt. Junior Margaret Goettsch was fifth with a 54-06.50.
“Our throwers are very good and naturally competitive,” Drenth said. “It was important for us to get Cynthia (Watt) going, and the horizontal jumpers did a really nice job.”
Sophomore Ellen DiPietro earned another first-place finish for MSU, clearing 5-07.25 in the high jump. The long jumpers placed two competitors inside the top-five as freshman Asya Reynolds was third with a distance of 18-05.25 and freshman Autumn Robinson was fourth with a mark of 18-03.75. Reynolds also appeared on the track, finishing fifth in the 60-meter hurdles, clocking an 8.89.
Freshman Denise Spann impressed in the 400 meters, winning the event by more than three tenths of a season. Spann turned in a 57.08 in her first collegiate 400.
Off the track, the pole vault corps earned 12.5 points toward the team score, taking third, fifth, sixth and eighth. Senior Lauren Chorny led the way with a 12-06.00, as freshman Sydney Kay cleared 12-00.00 for fifth. Juniors Jordan Keefe and Hannah Sailar made 11-06.25, with Keefe finishing sixth after sailing over the bar on her first attempt and Sailar needing a second run to finish eighth.
“I am very optimistic,” said Drenth. “We didn’t come in with any preconceived notions since we haven’t had much time together since the break. There will be some growing pains with such a young team, but it will be fun to see who emerges as a leader.”
Michigan State is back in action on Saturday, Jan. 23, at the Notre Dame Quad Meet in South Bend, Indiana, with Michigan, Purdue and the Fighting Irish.