NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Michigan State track & field concluded weekend action at the Music City Challenge Saturday by posting personal records on several events for the second-straight day.
"We had a pretty good day today, good people continue to do really good things, and some of our young people are really starting to make some progress," director of track & field Walt Drenth said. "I think our maturity level is higher and our expectations are higher. We're seeing growth as we proceed in all areas. I think as we move forward, especially into outdoor, we're going to have some good performances and be a pretty good team."
Early in the day freshman sprinter Joe Stevens set his second personal record of the weekend, this time in the men's 60-meters. Stevens ran 6.84 seconds to take sixth-place against a tough field, following posting a time of 21.94 Friday in the men's 200-meters.
Sophia Franklin shook off being a little out of sync as the women's pole vault got underway to clear her third-best height of the season at 4.13 meters. Kristen Denk of Vanderbilt took first place with a top mark of 4.23 meters, a top-20 mark in the country so far this year.
"I think it speaks to Sophia's maturity being able to recover after things didn't start great," Drenth said. "Sometimes you're in sync and things are going well, it wasn't like that today and she kept fighting. It was fun to watch. I thought Joe had a really good day. The maturity as a young athlete to have a good day yesterday and come back and be as good if not better today, that's a hard thing to do. He ran well in the final against some good guys. I'm excited for his progress."
Kiprotich ran his first 800-meter race of the indoor season and took the win in 1:49.11, falling just short of his personal record. It was the second win in as many days for Kiprotich, after being part of the men's distance medley relay team that took the win Friday night.
Dillon McClintock, who recently returned to the track from an injury and has only been putting on her spikes at meets, turned in a time of 2:06.59 in the women's 800-meters to finish in fourth place. Her run was less than a second off her personal-best in the event.
Carlyn Arteaga finished seventh, with a personal record time of 2:08.22, almost two seconds better than her previous top time. Katie Osika also set a new personal record, crossing the line in 2:09.71 to take tenth place. Kayla Wiitala crushed her personal best in the event by more than two seconds, finishing 15th with a time of 2:12.92.
Jerimiah Evans, Kayli Johnson and Rebecca Mammel all had good days in the men's and women's shot put. Evans tied his personal best of 17.42 meters set earlier this season, while Johnson set a new career-best of her own, with a farthest toss of 16.07 meters. Mammel also set a personal record in the event with a throw of 14.77 meters.
The Spartans return to the track February 22-23, for the Big Ten Indoor Championships at the U-M Indoor Track Building in Ann Arbor, Michigan.
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