PHILADELPHIA, Pa. - Mississippi State University opened competition at the 112th Penn Relays on Thursday with junior Joy Griffith (Tuscaloosa, Ala.) running an MSU school-record and regional-qualifying 10 minutes, 35.31 seconds to finish 10th in the women's 3000-meter steeplechase championship race.
"Jen (McPherson) had the lead after 1,200-meters (in the distance medley relay) and put a lot of space between us and everyone else. She ran incredibly," said MSU head coach Al Schmidt. "Joy (Griffith) just crushed the school record. She qualified for regionals - in a big way."
The women's distance medley squad of Jen McPherson (Nampa, Idaho), Antrese Banks (Gloster, Miss.), Andrea Wahlin (Cold Spring, Minn.) and Zita Magloire (Tallahassee, Fla.) ran 11:22.01 to take seventh overall in the Championship of America flight and post the second-best time in school history.
In other action, senior Meggan Hodge (Beaumont, Alberta) clocked 10:58.00 to finish 18th in the women's 3000-meter steeplechase championship. Junior Nicola Wilson (Trenton, N.J.) took seventh in the shot put, throwing 46-01 ¼, while junior Christina Hernandez (Asheville, N.C.) placed eighth in the discus throw (150-01). In the javelin throw, freshman Emily Sanders (Woodstock, Ga.) improved on her season's best with a throw of 133-07, an MSU freshman record. Fellow freshman Marrissa Harris (Memphis, Tenn.) took sixth in the long jump (18-10).
In men's events, junior Wade Martin (Cullman, Ala.) ran 14:47.51 in the Olympic Development 5000-meter race.
"Tomorrow, the women have the 4x1500-meter relay and the men start competing. We've got a shot at the sprint medley relay."
Action resumes tomorrow at 8 a.m. CT at the University of Pennsylvania's Franklin Field.