MSU - Landwehr, Kiprotich Notch Victories At UVA Challenge, Jesse Owens Classic

MSU - Landwehr, Kiprotich Notch Victories At UVA Challenge, Jesse Owens Classic

Provided by MSU

EAST LANSING, Mich. – Senior Katie Landwehr and freshman Justine Kiprotich notched event wins for Michigan State track & field on Friday night at the Virginia Challenge and Jesse Owens Classic, respectively. Off the track, sophomore Katelyn Daniels broke her own school record in the shot put to take second.

“We had some good things happen and some things I’d like to see better,” said Director of Track & Field and Cross Country Walt Drenth. “It was a good night in the steeplechase and Aubrey (Wilberding) ran well. Katie improved with a personal best and winning was important. There was definite progress there.

“So far it has been a good meet. This is a big meet and was a long day of travel yesterday, and we have been handling it well. Tomorrow is an important day.”

Through two sections of the 3,000 steeplechase, Landwehr paced the field with a lifetime best time of 9:58.87. Landwehr’s previous personal record of 10:07.24 came last season at the Virginia Challenge.

“Winning the race gives you confidence,” Drenth said. “She was really poised and ran well. I was really impressed with the last 1,000 meters. That is where she did most of the damage and then at 400 to go she pulled away from everyone. Katie beat people in that race that will contend to get to nationals.”

In the men’s steeplechase, sophomore Max Benoit clocked an 8:56.20 to take 11th, while senior Chris Collier crossed the line close behind in 12th with a time of 8:57.97.

Junior Aubrey Wilberding raced her way to a second-place finish in the 800 meters. Wilberding crossed the line in 2:06.71.

Sophomore Katelyn Daniels broke her school record in the shot put, taking second with a put of 16.02m. Her previous record of 16.01m came at the Florida Relays on April 2. Daniels opened her day with a distance of 49.97m to finish 16th in the women’s hammer.

“Katelyn is becoming more comfortable in the shot ring,” said Drenth. “It will be important for our team that she is winning a couple of events at the conference meet. This is a good sign for her.”

In the invite edition of the women’s hammer, senior Cynthia Watt notched a top-10 finish with a mark of 59.02m for seventh.

After the opening four events of the heptathlon, freshman Asya Reynolds sits in fourth with 3,119 points. Reynolds took second in the 200 meters, clocking a 25.13 and earned 938 points with a third-place finish in the 100-meter hurdles with a time of 14.29.

“Asya has done a nice job and her temperament is excellent,” Drenth said. “It was wet and cold, but she handled the hurdles, and she goes well from one event to next event. She’s doing outstanding and is on target to break the school record.”

In the men’s decathlon, sophomore Justin Pederson concluded day one of competition in second. Pederson has amassed 3732 points. He took second in the 100 meters with an 11.10, then won the long jump with a mark of 7.30m.

Sophomore Cierra Pryor paced a pair of Spartans in the women’s 400 meters. Pryor clocked a 55.51 for 13th, while freshman Denise Spann took third in her heat with a time of 57.53. On the men’s side, sophomore Antonio Clarke’s 48.94 stood for 27th-place.

Running in section four of the 100 meters, senior Janae Hill raced to an 11.81 to win her heat and finish eighth-overall out of the field of 43.

Off the track, a trio of Spartans finished in the top 12 of the men’s hammer led by senior Connor Kostrzewa’s sixth-place effort. Kostrzewa notched a mark of 61.63m. Junior Vinny Gjokaj was short behind with a heave of 60.15m for eighth. Sophomore Riley Norman was 12th with a 57.79m.

Gjokaj followed the performance with a fourth-place effort in the discus, recording a heave of 50.40m.

At the Jesse Owens Classic, freshman Justin Kiprotich won the men’s 1,500 meters with a time of 3:47.01. Junior Ryan Beyea raced to a top-15 place, turning in a 3:56.61 for 12th. Freshman Tommy Osika placed just outside the top 15 in 17th, breaking the four-minute barrier with a 3:59.96.

“Justin was patient in the beginning after a quick start,” said associate head coach Lisa Senakiewich. “He stayed really calm, and he made a move on the lead and with 300 to go made chase. Ryan Beyea had a strong finish closing in 60 seconds in final 400.”

Sophomore Kennedy Beazley raced to a top-10 finish in the women’s 1,500 meters with a 4:30.12 to take ninth. Freshman Kayla Kavulich ran a 4:35.92 for 16th.

“For our younger women, this wasn’t their event and won’t be long term,” Senakiewich said. “They managed themselves well in that competition. Kennedy and Jenny Rogers made great strides.

“Tomorrow I want to see everyone locked in and go over their basic routines,” said Senakiewich. “I don’t want them worrying so much about the end result but the process. We have a lot of athletes without their event coach here, so we will look for them to show maturity and do well in their environment.”

Both the Virginia Challenge and Jesse Owens Classic conclude on Saturday, April 23. In Columbus, Saturday’s field events begin at 10 a.m., with competition on the track set for noon. The women’s steeple opens Saturday’s events at 9 a.m. at the Virginia Challenge, with the women’s 5,000 meters concluding the meet at about 10:30 p.m.