MSU track and field heads to 2022 Big Ten Outdoor Championships


MSU’s Morgan Beadlescomb runs at the 2022 NCAA Indoor Track and Field Championships/ Photo Credit: MSU Athletic Communications

Jake Lyskawa, Track and Field Beat Reporter

EAST LANSING—The Michigan State track and field team travels to the University of Minnesota to compete in the 2022 Big Ten Championships starting on Friday, May 13. 

After securing two first-place finishes at the Len Paddock Open in Ann Arbor on May 7, the Spartans will have three defending Big Ten champions competing in Minneapolis. 

Starting on Friday, graduate student Morgan Beadlescomb and seniors Jenna Magness and Sophia Franklin look to repeat their first-place finishes from last year. 

Beadlescomb won the men’s 5000m in a time of 13:49.05 at last year’s meet. He has since improved, notably running a PR of 13:17.16 at the Bryan Clay Invitational in Azusa, California on April 14, good for second in the nation this outdoor season. Beadlescomb’s toughest opponent in retaining his title of this event is Wisconsin’s Olin Hacker, who has the third-fastest 5000m this season. 

Beadlescomb will also compete in the men’s 10,000m, a distance he has only raced on the cross country course during his collegiate career. Joining him in the 10,000m will be redshirt junior Abdifetah Ahmed, as well as seniors Fraser Wilson and Steven Stine. 

Ahmed ran his first collegiate 10,000m race at the Raleigh Relays on March 25, taking 44th place with a time of 29:35.69. Stine (30:14.71) and Wilson (29:57.96) also ran in that race, and the two ran the event at last year’s Big Ten Championships as well. 

Next, Magness will look to defend her 5000m title against Minnesota’s Bethany Hasz, who finished second in the event last year, as well as Indiana’s Bailey Hertenstein, who ran the second-fastest 5000m time in the conference this year. Magness’ 15:26.21 time from the Virginia Challenge is first, and it’s also good for sixth-best in the nation. 

Like Beadlescomb, Magness will run the 10,000m for the first time in her collegiate career. She will be joined by graduate student Lynsie Gram and sophomore Emily Bardwell. Gram received All-American Honorable Mention honors for her 10,000m race at last year’s NCAA Championships. 

Junior Jalen Smith and senior John Petruno will both have their sights set on the men’s 800m finals on Sunday, May 15 as they toe the line in the prelims on Saturday. Their first heat will not include heavy-hitters like Iowa’s Alec Still or Wisconsin’s Abdullahi Hassan, although Michigan’s Miles Brown and his 24th-best time in the nation is a competitor they will look out for. 

On the women’s side, junior Judy Rector will race the 800m for the first time since the Indiana Invitational on April 23. Rector set her career PR in the distance at the 2022 Big Ten Indoor Championships in February, running a time of 2:11.28. 

Rector will run in the women’s 1500m this weekend, where she’ll be joined by juniors Katie Osika, Melanie Helder, Lauren Freeland and sophomore Eleanor Kendell. Osika is the top returning Spartan from the event at last year’s meet, as she ran a time of 4:27.59 to take 17th place. Osika has since set a personal best in the event, running a 4:18.53 time at the Indiana Invite this year. 

Senior Sophia Franklin is MSU’s third defending conference champion, as she captured last year’s women’s pole vault title with a top vault of 4.35m. Michigan’s Jessica Mercier and Indiana’s Anna Watson are both returning after taking second and third place in 2021.

On the men’s side, Trevor Stephenson looks to improve from a fourth-place finish in the men’s pole vault event at last year’s conference meet, though two of the top three finishers are returning. Meanwhile, senior Michael Davenport will compete in his first Big Ten Outdoor Championship meet after transferring from Miami University in August of last year. 

The men will look to rebound from a 12th-place finish a year ago, while the women’s side hopes to build off their seventh-place finish from last year. 

Graduate transfer Quiara Wheeler is another debutant in this year’s Big Ten Outdoor Championships after transferring from Central Michigan University. Wheeler leads the conference with a 63.70m toss in the hammer throw, which she set at the Ashland Alumni Open on April 29.

Freshmen Noah Sage and Terrence Muex will both compete in the men’s 400m after running the 12th and 13th best times in the Big Ten this season, respectively. Sage will be joined by redshirt junior Zach DiStefano in his heat. 

Friday’s outdoor events start at 1 p.m. ET on May 13 from the University of Minnesota Track & Field Stadium. Viewers can watch it live on BTN Plus. Following the 2022 Big Ten Outdoor Track and Field Championship, the Spartans with the highest national rankings will head to the NCAA East Preliminary Rounds in Bloomington, Indiana on May 25.