Spartans Pick Up A Pair Of Wins At Ultra-Competitive Simmons-Harvey Quad
Morgan Beadlescomb and Andrew O'Connor place first in the men's mile and 600m, respectively.
ANN ARBOR, Mich. -
Michigan State track & field competed among the some of the best teams in the nation in the Simmons-Harvey Quad on Saturday at the UM Track Building in Ann Arbor, Mich. A scored dual meet, the Spartans of Michigan State went up against perennial national champion Arkansas and Big Ten Conference foes Ohio State and host Michigan. MSU ended the day with several top finishes, highlighted by first-place performances from freshman Morgan Beadlescomb in the men's mile and junior Andrew O'Connor in the 600m, as well as four second-place finishes from the field events and one from track.
“There were some things I thought went pretty well,” MSU director of track & field Walt Drenth said. “Katelyn Daniels continues to be outstanding, obviously, a couple second places. The men in the 3,000m were really good. They did a really nice job competing and really were pretty courageous. I thought Nick Guerrant was better. He's just making a lot of progress. Will Agodu is running faster. I thought he competed against some of the best hurdlers in the nation and ran really, really well, so I was pleased with him, too. Finally, Morgan Beadlescomb's win, we didn't have a lot of wins today, and I thought he did a really nice job of being patient, getting a feel for the race and then running well late. He competed like crazy. From that standpoint, I thought it went pretty well from those people."
On the women's side, the No. 23-ranked Spartans took fourth with a score of 96 points. No. 6 Ohio State came in first with 145 points, followed by No. 8 Arkansas (118) and No. 20 Michigan (106). The men’s team finished in fourth place with 105 points overall. No. 14 Arkansas took third with 109 points, No. 3 Ohio State placed second (146.50) and No. 22 Michigan finished first (147.50). This steep field of competition comes in only the third meet of the indoor season for MSU.
"We've got to gain perspective,” Drenth added. “First of all, there are points on the line. We want to see who's going to choose to compete and try to engage and recognize the importance of it not being about them. You've got to beat people. We need points. We need to score points. That's part of it, and then this is some of the best track & field you're going to see in the country. Arkansas is always, both genders, in it for a trophy every year, so I think having that as a reference is really good. We've gone in the past to the smaller meets or to the lesser competitive meets, and you get a false sense of security. You come here and kind of go 'Okay, here's our reality.' and hopefully that will allow us to grow a little bit as we start to recognize what we've got to do."
The Spartans went 2-3-4 in the women’s shot put, with senior Katelyn Daniels in second with a final throw of 15.45m, freshman Kayli Johnson in third at 13.65m and freshman Nikole Sargent in fourth with a throw of 13.65m. Daniels also finished second in the weight throw with a final throw of 18.67m. Sophomore Andrea Pangori notched a third-place finish in the high jump with a mark of 1.64m. Senior Shelby Allen claimed second in the triple jump with a mark of 11.82m.
On the men’s side, senior Tim Ehrhardt placed second in the pole vault with a mark of 5.35m. Sophomore Nick Guerrant took third in the high jump with a mark of 1.99m, and his 6.97m long jump set a personal record. Freshman Jerimiah Evans finished fifth in the shot put with a final throw of 17.10m.
Freshman Morgan Beadlescomb led the way with a first-place finish in the men’s mile, crossing the line at 4:08.33 in his first time competing in the event. Junior Andrew O’Connor placed first in the 600m with a time of 1:21.90. Junior Will Agodu finished third in the 60m hurdles with a time of 7.94, and junior Justine Kiprotich also took third in the 800m with a time of 1:52.57.
In the 3,000m, senior Clark Ruiz led for most of the second half of the race. Michigan junior Micah Beller made a challenge to Ruiz for first, and the Spartan fought hard to get back his lead in the final seconds. Ruiz just narrowly finished in second with a time of 8:12.99, 0.03 away from first. Sophomore Jesse Hersha followed close behind in third with a time of 8:15.63. Junior Justine Kiprotich took third in the 800m with a time of 1:52.57.
On the women’s side, junior Taylor Mullins notched a fourth-place finish in the 600m with a time of 1:35.03. Sophomore Dillon McClintock nabbed a third-place finish in the 800m with a mark of 2:09.94. Sophomore Jeralyn Poe took fifth in the 3,000m with a time of 9:29.71.
"For one thing, we can't come out of character when we get into a more competitive meet,” Drenth said of what the team can improve on. “I thought that some of us got a little timid. I'm seeing good energy and sense of purpose in practice and then we're coming here and like I said, you're hearing them say 'number one in the world' or one of the top people, and we kind of backed off a little bit just emotionally and physically. I think that's really, really important, and we just continue to behave and pursue our best. If we can do that, we'll get better. Some of it's growing up, I think, recognizing the moment. I'm going to talk to them about it. We've got some people that were frustrated with the outcome, but they needed to have that sense of urgency and purpose in September, when nobody's watching. That's when you really get better. We've got a few things to talk about and we'll get better."
The Spartans take a week break from competition and pick back up at the Meyo Invitational on Friday and Saturday, Feb. 2-3 in Notre Dame, Indiana.