Daniels, Kiprotich and McClintock Start Strong at NCAA East Prelims
Redshirt-senior Katelyn Daniels reaches the NCAA Finals in the shot put for the first time.
TAMPA, Fla. -Michigan State senior Katelyn Daniels earned a spot at the NCAA Finals after a solid performance in the shot put Thursday at the NCAA East Preliminary Round in Tampa, Florida. Redshirt-junior Justine Kiprotich and sophomore Dillon McClintock both advanced to the finals of the men and women’s 1,500m, respectively.
Due to inclement weather in the area, most of the schedule was moved up several hours. The men’s hammer started at 8:45 a.m., while the final event the women’s 10,000m was pushed back, beginning after 10:30 p.m. due to a lighting delay.
“I thought that as group we handled the adjustments to the schedule pretty well. I didn’t see anybody really get frustrated by the changes. We kind of forewarned them in our first team meeting. We talked about the key to these meets is being able to go with the flow. For the most part, I think we handled everything pretty well,” Director of Track & Field and Cross Country Walt Drenth said.
Daniels had a solid showing in the shot put in the final event before the lighting delay. After narrowly missing out on reaching the NCAA Finals in the shot put last season, Daniels nailed her first attempt with a season-best 16.31m. After a pair of fouls on the next two attempts, she was forced to wait to see her finish. Finishing 10th overall, Daniels will advance to the finals for the first time in the shot put. She will also compete in the discus on Friday.
“After finishing 13th last year, I am really excited to advance this season. Obviously, things didn’t go exactly as planned, but I am glad to earn another trip to Eugene,” Daniels said.
“She knows what to do, and we have seen it coming. She has been pretty confident in her shot, and in the warm up it looked that she had a couple really big throws. You can see the confidence building. In a meet like this, some people are going to come in with huge marks. But if you just do what you have done all year, you are going to be pretty good,” Drenth said.
In the men’s hammer, freshman Nick Kramer, competing in his first NCAA East Prelims, had a solid showing. On his third throw of the first flight, he threw a 59.81m. He was just shy of his personal best and finished 34th on the day.
Senior Noah Gary started strong in the pole vault. He cleared 4.85m on his first attempt, but was unable to clear 5.00m.
In the women’s javelin, senior Jade Madison ended her Spartan career with a 46.00m, finishing 23rd. Junior Ellen DiPietro finished 34th in the high jump, clearing a height of 1.70m. She cleared 1.65m on her first attempt. It took three attempts, but on her final attempt, she cleared 1.70m, but was able to reach the next height.
Kiprotich, the 2017 NCAA runner up in the men’s 1,500m, got one step closer to returning to Eugene. Running in heat one, he finished second with a time of 3:45.62 in what would become the fastest heat. His time ended up being the second-best overall time as well.
“It is exciting, and I am looking forward to the final on Saturday. I think that it is going to be a good one,” Kiprotich said. “Running in the first heat does change my approach to the race. The first heat is usually a blind race since you don’t know what the times are going to be later on. I wanted to go in with the mindset of qualifying by place.”
In the women’s 1,500m, McClintock also reached the final with a time of 4:20.41. Running in the third heat, McClintock finished second in her heat and 20th overall to reach Saturday’s final. She was one of five Big Ten athletes to reach the final.
“This was my first time running at the first round after having a stress fracture last year, and it is really nice to get out there and race. Being in the third heat was also nice to figure out how we wanted to fun the race. I am really excited to shoot for Eugene, and I and I can’t wait for Saturday. It will be really competitive race,” McClintock said.
“Dillon looked a lot more relaxed and calm than what she was a the conference meet. I think she was a just a week off in terms of her readiness. She looks much more ready. Justine gained some confidence at the conference meet. The preliminaries are always a bit nerve-wracking and create a little more tension. I think that they both looked pretty good today,” Drenth added.
Junior Taylor Mullins registered a personal best in the 400m hurdles with a time of 58.76. Her previous best was 59.16 at the Big Ten Championships. She just missed the cut for the final by .06, behind Liberty’s Kimone Green.
In his final race in the Green and White, senior Clark Ruiz (30:57.63) and sophomore Jesse Hersha (30:57.64) finished 37th and 38th, respectively in the men’s 10,000m. Sophomores Lynsie Gram (35:17.20) and Amber Way (36:06.48) ended the season in the women’s 10,000m, finishing 26th and 34th, respectively.
Michigan State is back in action on Friday, May 25. Freshman Jerimiah Evans will get the field events started in the men’s discus at 8:45 a.m. Track events will begin at 12 p.m. with junior Will Agodu in the 110m hurdles.
Michigan State Results
Men’s Hammer (Friday)
34. Nick Kramer / 59.81m
Men’s Pole Vault (Friday)
33. Noah Gary / 4.85m
Women’s 400m Hurdles - Prelims (Friday)
25. Taylor Mullins / 59.76 (PR)
Men’s 1,500 (Friday)
2. Justine Kiprotich / 3:45.62
Women’s 1,500m (Friday)
20. Dillon McClintock / 4:20.41
Women’s Javelin (Friday)
23. Jade Madison / 46.11m
Women’s High Jump (Friday)
34. Ellen DiPietro / 1.70m
Women’s Shot Put (Friday)
10. Katelyn Daniels / 16.31m
36. Kayli Johnson / 15.01m
Men’s 10,000m (Friday)
37. Clark Ruiz / 30:57.63
38. Jesse Hersha / 30:57.64
Women’s 10,000m (Friday)
26. Lynsie Gram / 35:17.20
34. Amber Way / 36:06.48
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