RECAP: Beadlescomb and Magness flourish at the 2022 Big Ten Outdoor Track and Field 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

MINNEAPOLIS—Led by All-Conference performances from Morgan Beadlescomb, Jenna Magness, Ryan Talbot, Katie Osika and Quiara Wheeler, the Michigan State track and field team had a successful weekend at the 2022 Big Ten Outdoor Track and Field Championships. 

The Spartan women finished in eighth place out of 13 teams, while the men finished in 10th. Several MSU athletes reached the podium and set PRs throughout the meet, which took place at the University of Minnesota Track & Field Stadium in Minneapolis on May 13-15.

The first day began with Talbot and junior Heath Baldwin competing in their first decathlon events. Talbot (10.60) and Baldwin (11.17) both ran personal-best times in the 100m, with Talbot earning a first-place finish. 

Talbot followed that up with a second-place finish in the long jump, recording another PR of 7.06m. His subsequent PRs in the high jump (1.91m) and 400m (47.82) put him in second place in the overall decathlon standings with 4100 points after the first day.

Baldwin recorded 3900 points after the first day, placing him in third. He won both the high jump and shot put events, recording a 2.03m jump in the former and a season-best 14.80m toss in the latter. 

“Heath and Ryan, those two guys are just athletes,” said Director of Track and Field Lisa Breznau after the first day. “They’re consistent, they know how to compete, they’re incredible teammates, and I can’t wait to see how it wraps up for them.”

Taking home the first of three medals on Friday was Wheeler, who threw for a season-best 63.95m in the hammer throw to finish second behind Iowa’s Amanda Howe. The distance was just a meter shy of her PR, which she set at last year’s NCAA East Preliminary Rounds when she was competing for Central Michigan University. 

“When the day starts out with one of your best athletes getting a silver medal, really just coming through in a confident fashion, it just sets a tone for what we’re going for,” Breznau said, praising Wheeler’s performance. 

The other two medals on Friday were earned by Magness and Beadlescomb in their debut in the 10,000m. The pair of Spartans each finished first.

Magness controlled the race from the gun, quickly getting out to the top of the pack alongside her teammate, graduate student Lynsie Gram. Magness only added to her lead as the race went on, eventually finishing roughly a minute ahead of Penn State’s Sophia Toti in a time of 33:37.17. Gram finished in seventh to make the podium for the Spartans, while sophomore Emily Bardwell came in 12th in her first 10,000m.

Unlike Magness, Beadlescomb remained steady in the middle of the pack throughout most of his race, using a late kick to take the lead with 600m to go. With his arms spread wide and a smile on his face, Beadlescomb crossed the line in a time of 28:54.93, the lone sub-29:00 mark of the day. 

Redshirt junior Abdifetah Ahmed finished in ninth place with a PR time of 29:27.27. Behind him were redshirt junior Fraser Wilson and senior Steven Stine, the latter of whom also ran a personal best. 

“They’ve just been every bit of what it means to be a Spartan,” Breznau said of Magness and Beadlescomb. “I have to say, it’s been great for [assistant coach Aaron] Simoneau and I to be able to help them sustain this, but I really think we have to give the credit to [former Director of Track and Field] Walt Drenth, who really got them going in the first place.”

Four MSU athletes reached the podium on the second day, and it started with Talbot taking the decathlon title. 

Following his personal-best time in the 110m hurdles, Talbot took the decathlon lead with a 47.98m PR in the discus throw, good for first place in that event. Extending his new lead further, Talbot tied his 5.20m PR in the pole vault to take first. He finished the day with a personal-best time of 4:43.97 in the 1500m to break the program record in total decathlon points (8064) and finish in the top spot.

Baldwin set a PR in total points with 7650, earning him a bronze medal at the meet. His second day was highlighted by a PR in the discus and season-best in the javelin throw. Talbot and Baldwin combined to earn the Spartan men the most points in a single event. 

Talbot’s point total from the meet now gives him the sixth-best decathlon score in the nation, while Baldwin’s total puts him at 19th-best.

On the track, freshman Terrence Muex ran a personal-best time of 46.59 seconds in the 400m prelims, winning his heat to qualify for Sunday’s finals.

Making their Big Ten Outdoor Championship debuts were freshmen Andrew Nolan and Kate Stewart-Barnett, who both earned podium spots in the 3000m steeplechase to close out the second night. Nolan finished seventh in the men’s race with a 9:04.37 PR time, while Stewart-Barnett took fourth in the women’s competition with a time of 10:15.69. Junior Joshua Smith also ran a PR in the event, taking 14th place with a time of 9:23.55.

On Sunday, Magness earned her second conference title, this time in the 5000m. Magness worked her way to the lead and repeated as champion in the event after beating out Ohio State’s Addie Engel in just under a second’s difference, pumping her fist as she crossed the finish line in 16:17.88. Redshirt junior Makayla Perez joined Magness on the podium, taking eighth place.

More points were earned in the 1500m finals races, with Osika taking home the silver medal in the event after a hard-fought race and the disqualification of Michigan’s Samantha Tran. Osika was joined by fellow junior Lauren Freeland on the podium, who ran a time of 4:24.10.

On the men’s side, senior John Petruno repeated his bronze-medal performance from last year by once again finishing third in a time of 3:52.94.

“I just couldn’t ask for more out of those two honestly,” Breznau said, referring to Osika and Freeland. “They’re learning, they’re evolving, they’re growing, and it’s going to be a blast to continue to coach both of them.”

On Petruno, Breznau said, “I firmly believe that John, like Katie and Lauren, is one of the best 1500m runners in the country. So, for him to end up third in the 1500m and make a big charge at the 800m mark [in Saturday’s prelims] was a phenomenal job by him.”

The final podium finish for the Spartans was earned by Trevor Stephenson in the pole vault. Stephenson cleared the 5.25m height on his first attempt but was unable to get over the subsequent 5.35m height in three tries. His top height of 5.25m placed him fifth in the event and four points overall for the Spartan men. 

The Spartans continue their postseason at the NCAA East Preliminary Round on May 25-28 in Bloomington, Indiana. The top 48 declared athletes in the region will compete in each event, while the top 24 relay teams will be admitted for those races.