Three MSU All-American Accolades Highlight Thursday’s NCAA Track & Field Championships
Provided by MSU
EUGENE, Ore. – Michigan State track & field had three athletes in action and all three garnered All-American accolades to highlight Thursday’s second day of action at the NCAA Track & Field Championships at Historic Hayward Field in Eugene, Oregon. Junior Tim Ehrhardt earned the second decathlon All-American accolade of his career with second-team honors, while Jade Madison and Hannah Sailar made smashing NCAA Championships debuts with third-team All-American plaudits.
Ehrhardt finished 14th in the decathlon with 7,455 points to earn second-team All-American honors. His point total was boosted by winning the pole vault, which was Thursday’s third event and the eighth event of the decathlon. Ehrhardt also earned first-team All-American honors in the 2015 decathlon after finishing fifth. The Spartan junior decathlete missed the 2016 season due to injury.
“I think that it is nice to see him back in action after all the injuries. It was good for him to win an event by winning the pole vault, even though he was probably the favorite. You still have to perform, and I thought it was a kind of rallying point at the end of the where it probably hadn’t gone as he had planned,” MSU Director of Track & Field and Cross Country Walt Drenth said. “It will be fun to see where he goes from here. He has had a lot of experiences this year that should allow him to mature and really develop into the person that we think that he really can be.”
Madison made her NCAA Championship debut in the javelin, finishing 19th. On her second attempt, the Spartan junior threw a new personal-best of 49.20m, much to her delight and her event coach, Lonnie Pugh.
“Being here is a natural motivation for me. It just makes me want to work harder when I see this stadium behind me, so I can make it back next year and work even harder. It is a great feeling to make it this far, and then to then to get a PR while you are here really feels great,” Madison said.
Her previous best was 48.30m this season at the Big Ten Championships in University Park. With the career-best mark, Madison earned third-team All-American honors.
“You go to nationals and you do something you have never done before that is really special. She has just gotten better every week. In the sport of javelin there are pockets where they throw the javelin, so she is learning really quickly. Seeing that kind of progress every week it is really kind of fun. I think that she can come back next year and score. My hat is off to her and Coach Pugh for their work,” said Drenth.
The second Spartan making her NCAA Championships debut was Sailar, who like her teammate, also earned third-team All-American plaudits in the pole vault. The MSU senior cleared 4.00m to finish tied for 17th in her final competition for the Green and White.
“Hannah has been a great competitor for us. We have counted on her so many times, and she has come through in the clutch so many times that it will be hard to not have her around. Today, she jumped at a pretty hard bar for her, and I thought that she had it on her third attempt. To come to Nationals for the first time as a senior and perform about as well as you have performed all year, is a great it is a good way to end,” Drenth said.
Rain starting falling lightly during the first event of the day the decathlon 110 hurdles, which was the sixth event overall of the decathlon. Ehrhardt ran a 15.73 in the 110m as the decathletes dealt with rain, wind and cooler temperatures the remainder of the competition. The junior struggled in the discus throw fouling on his first two attempts. On his final attempt, Ehrhardt threw a 36.13m on his final try.
Ehrhardt had his strongest performance of the day in the pole vault. The junior started a 4.91m, clearing the bar on his first attempt. Showing a flair for the dramatic, Ehrhardt cleared both 5.11m and 5.21m on the third attempt. He was unable to successfully get over the bar at 5.41m, which would have tied the meet record, but he still won the pole vault and added 976 points. In the ninth event, which was javelin, Ehrhardt threw 47.09m, collecting 546 points. The Spartan wrapped up the decathlon with a 4:45.05 clocking in the 1,500m, the 10th and final event, tallying 649 for his cumulative total of 7,455 points.
On Friday, June 9, the Spartans will have one athlete in action. Sophomore Justine Kiprotich will run in the finals of the men’s 1,500, as the men’s action comes to a conclusion. The 1,500m is scheduled to begin at 8:42 p.m. (ET).
Friday’s action will be on the ESPN’s family of networks, fans should check local listings for complete broadcast information.