News from MSU Media Relations--March 23

The lastest sports news from the MSU Media Relations Department...

Track & Field
BATON ROUGE, La. - Mississippi State University freshman Emily Sanders (Woodstock, Ga.) won the hammer throw with a mark of 165 feet, three inches to open competition for MSU at the LSU Tiger Relays. Sanders' mark is the fourth-best in the event in school history and a new MSU freshman record.

"We're real pleased with Joy's (Griffith) performance. She shaved about 17 seconds off her previous personal best, and that's amazing" said MSU head coach Al Schmidt. "Emily (Sanders) won her first collegiate event. It was a good win for her. We're pretty happy with today."

In the women's 3000-meter steeplechase, junior Joy Griffith (Tuscaloosa, Ala.) took second, running a personal-best 10 minutes, 56.79 seconds, the second-best time on the all-time MSU superlatives list in the event. Senior Meggan Hodge (Beaumont, Alberta) finished second with a time of 11:04.90.

In the women's 5000-meter run, freshman Michelle Corrigan (Green Bay, Wis.) ran a personal best 17:53.18 in a third-place finish, while junior Mina Thorstenson (Okauchee, Wis.) crossed the tape one place behind Corrigan in 18:05.29. Freshman Nicole Rosetti (Biloxi, Miss.) recorded the second top 10 finish in the 5000 of her career. Rosetti placed 10th in 18:44.52.

The lone Bulldog competing on the opening day was senior Gedamu Ege (Atlanta, Ga). Ege ran the 5000-meter run in 15:09.65 to finish second.

Action resumes tomorrow with field events beginning at noon, followed with track events at 2 p.m.

Men's Tennis
STARKVILLE, Miss. - The Mississippi State men's tennis team will end a 12-day layoff from conference play this weekend, traveling to Lexington, Ky. to meet #20 Kentucky Friday and facing Vanderbilt Sunday in Nashville, Tenn. State (4-6, 1-3 SEC) has not played a conference match since March 12 when the Bulldogs defeated Alabama for their first conference win of the season.

Friday's match with Kentucky is set for 4 p.m. CT at UK's Boone Tennis Complex. The Wildcats, currently ranked 20th in the nation, are 11-3 overall and 4-0 in Southeastern Conference play. Kentucky is led by 46th-ranked junior Alex Hume. Hume is 25-7 overall this season including a perfect 11-0 record in dual match play. Freshman Bruno Agostinelli is ranked 54th nationally and holds an 8-3 dual match record for UK. The third ranked player for Kentucky is senior Nate Emge. Emge is ranked 87th and has a 7-4 dual match record including a 2-2 mark in league play. The Bulldogs and Wildcats have met 35 previous times with Kentucky holding a slight 19-16 advantage. MSU upset Kentucky last season in Starkville as State downed the 12th ranked Wildcats 5-2.

The Bulldogs will conclude their weekend activity, taking on the Vanderbilt Commodores Sunday at 1 p.m. CT. at VU's Currey Tennis Center. The Commodores are 5-7 on the season and 0-4 in the SEC. They are led by sophomore Ryan Preston who is 8-4 in dual match play and is ranked 68th nationally. The VU doubles tandem of Evan Dufaux and Andy Mack are ranked 32nd in the nation and are currently 9-3 on the season. State holds a commanding 31-7 lead in the series with Vanderbilt including a 13-5 advantage in Nashville. State defeated Vanderbilt 5-2 last season in Starkville which snapped a two match losing streak to the Commodores.

Women's Golf
STARKVILLE, Miss. - After capping off its seventh straight top-10 finish of the season last week at the Pinehurst Challenge, the Mississippi State women's golf team will compete in the Liz Murphey Collegiate Classic in Athens, Ga., this weekend (March 24-26). The three-day tournament will be held at the par 72, 6228-yard University of Georgia Golf Course.

"We will close out the regular season this week with a tough challenge," said MSU head coach Christi Sanders. "The field is the strongest we have seen this entire year. We will need to have a good tournament and show the NCAA Regional Advisory Committee that we can compete among the best in the nation."

The 18-team field includes eight teams ranked in the latest Golfweek top-25 rankings. Participating schools include: Alabama, Arkansas, Auburn, Coastal Carolina, East Carolina, Florida State, Furman, host Georgia, Kent State, Michigan State, Mississippi, Ohio State, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Vanderbilt, Wake Forest and Washington.

State's lineup includes seniors Stephanie Godare and Ashleigh Korzack, junior Amanda Mathis, sophomore Julia Huh and freshman Leigh Phillips.

Last season at the Liz Murphey Collegiate, MSU finished in seventh out of 18 teams. The Lady Bulldogs were led by Amanda Mathis who finished tied for seventh.

The tournament will begin Friday morning with an 8:00 a.m. tee off. Saturday's action will be in a tee-time format while Sunday's final round will be a shotgun start.

Women's Tennis
STARKVILLE, Miss. - After an off weekend from competition, Mississippi State's women's tennis team returns to the home courts this weekend to entertain 29th-ranked Kentucky on Friday and 12th-ranked Vanderbilt on Sunday, March 26. The MSU-UK match is slated for 3 p.m. at the A.J. Pitts Tennis Centre on the State campus.

In their last SEC weekend activity, the Lady Bulldogs traveled the state of Alabama and came away with a 1-1 record. MState topped Auburn 6-1 on March 10, but fell to 39th-ranked Alabama 5-2 the following Sunday. Sophomores Renee Joseph and Polina Kokoulina finished the weekend 2-0 with victories at No. 3 and 4 positions respectively. With her win at Auburn on March 10, senior Anastasia Kugakolova moved in to sole possession of seventh-place on MSU's career singles victories list with 63 wins in the Maroon and White. The St. Petersburg, Russia native moved past former Lady Bulldog netter Amelie Detriviere (1997-2001).

The Wildcats, ranked 29th in the latest Fila ITA rankings, will also resume competition this weekend. UK has won four out of their last five matches and is led by 39th-ranked Kim Coventry. She leads the squad with 21 wins this season. Freshman Carolina Escamilla was named the SEC's Player of the Week during week nine of the season (March 14).

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