By Joseph Hayes
EAST LANSING — When Morgan Beadlescomb looks back on his 2020 indoor track and field season at Michigan State University, it’s hard not to think fondly on what occurred.
The work he put in, the memories that were made. Nearly everything seemed to play out well for the redshirt junior from Algonac High School.
Everything that is, except for how it would conclude.
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Beadlescomb was in the midst of preparing to compete in the Division 1 National Championships in Albuquerque, New Mexico, when he was notified that the meet had been cancelled.
“We were down in Albuquerque ready to go to practice,” Beadlescomb recalled. “We are supposed to be at practice at 1 p.m. mountain time and our coach wasn’t there. He’s normally like if you are 10 minutes early, you are five minutes late, so we knew something was going on.
“When we saw him coming around the corner, I had a feeling something was up and he said it was cancelled and we were going home tomorrow. I was thinking to myself ‘I’m at nationals, I’m ranked fifth and I can win this thing.’ It was surreal.”
Beadlescomb said his perspective began to change after going on a hike there and hearing how others were affected. He said local workers not only were seeing a change in the event, but being laid off their jobs.
“They found out they were out of a job until September,” Beadlescomb said. “And told us ‘We have to find our way back.’ That experience made it sink in. It was so sudden.
“I thought about it. I had been working just for this and this is it and it was taken away from me. But I stepped back and thought about it and it was like the cherry on top. When you go to indoor nationals and there is no team aspect of it. It made me think everything I worked for was for was really Big Ten and outdoor season. I did what I wanted to do. I got a gold medal at Big Ten and represented the team well. I still accomplished a lot.”
But there was still disappointment. In addition to the rest of the indoor season being canceled, the outdoor season was also cancelled.
Instead of competing for the national title he had longed for, he would be faced with the same disappointment that athletes all around the country have had to cope with in the fallout from the coronavirus. Since spreading around the world, it has not only taken the world by storm but athletes throughout the entire sports community —professional, college and high school.
But Beadlescomb can look back on all he accomplished. He enjoyed a historic season for the Spartans, setting a new school record for the indoor track and field season while taking first in the men’s 5,000 meter run at the Iowa State Classic (13:31.50).
He would not only win the event, but also set a new facility record in the process, while building on his historic redshirt junior season, which also included being named Big Ten Champion.
He became the first Michigan State indoor runner to win the men’s 5,000m (13:50.25) Big Ten indoor title since Jim Jurcevich won the event in 1999.
Up next was supposed to be the National Championships.
There are also perks of being out of the classroom as he works towards his electrical engineering masters degree.
“Classes are still being held online at the regular time,” Beadlescomb said. “It’s a program called Zoom. We have lectures over that. I like that better right now having classes over the comfort of my own home. I can do my own thing and eat and still have class.”