Wally Ellenson Shatters Marquette High Jump Mark
MADISON, Wis. - The Marquette University men's and women's track and field teams continued their indoor campaign on Saturday at the Wisconsin Open at the Camp Randall Memorial Sports Center with Wally Ellenson shining in his Marquette debut.
Ellenson, a two-time NCAA First Team All-American high jumper, was superb in the first action of his MU career. In just his second high jump attempt as a Marquette Golden Eagle, Ellenson notched a program-best height of 7 feet, 1 inch. Ellenson continued to climb, eventually setting a program record with a mark of 7 feet, 5.75 inches.
"It was an historic and exciting day for Marquette track and field," Marquette head coach Bert Rogers said. "There a lot of positives to take from this meet, but obviously the most positive was Wally's performance. One of the things as a coaching staff we were concerned about was how his approach and his rhythm were going to be going into the meet. He was really consistent through the day and I felt that was key for him."
Ellenson's performance was the best of his career, shattering his previous personal best marks. The Rice Lake, Wisconsin native's mark of 7 feet, 5.75 inches (2.28 meters) meets the qualifying standard for world outdoors and is currently the No. 3 mark in the world.
The Marquette throwers kicked off the action in Madison at around 10 a.m. Central time, and would set the bar for what would be a successful afternoon for the Blue and Gold.
In the women's weight throw, senior Samantha Kennedy tossed a personal-best mark of 55 feet, 6 inches en route to a second place finish, while freshman Maya Marion recorded a 48 foot, 8 inch toss and sixth place finish in her first collegiate meet. Kathryn Koeck, who missed all of last season due to injury, claimed a third-place finish and notched a personal-best 55 feet, 4 inches in her return.
The men's throwers also performed at a high level with Will Koeck leading the way with a second place finish and a 64 foot-1 inch toss in the weight throw. Teammate Bret Hardin, who finished fourth, notched a mark of 60 feet, 6 inches. Both Hardin's and Koeck's respective tosses were top five career marks.
Freshman Cassy Goodrich continued what has been an excellent start to her Marquette career with an event title in the 400-meter run. Goodrich posted a personal-best 56.48 en route to her victory, which is the No. 2 mark in program history. Fellow freshman Jennifer Parker also fared quite well Saturday, winning the 800-meter run with a time of 2:14.55 in her debut race.
Terica Harris finished as the runner-up in the women's 60-meter dash with a mark of 7.96 seconds, which was a personal best.
On the men's side, twins Alec and Aric Miller registered two top-three finishes in the 800-meter run. Alec won the 800 with a personal-best 1:54.08 while Aric finished third with a personal-best mark of 1:55.11. Dwayne Dash Jr. recorded a second-place finish in the long jump.
Saturday's action marked the first time the entire track and field team competed together as only the sprinters and jumpers competed at the Blue and Gold Invitational at Notre Dame on Dec. 5.
The Golden Eagles will resume the indoor season on Jan. 23 when they head to the John Tierney Triangular at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee.
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