Eight Spartans, two from Mid-Michigan, headed to NCAA Track & Field Finals

Local Sports

EAST LANSING, Mich. (WLNS) – During the 2021 East Regional track & field meet, Michigan State saw eight of its athletes qualify for the NCAA Championship in Eugene, Oregon, on June 9-12.

Those representing the Green and White include Wade Walder (decathlon), Trevor Stephenson (pole vault), Lynsie Gram (10,000m), India Johnson (10,000m), Morgan Beadlescomb (5,000m), and Sarah Anderson (15000m). 

The remaining two are a pair of Mid-Michigan’s very own – Okemos alum Sophia Franklin (pole vault) and Grand Ledge alum Jenna Magness (5000m).

“If you were to ask me a year ago, if I thought I’d be going to this meet, I would have said ‘never in a million years,'” Magness said. “I personally have made a lot of progress over the last year, or two years. It really is like a dream come true and I’m still kind of in disbelief.”

“There’s a lot of growth there and also a lot of time, a lot of time and effort, and a lot of decisions that she is making independently,”  Director of MSU Track & Field/Cross Country, Lisa Breznau said.

Magness, who set the Big Ten Championship meet 5,000-meter record, with a time 15:38.82, finished second in her heat at regionals, and qualified for finals with a time of 15:57.41.

Franklin also took home a first place trophy at the Big Ten Championship meet – by clearing 4.35 meters on the pole vault. In the regionals, she punched her ticket to the NCAA Finals, thanks to a seventh place finish, clearing 4.17m. 

Currently, Franklin is MSU’s indoor and outdoor pole vault record holder and will be competing in the NCAA Finals for the second time in her career, she qualified and finished 18th in 2018 as a freshman.

“I think this time, I’ll still be nervous, but I’ve been in it for a while, so I know what to expect,” Franklin said. “I think I have prepared better this time around.”

For both Magness and Franklin, their journey to East Lansing might be different but the reasoning behind why they chose Michigan State are quite similar.

“When I was trying to pick a school, out of high school, I looked for a program that continued to get better and Michigan State had that,” Franklin said.

“I feel like I’ve been given the resources to really excel in school and running,” Magness said. “Honestly, the people that I have been surrounded with, in my four years here at MSU, have played such a huge role in all of my successes.”

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