MSU track and field set for NCAA Outdoor Championships


MSU track and field’s John Petruno competes in a meet/ Photo Credit: MSU Athletic Communications

Jake Lyskawa, Track and Field Beat Reporter

EAST LANSING—The Michigan State track and field team will complete its outdoor season with a trip to the 2022 NCAA Outdoor Championship meet at the historic Hayward Field in Eugene, Oregon. 

Starting Wednesday, June 8 and running through Saturday, June 11, the meet will feature eight Spartans, five of which are reigning All-Americans. The five men competing for MSU are graduate student Morgan Beadlescomb, seniors Trevor Stephenson and John Petruno, junior Heath Baldwin and sophomore Ryan Talbot. 

On the women’s side, seniors Jenna Magness and Sophia Franklin, as well as redshirt junior Makayla Perez will represent the green and white. 

Talbot and Baldwin will open the first two days of the meet for MSU, with half of their decathlon events coming on Wednesday and the second half coming on Thursday. 

The pair qualified for the NCAA Championships following the 2022 Big Ten Outdoor Championships, where they put up top-24 point totals in the nation. Talbot’s score of 8064 from that meet ranks sixth this season, while Baldwin’s 7650 point total sits at 19th. Both of these scores are personal bests for the pair, and Talbot’s is a school record. 

Talbot, who’s participating in his first national meet and just his third-career decathlon, will open the event by competing in heat two of the 100m against three of this season’s top five decathletes, including Kyle Garland of Georgia, who holds the nation’s highest point total. 

Baldwin will open in the first heat of the 100m, which will feature the fifth-ranked decathlete from this season, Leo Neugebauer of Texas, among others. Baldwin looks to repeat as an All-American after earning Second Team honors last season while competing for the University of Michigan.

Petruno will follow up Talbot and Baldwin on Wednesday in the men’s 1500m semifinals. Petruno most recently ran a personal best time of 3:39.70 in the 2022 NCAA East Prelims quarterfinals to take fifth, which was his first time breaking 3:40 in the event.

Petruno will need to capitalize on this end-of-season momentum to qualify for Friday’s finals. He will match up against two of the nation’s top five 1500m runners in the second heat, including Alabama’s Eliud Kipsang, who holds this season’s top time of 3:33.74. Petruno finished under a second behind Kipsang at the NCAA East Prelims in late May.

The last Spartan to compete on Wednesday is Stephenson, a 2021 Second Team All-American. Stephenson will look to finish in the top eight for the first time in his career after impressing at the NCAA East Prelims. He finished with a top vault of 5.39m at the meet, good for a first-place finish and second trip to Eugene. 

Stephenson, who holds the nation’s 18th-best vault this year, will compete against Ohio State’s Robert Oswald at the national championships. Oswald took second place at the conference championships this year. 

Franklin will open Thursday’s events for the Spartans. Franklin finished in fifth place with a top vault of 4.31m at the NCAA East Prelims in order to qualify for the national championship meet, and she’s coming off an indoor season where she set an overall PR of 4.38m. Last season she earned First Team All-American honors.

Franklin will match up again with LSU’s Lisa Gunnarson, who holds the top vault in the nation this season at 4.65m, as well as 2022 Big Ten Champion Chloe Timberg of Rutgers. The trio competed against each other most recently at the NCAA East Prelims.

Magness, a 2021 First Team All-American, will run alongside Perez, another NCAA Championship debutant, in the women’s 10,000m on Thursday. It will be only the third-career 10,000m race for both women, though both hold top-40 times in the nation this year. 

After finishing first in the event at this year’s Big Ten Outdoor Championships, Magness took second at the NCAA East Prelims with a time of 34:18.92. She will match up again with Alabama’s Mercy Chelangat, the only athlete to beat her in that race. Also in the field is Colorado’s India Johnson, who ran at MSU for four years before enrolling as a graduate transfer in Boulder this season. Johnson holds the 11th-fastest 10,000m time this year. 

Perez ran her fastest 10,000m time in her debut in the event earlier this season at the Raleigh Relays. She is coming off an eighth-place finish at the Prelims. 

Beadlescomb competes for the final time in the green and white late Friday night. He will make his third career appearance in the men’s national 5000m race, an event in which he holds the second-fastest time in the nation this year. 

That 13:17.16 time came at the Bryan Clay Invitational on April 14, where he finished less than a second behind Washington’s Brian Fay, the nation’s leading 5000m runner. Beadlescomb and Fay will face off once again on Friday as the favorites in the event. Joining them will be Big Ten Champion Olin Hacker of Wisconsin, former high school standout Nico Young of Northern Arizona and Notre Dame’s Dylan Jacobs, the only runner to beat Beadlescomb at the Prelims this year, among others. Beadlescomb will look to repeat as a First Team All-American.

The events will begin on Wednesday at 3:30 p.m. ET. The first two days can be viewed on ESPNU, while Friday’s events will be shown on ESPN2, and Saturday’s on ESPN. Live results can be followed here.