Jenna Magness, Sophia Franklin shine at Big Ten Indoor Track and Field Championships


Michigan State track and field’s Sophia Franklin poses after winning first place in the 2022 Big Ten indoor women’s pole vault competition at the Big Ten Indoor Championships on Feb. 25, 2022/Photo Credit: MSU Athletic Communications

Jake Lyskawa, Track and Field Beat Reporter

The Michigan State track and field program had a busy weekend at the Big Ten Indoor Championships, sending 17 athletes to the podium over the course of both Friday and Saturday in Geneva, Ohio. 

Friday’s events were highlighted by a Big Ten championship for Sophia Franklin, who placed first in women’s pole vault with a 4.32 finish. It’s Franklin’s second indoor conference championship of her career, as she last won in 2019.

The first day also saw Jenna Magness take second place in the women’s 3000m with a time of 9:06.98. She finished just behind the defending champion in that event, Bethany Hasz from Minnesota.

Jenna Magness competes for MSU track and field/Photo Credit: MSU Athletic Communications

John Petruno (3:58.16) and Morgan Beadlescomb (3:58.23) both ran under four minutes in the men’s mile prelims to qualify for the finals on Saturday, finishing fourth and seventh, respectively. Petruno’s time was his personal best, as well. 

Petruno also ran in the men’s distance medley relay alongside Noah Sage, Jalen Smith and Andrew Nolan. They ran a 9:39.30 collective time, good for third overall. The women’s distance medley relay team of Kate Stewart-Barnett, Shakira Dancy, Lauren Freeland and Melanie Helder finished with a time of 11:16.94, which placed them fifth overall.

Friday’s action also saw Jaiden Paris set yet another school record for the Spartans, this time in the women’s 60m hurdle prelims. She ran a time of 8.25, which was good for a PR.

The Spartan women totaled 24 points on the first day, which placed them for fifth overall. The Spartan men ended day one in 11th place with seven total points. 

MSU track and field’s Sophia Franklin competes in women’s pole vault for the Spartans/ Photo Credit: MSU Athletic Communications

The following day of action was highlighted by a second-consecutive Big Ten championship for Magness in the women’s 5000m. As a result, she became the first Spartan woman to win back-to-back 5000m championships since Jamie Krzyminski three-peated in the event from 2002-2004. 

Katie Osika also finished third in the women’s mile finals after qualifying on Friday. She ran a 4:35.38 PR time to capture the bronze spot, one year after she finished fourth in the event. This is her third-consecutive year on the podium. 

Beadlescomb placed third in the finals for the men’s mile on Saturday, while fellow qualifier Petruno finished ninth. Along with that, Sage (46.44) and Terrence Muex (46.54) both registered PR times to finish fifth and sixth, respectively, in the men’s 400m finals. 

Morgan Beadlescomb competes for MSU track and field/Photo Credit: MSU Athletic Communications

Paris followed up her PR time in the women’s 60m hurdle prelims on Friday with a third-place finish in the finals, running a time of 8.31. This represents the best finish at the Big Ten Indoor Championships of her career.

The men’s 5000m was Beadlescomb’s second event on Saturday, and he finished with a time of 13:56.61. While he made a move to take the top spot heading into the final lap, he was passed by Wisconsin’s Olin Hacker and Indiana’s Ben Veatch, which placed him third overall. 

Over the course of the two-day meet, the Spartan women tallied 51 points to take seventh place, while the men finished with 37 points to take eighth. The Minnesota Golden Gophers took first place on the women’s side with 102 points, while the Iowa Hawkeyes won on the men’s side with 117 points. 

Both Franklin and Magness earned All-Big Ten First Team honors for their performances, which is the third indoor All-Big Ten selection for both Spartans. 

The next meet for a select group of Spartans will be the NCAA Indoor Championships in Birmingham, Alabama, on March 11-12. Following the meet and a weekend off, the team will kick off the outdoor season in North Carolina at the Raleigh Relays on March 24-26.