MSU track and field flourishes in Arizona and Florida


MSU track and field’s Jalen Smith competes in relay at the Alex Wilson Invite/ Photo Credit: MSU Athletic Communications

Jake Lyskawa, Track and Field Beat Reporter

EAST LANSING — It was a busy weekend for the Michigan State track and field team as they had three athletes compete in two different parts of the country. At the Jim Click Shootout in Tucson, Arizona, sophomore Ryan Talbot and junior Heath Baldwin finished first and second, respectively, in the decathlon. 

It was Baldwin’s first full decathlon since last year’s national championships and Talbot’s first of his career.

Talbot won the event with a point total of 7677, while Baldwin followed closely behind with 7604 points. Both athletes finished over 130 points higher than Nebraska’s Till Steinforth, who placed third. 

Baldwin led all competitors with 3989 points following the first day of action, while Talbot came in third after compiling 3899 points. Baldwin’s best finish on Thursday was his 2.08m high jump, which was .01m off his personal best, and was the top jump of the day.

Talbot finished in second place in two different events on Thursday, starting with a 10.74 second 100m dash time. He bookended the day with a second-place finish in the 400m dash, running a time of 48.29 seconds. 

Baldwin took first again in the 110m hurdles to kick off the second day, and his 4.80m PR in the pole vault added to his point total as well. He took third in that event and followed up the performance with a second-place finish in the javelin, throwing 58.49m.

Talbot’s consecutive second, first and fourth-place finishes are what put him over the edge. His best performance came in the pole vault, in which he finished with a best effort of 5.20m, good for a PR of 0.14m.

Talbot’s 7677 points were the fifth most in the nation this season, while Baldwin sits in eighth place nationally with his 7604 points from the meet. 

Meanwhile, graduate transfer Quiara Wheeler competed at the Hurricane Alumni Invitational in Coral Gables, Florida.

Wheeler participated in both the hammer throw and discus throw invitational on Friday. She captured fourth place in the discus, throwing for a top distance of 49.00m on her sixth and final attempt. This was just 0.5m off her career PR.

A few hours later, Wheeler threw her best distance of 61.44m in the hammer throw on her final attempt, which landed her in second place. She finished just behind Oklahoma’s Lauren Jones, the reigning Big 12 champion.

MSU will continue its outdoor season next weekend at the Louisville Invitational, starting Friday, April 15.