Kiprotich and McClintock Advance to NCAA Finals

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Kiprotich and McClintock Advance to NCAA Finals (PHOTO:  MSU SID)

Kiprotich and McClintock Advance to NCAA Finals (PHOTO: MSU SID)

Kiprotich and McClintock Advance to NCAA Finals

Overall a total of seven Spartans will compete in eight events in Eugene.

TAMPA, Fla. - After the final day of competition at the NCAA East Preliminary Round, the Michigan State track and field team had two more Spartans punch their tickets to the NCAA Finals when redshirt-junior Justine Kiprotich and sophomore Dillon McClintock advanced in the men and women’s 1,500m, respectively.

For the third-straight day, inclement weather affected competition although no events were delayed.

MSU will send a total of seven athletes in eight events, as redshirt-senior Katelyn Daniels will compete in both the shot put and the discus. On the women’s side, freshman Sophia Franklin (pole vault)and McClintock (1,500m) will both be making their first trips to Eugene. On the men’s side, seniors Max Benoit (3,000m steeplechase) and Tim Ehrhardt (decathlon) will join sophomore Nick Guerrant (decathlon) and Kiprotich (1,500m) at the NCAA Finals.

“It will be an exciting group in Eugene. I think that everyone that is traveling has a chance to score. Katelyn has a chance to win and certainly be on the podium. Tim and Nick both have really good energy, and their practices have been good. I expect them both to be really good in the decathlon. It is also nice to have them both there, helping each other throughout the meet,” Director of Track & Field and Cross Country Walt Drenth said.

Track Events

McClintock will advance to the NCAA Finals for the first time in her career after a stellar rain-drenched women’s 1,500m race. She was in the front of the pack for the bulk of the race, finishing third in her heat and fourth overall with a time of 4:15.00. Three Big Ten athletes will earned a trip to Eugene in the 1,500m.

“I am super excited and thrilled to have this opportunity. This year has gone a lot differently than I expected so far. I am excited and kind of humbled to have this experience. It will be fun to able to do this with Kip (Kiprotich). I won’t have a girl to warm up with, but it will be nice to have him to talk to,” McClintock said.

“Fortunately, the run went out fast, and she was able to manage herself and stay composed when it got hard. She ran her second-fastest time in these conditions after running a preliminary two days ago. I thought she did a great job. I think that she will be dangerous at Nationals under a little better conditions,” Drenth said.

Kiprotich earned his second-straight trip to the NCAA Finals with a second-place finish in the men’s 1,500m. He used a season-best time of 3:43.49, finishing both second in his heat and second overall. Last season, he was the NCAA runner-up in this event, earning All-American honors.

“This is wonderful to be headed back to Eugene for the second time. It is going to be a blast with the group that we are taking. The conditions didn’t really bother me because they are the same for everyone you are running with. Every week I feel like I am doing something that will help me with the next performance. This week and next week I look forward to doing some really good work before heading to nationals,” Kiprotich said.

“Justine has gotten stronger. He has had really had really good races and then there has been a hicup. He has either gotten sick or because of weather. He has done a really good job just staying the course. He has done a fine job communicating with me. He has matured so much, and it has been really fun to watch. It has been a really good journey for him,” Drenth said.

For the second-straight day, a Spartan distance runner finished 13th, just one spot away from advancing after senior Bridget Blake came up short in the steeple on Friday. In the women’s 5,000m, junior Erin McDonald finished 13th with a time of 16:25.85. North Carolina’s Morgan Ilse was the 12th qualifier with a time of 16:23.20. Fellow junior Jeralyn Poe was 17th with a time of 16:31.65.

Field Events

In the only field event of the day for Michigan State, senior Max Knoblock finished 31st with a long throw of 58.04m. He was second in his flight, as his second throw was his longest.

Michigan State will now prepare for the NCAA Finals June 6-9 in Historic Hayward Field in Eugene, Oregon, hosted by the University of Oregon.

Michigan State Results

Women’s 5,000m (Saturday)

13. Erin McDonald / 16:25.85

17. Jeralyn Poe / 16:31.65

Women’s 1,500m (Saturday)

4. Dillon McClintock / 4:15.00

Men’s 1,500m (Saturday)

2. Justine Kiprotich / 3:43.49

Men’s Javelin (Saturday)

31. Max Knoblock / 58.04m

Women’s Pole Vault (Friday)

t-8. Sophia Franklin / 5.18m

Men’s Discus (Friday)

16. Jerimiah Evans / 53.12m

Men’s 110m hurdles - Prelims (Friday)

Will Agodu - DNF

Men’s 200m - Prelims (Friday)

47. Jonathan Fife / 53.12m

Women’s Discus (Friday)

1. Katelyn Daniels / 55.80m

Men’s 3,000m (Friday)

5. Max Benoit / 8:44.32

17. Winter Romeyn / 8:55.16

Women’s 3,000m (Friday)

10. Bridget Blake / 10:03.18

27. Karrigan Smith / 10:25.49

Men’s Hammer (Thursday)

34. Nick Kramer / 59.81m

Men’s Pole Vault (Thursday)

33. Noah Gary / 4.85m

Women’s 400m Hurdles - Prelims (Thursday)

25. Taylor Mullins / 59.76 (PR)

Men’s 1,500 - Prelims (Thursday)

2. Justine Kiprotich / 3:45.62

Women’s 1,500m - Prelims (Thursday)

20. Dillon McClintock / 4:20.41

Women’s Javelin (Thursday)

23. Jade Madison / 46.11m

Women’s High Jump (Thursday)

34. Ellen DiPietro / 1.70m

Women’s Shot Put (Thursday)

10. Katelyn Daniels / 16.31m

36. Kayli Johnson / 15.01m

Men’s 10,000m (Thursday)

37. Clark Ruiz / 30:57.63

38. Jesse Hersha / 30:57.64

Women’s 10,000m (Thursday)

26. Lynsie Gram / 35:17.20

34. Amber Way / 36:06.48

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