Spartan Track & Field Qualifies 26 Individuals for NCAA Opening Rounds


Spartans begin competition in Greensboro, N.C., on Thursday, May 27.  Photo courtesy of MSU SID.
Spartans begin competition in Greensboro, N.C., on Thursday, May 27. Photo courtesy of MSU SID.

EAST LANSING, Mich. – The Michigan State track & field program opens NCAA action on Thursday, May 27 in Greensboro, N.C., when it travels to North Carolina A&T for the NCAA Opening Rounds. Action will begin at 10 a.m. on Thursday, and continues until Saturday, May 29. In all, the Spartans have qualified 26 individuals – 14 men and 12 women – seven of which are competing in multiple events. In order to qualify for the NCAA Opening Rounds, individuals must be ranked in the top-48 in their respective region.


The 26 qualifiers are the most MSU has had qualify for the NCAA Regionals since the format was introduced in 2003, breaking last year’s record by six individuals.


For the men, 14 individuals will be traveling to North Carolina for the NCAA Opening Rounds. Freshman Josh McAlary qualified in the 1,500m run with a time 3:46.68 to rank 44th in the East Region. Joining McAlary in the event is senior Ian Boyle with his 44th-place regional time of 3:46.73 set at the Jesse Owens Classic. This will be Boyle’s third-straight appearance, while McAlary will be a first-time competitor.


Sophomore Stephen Humes is 48th in the 800m run with a 1:50.17 mark, achieved at the Jesse Owens Classic. Freshman Isaiah VanDoorne posted his 38th ranked time of 14:10.15 in the 5,000m run at the Sun Angel Classic. Both individuals will be making their first trip to the NCAA Regionals.


Making their debuts at the NCAA Regionals will be junior Spencer Beatty, junior Patrick Grosskopf, sophomore Jake Hamilton, freshman Keenan Michael, freshman Kurt Schneider and sophomore Aaron Simoneau.


Beatty and Simoneau each qualified in the 3,000m-steeplechase with times of 8:46.81 and 8:49.20, respectively. Beatty enters the weekend ranked seventh in the region and 19th nationally, while Simoneau is 14th in the region.


Michael and Hamilton will each compete in the 400m hurdles. Michael posted a 15th-best time of 51.25 and Hamilton recored a time of 52.29 for 41st.


Grosskopf qualified for the regionals in the 10,000m run when he posted a school-record time of 29:28.18 at the Big Ten Championships. Grosskopf enters the weekend ranked 16th in the event regionally.


MSU will be represented by three male jumpers at the NCAA Regionals. Schneider posted a height of 2.15m for 15th-place regionally in the high jump, while Logan Lynch is 25th in the pole vault with a 5.18m mark.


Rounding out the jumpers is indoor All-American senior Kyron Foster. Foster, in his lone outdoor meet of the season, posted a distance of 15.69m in the triple jump. Foster’s mark is currently the 26th-best mark in the nation, and 10th regionally.


The lone sprinter for the men is sophomore Shane Wells. Wells will be making his second-straight regional appearance after he turned in a time of 14.10 in the 110m hurdles at the Indiana State Quadrangular.


Junior Anthony Agrusa posted qualifying marks in both the discus and hammer throws. In the disc, Agursa posted a 40th-best mark of 51.56m. Agrusa qualified in the hammer throw with a toss of 59.25m, good enough for 43rd in the region. Both of Agrusa’s marks were posted at the Big Ten Championships. Agrusa is making his third-straight appearance at the NCAA Regionals.


The women qualified 12 individuals for the NCAA Opening Rounds this weekend. The women are highlighted by junior Emily MacLeod who is ranked 10th in the region in the 5,000m run with a time of 16:16.53 set at the Indiana State Quadrangular, a mark that currently stands at 42nd in the nation. This will mark MacLeod’s third trip to the NCAA Regionals.


Juniors Erica Mann and Charelise Davis qualified as individuals and as half of the 4x100m relay team. Mann and Davis turned in times of 11.58 and 23.78 in the 100m and 200m dashes, respectively. The Spartan juniors will be joined by sophomore Leslie Aririguzo and freshman Alysson Bodenbach in the 4x100m relay after the team posted a time of 45.16 at the Big Ten Championships. This will be Mann and Aririguzo’s second-straight trip to the regionals, while Davis and Bodenbach will be making their debuts at the event.


Sophomore Becca Buchholtz will be making her outdoor regional debut in the high jump after she turned in a leap of 1.80m at the Big Ten Championships. Buchholtz’s mark tied the 15-year-old record set by Jana Giesler in 1995. Buchholtz currently ranks 13th in the region and 21st nationally in the event.


Making her second-consecutive trip will be senior Leah Elenbaas. Elenbaas posted a 40th-best mark of 2:09.32 in the 800m run at the Big Ten Championships.


Sophomore Carlie Green rounds out MSU’s distance runner with her regionals debut in the 1,500m run. Green turned in a time of 4:26.37 at the Sun Angel Classic to rank 38th in East region.


The Spartans boast two women pole vaulters for the second-consecutive year in senior Katie Shaw and junior Ashley Smith. Smith ranks 28th in the East with a height of 3.92m set at the Sun Angel Classic, while Shaw is 43rd in the pole vault with a 3.85m mark set at the Jesse Owens Classic. This will be Shaw’s third trip to the regionals, while Smith will be making her second appearance.


Junior Ashley Lawrence and freshman Beth Rohl have each qualified in multiple throwing events. Lawrence posted a mark of 15.29m in the shot put and a toss of 50.94m in the discus throw. Lawrence will be joined by Rohl in the discus after the Spartan freshman turned in a distance of 50.30m at the Sun Angel Classic. Rohl also qualified in the hammer throw with a 56.13m mark.


In all, there are 12 who will be making their return trip, while 14 individuals will be making their regionals debut. The men qualified two more individuals from a year ago, while the women have seen an increase of four student-athletes.


Recapping the 2009 NCAA Regionals…

Senior Lisa Senakiewich (Davison, Mich.) got things started when she qualified for the 2009 NCAA Outdoor Track & Field Championships in the women's 5,000m run on the first day of competition. The next day, the Michigan State track & field program saw four additional student-athletes qualify for nationals after their performances at the final day of the NCAA Mideast Regional, held at Cardinal Stadium on the campus of Louisville. Joining Senakiewich were seniors Nicole Bush (Wyoming, Mich.), Sarah Price (Mankato, Minn.) and Jeremy Orr (Detroit, Mich.), and freshman Lonnie Pugh (Grosse Ile, Mich.). The five automatic qualifiers were the most for director of track & field Walt Drenth in his three seasons at Michigan State.


Last Time Out...
The Spartans concluded action at the Big Ten Championships hosted by Indiana University on Sunday, May 16 with both the men and women finishing in seventh place. Individually, MSU saw two competitors finish atop their respective events as Big Ten Champions. Becca Buchholtz placed first in the high jump, while Kyron Foster continued his indoor success in the triple jump with the outdoor triple jump crown. As a result of their performances, both Buchholtz and Foster received First-Team All-Big Ten accolades. Earning second-team All-Big Ten honors in the 200m dash finals with a time of 23.78 was Charelise Davis. Emily MacLeod also earned second-team honors in the 5,000m run when she finished second with a time of 16:16.74.


Record-Breaking Spartans...

Over the course of the 2010 season, the Spartans have rewritten the MSU record books in several events. To date, seven school records have either been broken or tied – four outdoor and three indoor:


• Rebecca Buchholtz (tied)
High Jump (1.80m (5-10.75)) – Big Ten Championships

• Patrick Grosskopf
10,000m run (29:28.18) – Big Ten Championships

• Emily MacLeod
1,500m run (4:18.76) – Jesse Owens Track Classic

• Brad Wentzel

Hammer Throw (59.69m (195-10)) – Purdue Outdoor Open


• Rebecca Buchholtz (tied)
High Jump (1.81m (5-11.25)) – Big Ten Championships
• Kyron Foster
Triple Jump (16.21m (53‐2.25)) – NCAA National Championships
• Brad Wentzel
Weight Throw (19.75m (64-09.75)) – Grand Rapids Championships


Next Up...
Members of the Spartan track & field team will travel to Eugene, Ore., for the NCAA Championships held on the campus of Oregon. Competition will begin on Tuesday, June 8, and continue until Saturday, June 12.