STARKVILLE, Miss. - Mississippi State University's track and field squads return to action this weekend at the Alabama Relays in Tuscaloosa, Ala. Men's decathlon events begin Thursday and resume Friday morning. The remainder of events is scheduled for Saturday and Sunday features relay finals. The event is being held at the Sam Bailey Track Complex on the University of Alabama campus.
"Sunday's final are team scored. This meet is a big traditional battle, and we're trying to win it on both sides," said MSU head coach Al Schmidt. "We have a good chance to be in there. With our women, our strength is in our middle distance and distance runners. Hopefully, we can show and flex in the relays. We've still got some young ones trying to make it in the SEC."
After completion of the indoor season, the Lady Bulldogs took a week off before this weekend's competition. During the indoor season, junior Nicola Wilson (Trenton, N.J.) opened the year breaking the school record in the shot put at the Clemson Invitational and followed by breaking the record on two other occasions. Wilson's throw of 49 feet, one-and-three-quarters inches is the current record and the throw resulted in a fifth-place finish at the SEC Championships.
Freshman Gabrielle Dillon (Liberty, Miss.) narrowly missed entering the MSU all-time superlatives list in the 60-meter dash, after running 7.58 (c) at the SEC Championships. In distance events, junior Jen McPherson (Nampa, Idaho) placed fourth in the mile run at the SEC Championships, while teammate and senior Zita Magloire (Tallahassee, Fla.) posted her best finish in the event at the Boston University-hosted Terrier Classic. Junior Mina Thorstenson's (Okauchee, Wis.) season was highlighted by two wins - one in the 5000-meter run (Clemson Invitational) and the other in the mile run at the Bayou Bengal Invitational.
Last week at the Florida State-hosted FSU Snowbird, the Bulldogs jump-started the season with two regionally qualifying marks. State's 4x400-meter relay squad of junior transfer Ezra Jones (Wildwood, Fla.), junior all-American Arthur Davis (Mobile, Ala.), sophomore all-American Elzie Coleman (Newburgh, N.Y.) and junior transfer Bruce Davis (Phenix City, Ala.) ran 3 minutes, 9.37 seconds. In the high jump, sophomore Tim Williams (Pensacola, Fla.) cleared 6-10 ¾ to win the meet title. State freshman Ty Williams (Panama City, Fla.) won the 800-meter run with a time of 1:54.89.
In the 5000-meter run, junior Travis McKay (Edmondton, Alberta) took third (14:25.14), while four other Bulldogs - junior Wade Martin (Cullman, Ala.), sophomore John Brigham (Mobile, Ala.), senior Gedamu Ege (Atlanta, Ga.) and sophomore Pad Judd (Cushing, Wis.) - finished fourth, sixth, seventh and ninth respectively.
MOBILE, Ala. - Mississippi State posted its second-straight top-five finish in as many tournaments on Tuesday with a final-round 297 at the University of South Alabama Spring Classic to finish fourth in the 12-team field. The Bulldogs were in the clubhouse in fourth place after Monday's 36 holes of competition. MSU extends its string of top-10 finishes to seven consecutive top-10 placements during the season.
Freshman Noah Goldman set a new season-best, finishing runner-up in the individual standings. The reigning SEC Golfer of the Week concluded the 54-hole event with an even-par round of 72 to lead all MSU golfers. With his final-round score, he has now carded par or better in six of his last seven rounds. Hattiesburg, Miss. native Matt Fast recorded a 2-over par 74 to finish 29th in the field. Carlos Sainz, Jr and Logan Young put the final tally on the MState scorecard with rounds of 75 and 76 respectively. Junior Josh Oller finished 22nd in the individual standings after firing a 78 on Tuesday.
Mississippi took home team honors with a tournament-total 856, while Southern Mississippi claimed second place.
State will travel to Springfield, La. on Monday, March 27, to compete in the Carter Plantation Intercollegiate hosted by Southeastern Louisiana.