July 5, 2022
Jenna Magness is MSU top female athlete of 2021-22
A 2022 chemical engineering graduate has repeated as MSU’s top female athlete of the year.
Jenna Magness has been named the George Alderton Female Athlete of the Year for 2021-22. The star women’s cross country and track & field athlete also won the honor in 2020-21.
Through cross country, indoor track and outdoor track seasons, Magness ended her final campaign in the green and white by adding on three more Big Ten crowns, three more All-America distinctions, and a NCAA bronze medal.
She is the first back-to-back women's winner of the George Alderton Award since golfer Sarah Burnham in 2017 and 2018. This is the fourth-straight year that a Spartan track & field athlete has earned the top MSU honor, joining Annie Fuller (2020) and Aysa Reynolds (2019).
Magness took advantage of a full cross country season, starting out by earning Big Ten Athlete of the Week for her performances at the Griak Invitational and Nuttycombe Invitational. Hitting the postseason, Magness was the Big Ten Championships' bronze medalist for the second-straight season before continuing into the NCAA Great Lakes Regionals, where she was the top MSU finisher in fourth place. At the NCAA Championships, Magness ran a personal-best 6K time of 19:42.1 to place 14th, capturing her second NCAA All-American award in cross country.
Indoor season saw Magness set personal bests at three different distances in her first three meets, as she won the mile at the Simmons-Harvey Invitational with a 4:41.31 finish before taking second at the IU Relays with a 3000m time of 9:05.62. She then broke her own 5000m school record with a winning time of 15:36.60 at the Music City Challenge, while the Big Ten Indoor Championships saw Magness earn silver in the 3000m and repeat as the 5000m champion. She ended the winter slate by placing sixth in the 5000m at the NCAA Indoor Championships, picking up another NCAA First Team All-America nod.
A late start to the outdoor season did not slow down the Grand Ledge, Michigan, native, as Magness set a new 1500m PR to open the spring, placing first at the Louisville Invitational with a 4:16.89 time. She then shattered her previous school record for the outdoor 5000m when she placed second at the Virginia Challenge using a 15:26.21 time. She then became just the second Spartan ever to win the 5000m and 10,000m titles at the same Big Ten Outdoor Championships, claiming the 10,000m crown in her first race at the distance and being named the Women's Track Athlete of the Championships.
Finishing second in the 10,000m semifinals at the NCAA East Preliminary Round, Magness then capped off her career by posting a PR time of 32:59.96 to take bronze in the 10,000m finals at the NCAA Outdoor Championships, garnering NCAA First Team All-America status again.
Having earned her bachelor's degree in chemical engineering in May 2022, Magness was named to the CoSIDA Academic All-America Third Team.
Magness is the second track & field athlete to win the award twice, following in the footsteps of Jamie Krzyminski in the 2003 and 2004. Kryzminski is also the only other Spartan to win the 5000m and 10,000m titles in the same Big Ten Outdoor Championships.
Magness is also the 15th different track & field athlete to be named the George Alderton Female Athlete of the Year, joining Fuller (2020), Reynolds (2019), Leah O'Connor (2015), Beth Rohl (2013), Emily MacLeod (2011), Nicole Bush (2009), Krzyminski (2004 and 2003), Michelle Carson (2003), Sevatheda Fynes (1997), Susan Francis (1994), Misty Allison (1992), Odessa Smalls (1987), Judi Brown (1983) and Molly Brennan (1982).
Story courtesy of MSU Athletics. Read more here.