Last week’s Intrasquad meet had 34 Spartans ready to compete in our season opener at SVSU’s The Cardinal (Jet’s Pizza Invitational). 22 Spartan men participated in 12 events while 12 Spartan ladies competed in 8 events. 7 more Spartans, including third turn coach Ryan Squanda, showed up to cheer on their teammates and take splits. As the long day progressed it was clear that all the laps in Jenison were starting to pay off as 6 club records were broken, 4 women’s and 2 men’s:
Women’s 60m: Melanie Sprinkle, 8.80
Women’s 5000m: Erin Zimmer, 18:45.9
Women’s 400m: Gina Pellillo, 1:04.65
Women’s 4x400m: Pellillo, Zimmer, Casali, Thompson, 4:26.2
Men’s 5000m: Justin Waraniak, 15:34.3
Men’s Shot Put: John Costello, 12.63m
The men got things off to a good start with a DMR starring newcomers Brett Roginski, Denzel Harris, Lucas Werner and returning sophomore Ben Richardson, who all ran well. Senior Pat Frahm represented the Spartan men in the 60m dash with a new PR. The 5k was next and there was no shortage of excitement as newcomer and graduate student Justin Waraniak broke the club record and kept up with the varsity guys, finishing 8th overall. In the following heat, senior marathoner Kevin Glime took the lead in the first few laps for a solid overall performance, while junior Wes Diener achieved a long-overdue 5k PR. Freshman Riley VanPelt faced his first rivalry of the day as he held off junior Paul Salach in the mile, both guys setting new PR’s. Running his first track meet in two years, Ben Lambert notched a solid mile, followed by Roginski. The sprint crew, including Harris, sophomore Devin McClenton, and grad student Marco Lopez-Cruz all showed promising performances in the open 400. Phil Baeza was the first Spartan to cross the line in the 800, followed by Richardson in his second event of the day. The trash-talking continued for VanPelt, who again managed to hold his ground and defeat sophomore Lucas Werner and freshman Tommy Brettschneider in the open 800, solidifying the target on his back. Back to the sprints, Harris, McClenton and Frahm returned to the track for the 200m dash in addition to sophomore Logan Soldo (PR) and freshman Eric Hyames. The men’s 3000m saw another PR for Salach who was followed by junior Lucas Bowman and senior Kristian Wosik. The last event on the track for the men was the 4x400m relay, where VanPelt was finally dethroned by Brettschneider in the opening leg of the relay. The Spartan men put together 3 teams for the 4x400m (Baeza, Lopez-Cruz, Lambert, McClenton. Brettschneider, Werner, Erik Heckel, Soldo. VanPelt, Frahm, Bowman, Hyames), and all raced well. On the field, newcomer senior John Costello smashed the club shot put record in his first meet as a Spartan. In addition to their running events, Frahm, Richardson and Werner also took on the long jump.
On the women’s side, sophomore Melanie Sprinkle and junior Madi McLean represented the Lady Spartans in the 60m dash, Sprinkle taking down the club record. Yet another club record was set when sophomore and returning all-american Erin Zimmer took to the track for the women’s 5k, finishing 8th overall. The open mile saw 6 Spartan women competing, led by senior Tarah Thompson racing her first track meet in two years. Thompson (PR) was followed by freshmen Erin O’Donnel and sophomore Natalie Whise who both raced incredibly well. Sophomore Audrey Fisher (PR) impressed in her first meet since middle school, followed by sophomore Jenna Chapman and freshman Christina Arthurs. The lone Lady Spartan in the 400 was sophomore Gina Pellillo who broke her own club record. Shortly after racing the mile, Thompson, O’Donnel, Fisher (PR), and Whise all returned to the track to race in the 800m and put down some notable times. Pellillo and Sprinkle returned to finish strong in the open 200m. Seniors Christina Casali and Sarah Wallace took to the track for their first event of the day as they toughed it out in the 3000m. After a long day at the Ryder center, Pellillo, Zimmer, Casali, and Thompson represented the Lady Spartans one last time in 4x400m relay and ended things on a good note with another new club record.
Overall it was a great season opener for the MSU Running Club. The Spartans will head to Ann Arbor tomorrow with confidence as they take on rival MRun in the first club race of the season.
-Spartan Runner, 2/5/16