AUBURN, Ala. - The Mississippi State University men's and women's track and field squads competed at the Auburn Invitational at the newly dedicated Hutsell-Rosen Track on Saturday. Junior Jen McPherson (Nampa, Idaho) ran 4 minutes, 22.26 seconds to win the women's 1500-meter run and qualify for June's Mideast Regional. The time is the best by a Southeastern Conference female athlete and ranks among the top 15 best times in the country this season.
"We had a great day," said MSU head coach Al Schmidt. "The women"s 1500 was a great race, and we dominated it. Jasmine (Walls) was having a great day until her back started hurting her, so we held her back a bit. This is probably the highest number of women we've ever had qualify for regionals in a single season. Nicola (Wilson) has proven to be quite steady, as has Chris (Woods).
Also in the 1500, senior Zita Magloire (Tallahassee, Fla.) took third, running 4:29.36, a personal best. Behind Magloire, four Lady Bulldogs also finished in the top 10 - junior Joy Griffith (Tuscaloosa, Ala.) in a personal record time of 4:32.29, sophomore Annie Falor (Flagstaff, Ariz.) in 4:33.07 (personal record), freshman Michelle Corrigan (Green Bay, Wis.) with a personal-best 4:39.57 and junior Mina Thorstenson (Okauchee, Wis.) in 4:41.43.
Junior Nicola Wilson (Trenton, N.J.) won the shot put with a regionally-qualifying throw of 49 feet, five inches. Sophomore Tim Williams (Pensacola, Fla.) won the men's high jump title after clearing 6-08 ¾. The Bulldog 4x400-meter relay team of junior Bruce Davis (Phenix City, Ala.), sophomore all-American Elzie Coleman (Newburgh, N.Y.), junior all-American Arthur Davis (Mobile, Ala.) and junior Ezra Jones (Wildwood, Fla.) won the meet title, clocking a season's best and regional-qualifying 3:05.43.
A. Davis finished fifth in the men's 200-meter dash, crossing the finish line in 21.50. In the 400-meter dash, B. Davis ran 46.45, junior Nathan Daniels (New Iberia, La.) clocked 47.03, Coleman came in at 47.06 and Jones ran 47.07 for the Bulldogs. All the marks are regional-qualifying times. In the 800-meter run, sophomore all-American Chris Woods (Atlanta, Ga.) clocked 1:48.94, a regional-qualifying time to finish second. Junior Ryan Irwin (Ballwin, Mo.) also finished in the top 10, taking seventh in a season's best 1:53.35.
In the 100-meter hurdles, freshman Marrissa Harris (Memphis, Tenn.) ran 13.99 to finish fifth. State's 4x100-meter relay team of Harris, freshman Antrese Banks (Gloster, Miss.), freshman Gabrielle Dillon (Liberty, Miss.) and freshman Janelle Finley (Mobile, Ala.) ran a season's best 46.51. In the men's pole vault, sophomore Joseph Queen (Jackson, Miss.) cleared a season's best 14-07 ¾, while teammate and senior Chris Withrow (Vicksburg, Miss.) also leaped a season's best at 14-01 ¾. In the men s long jump, redshirt freshman Keith Hewlett (Detroit, Mich.) jumped 23-09 to finish second.
Senior Jasmine Walls (Picayune, Miss.) cleared 5-07 to finish third in the high jump, while Harris jumped a personal-best 5-01. In the long jump, a pair of Lady Bulldogs went three-four in the event. Senior Lauren Johnson (Scottsboro, Ala.) leaped her second-best mark of the season, taking third with a mark of 19-00 ¾. Johnson also took eighth in the 100-meter hurdles, clocking a season's best 14.20. Harris finished one spot behind Johnson after jumping 18-09 ¼. Freshman Emily Sanders (Woodstock, Ga.) second in the hammer throw (162-07). Sanders followed with a personal-best throw of 130-11 in the javelin. Finley took third in the triple jump, leaping 38-05 ½.
On the track, Dillon ran 24.99 to finish ninth in the 200-meter dash. Banks recorded a personal best in the event, running 25.17. In the 800-meter run, the Lady Bulldogs crossed the line in fourth, fifth, sixth and 10th places. Magloire led the way, clocking 2:10.54. McPherson and sophomore Andrea Wahlin (Cold Spring, Minn.) followed, running 2:11.79 and 2:13.32, respectively. Junior Liz Grube (Sherwood, Wis.) rounded out the competitors for MState (2:15.86).
In men's javelin competition, freshman Daniel Zabaldano (Brandon, Miss.) threw a personal-best 171-03. Junior Eliott Morant (Kansas City, Mo.) continued to improve his time in the 110-meter hurdles. Morant ran a personal-best 14.57 en route to a sixth-place finish.
Both MSU squads return to action April 27-29 at the Penn Relays in Philadelphia, Pa.
TUSCALOOSA, Ala. - The Mississippi State mens tennis team's run through the SEC Championship was haulted Saturday in the semifianls, dropping a 4-0 decision to top-ranked Georgia. State reached the semifinals with a 4-2 win over fifth-seeded LSU in the first round and a 4-2 win over fourth-seeded Kentucky on Friday.
State and Georgia battled for nearly an hour and a half before the doubles point was decided. The first completed was on court #3 where UGA's 16th-ranked tandem of Strahinja Bobusic and Colin Purcell won 8-1 over State's Florent Girod and Josh Irey. On court #2, State's duo of Philippe Frayssinoux and Pierre Mouillon outlasted Georgia's 39th-ranked pair of Luis Flores and Matic Omerzel 9-7 to make court #1 the decisive match. On that court, Bulldogs Ivan Bjelica and Jose-Carlos Pinto battled defending national doubles champions and the fourth-ranked tandem of John Isner and Antonio Ruiz to a tiebreaker. In the tiebreaker, Georgia edged out the win 8-6 and took a 1-0 advantage and the momentum into singles play.
Georgia (24-0) won the opening set on four of the six courts. UGA gained a 2-0 advantage when 20th-ranked Flores knocked off State's Mouillon 6-1, 6-3 on court #2. The next match completed was on court #1 where UGA's second-ranked Isner downed MSU's 80th-ranked Bjelica 6-2, 6-1 to give UGA a 3-0 lead. Seconds later, UGA's Colin Purcell defeated MSU's Girod 6-2, 6-3 for the clinching point. Play was then suspended on the three remaining courts after the match was clinched.
With its two wins in the SEC Championship, State will now await the NCAA Regional selections which will be announced the week of May 1. State is hoping for its 16th-consecutive NCAA Championship berth.
ST. SIMONS ISLAND, Ga. - Mississippi State freshman golfer Matt Fast paced the Bulldogs during the second round of the 2006 Southeastern Conference Men's Golf Championship at Sea Island Golf Club. The Hattiesburg, Miss. product turned in an even-par round of 70 on Saturday. His scorecard included three birdies, two on his front nine and one coming in on the par-4 8th hole. He moved from 43rd to 28th with his score.
The Bulldog line up turned in a second round score of 293 after opening the 54-hole event with a 305 on Friday. MState remained 12th in the team standings after 36 holes of competition.
Noah Goldman posted a 2-over par round of 72 after carding a 75 on day one. Goldman stands tied for tied for 42nd. Logan Young and Carlos Sainz, Jr. fired rounds of 75 and 76 respectively.
Georgia maintained its lead and will take a one-shot lead over the Florida Gators into Sunday's final round. The Wildcats of Kentucky jumped from ninth to fourth after firing a 4-under par round of 276. Alabama's Matthew Swan leads the individual race by three shots at 5-over par.
MSU's final round will begin at 9 a.m. on Sunday and will tee off from No.10.