ANN ARBOR, Mich. – Sophomore Sophia Franklin set the new MSU women's indoor pole vault school record as Michigan State track & field turned in strong performances at the Simmons-Harvey Big Ten Invitational Saturday at the U-M Indoor Track Building.
The Spartans won three event titles with Franklin taking the pole vault victory, redshirt-sophomore Morgan Beadlescomb winning the men's 3,000-meters and senior Justine Kiprotich pulling away for the men's mile title.
"I thought we came with good energy, and I thought we were better actually as a group this week than we were last week; I thought we took a big step forward," MSU Director of Track & Field Walt Drenth said. "Sophia is going to be really, really good. She beat a good field of vaulters today, and she's taken some challenges from us. She's grown up a lot and I look to her as starting to become a leader for us. There's more there from her."
Franklin cleared 4.18 meters (13-08.50 feet), breaking the record of 4.17m (13-8.25) set by Lauren Chorny in 2015. It was the second-straight week Franklin won the pole vault, after taking first last week at the Wolverine Invite.
Beadlescomb made his move with just over a lap to go and held off George Kusche of Nebraska to win the 3,000-meters with a personal-best time of 8:08.49. It was the fourth-fastest men's 3,000m time in the country so far this season.
Kiprotich turned in the 10th-fastest time (4:04.51) in the country so far this year in the men's mile, taking home the victory over Ben Hill of Michigan. It was also an indoor personal-best for Kiprotich, beating his previous best time by more than two seconds.
"For a guy that's second at the nationals at 1,500-meters, he hasn't been stellar indoors, but he did a really nice job of competing today," Drenth said. "He said he didn't feel great today, but I was pleased with his effort. He ran really well in the last 400. It's about finding the best event for him to have a chance to win a conference championship."
Redshirt-junior Annie Fuller took second in the women's mile with a time of 4:42.04, good enough for the second-best time in the Big Ten so far this year. Redshirt-senior Erin McDonald ran a new personal-best in the women's 3,000-meters, posting a time of 9:33.41 to finish in second place behind Julia Rizk of Ohio State (9:29.70). Redshirt-junior Jeralyn Poe (9:37.05) finished fourth and sophomore India Johnson (9:42.92) finished fifth.
In the throws, sophomore's Niki Sargent (15.26 meters) and Kayli Johnson (15.24 meters) placed fourth and fifth, respectively. Freshman Rebecca Mammel took second in the women's weight throw with a farthest toss of 20.21 meters, while sophomore Jerimiah Evans (17.12 meters) took fourth in the men's shot put.
"I was really pleased with the throwers. Our young throwers Niki (Sargent), Kayli (Johnson), Jerimiah (Evans), they're critical to our success. To see them grow and come out here after probably not their best effort last week was really important for us."
Notes: Freshman Trevor Stephenson took third in the men's pole vault, clearing 4.92 meters. Freshman Katie Osikatook third in the women's 800-meters with a time of 2:10.12. Sophomore Brooke Bogan ran 7.66 seconds to take fifth-place in the women's 60-meter dash.
The Spartans indoor track and field schedule resumes with a split schedule on February 1, with the team going to the Power Five Invite in Ann Arbor and the Meyo Invitational in South Bend, Indiana.
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