MU Women Repeat as BIG EAST Champs, Men Finish Runners-Up
Feb. 25, 2017
STATEN ISLAND, NY – The Marquette University women’s track and field team successfully defended its BIG EAST indoor conference championship and has now won three-straight conference titles dating back to this time last year. The men’s team claimed runner-up honors for the third year in a row, finishing just 11 points behind DePaul in a drama-filled finish at the Ocean Breeze Athletic Complex on Saturday afternoon.
Trailing by a single point heading into the final event of the day, the women’s team needed a big effort in the high jump and they got it with four Golden Eagles finishing in the top-five. Omo Tseumah claimed her third career indoor crown and second-straight to highlight the fantastic finish.
Sophomore Monique Felix took runner-up honors in the high jump, matching Tseumah’s height with a lifetime-best mark of 1.70 meters (5 feet, 7 inches) and, thanks to Friday’s first-place finish in the pentathlon, was named the BIG EAST’s Most Outstanding Female Field Athlete for the second year in a row.
“We were kind of chipping away all day, but the moment that stands out for me was during the women’s high jump,” Marquette head coach Bert Rogers said. “They all got hot together, making season-best bars, personal-best bars. When Monique made 1.70, she was so excited. Here she was in the high jump when we didn’t think she was going to have enough energy to compete. The emotion there was indicative of the weekend for us.”
Terica Harris was one of just four multi-event winners on the women’s side, adding to her long jump win from Friday with a triple jump title on Saturday. She set a mark of 12.41 meters (40 feet, 8.75 inches), which ranks No. 2 all-time at Marquette.
The Golden Eagles solidified their stance as the class of the BIG EAST after claiming their third straight BIG EAST team title including a sweep of last season’s indoor and outdoor championships.
“I feel like we’re really well-rounded,” Rogers said. “We have some great competitors in all events and a lot of people scoring in a lot of event areas. We’re trying to be a complete team and win it the right way.”
Other highlights included a Cassy Goodrich taking second in the 400 meters and fifth in the 200 meters, while Jessica Parker set a personal-best with a fifth place finish in the mile. Alison Parker placed sixth in the 800 meters and Brittney Feivor set a personal-best with an eighth place finish in the 3,000 meters.
The men’s runner-up finish was their third straight and powered by a pair of individual champions, including William Ford’s pole vault title on Friday and Daniel Armstrong’s win in the high jump on Saturday. Armstrong’s mark of 2.15 meters (7 feet, 0.5 inches) was a lifetime-best and set the freshman record at Marquette.
“Our men’s 4x800 relay team getting third place was a key moment on the men’s side,” Rogers said. “At that point, we knew we weren’t going to be able to catch DePaul, but we were battling Butler for second.”
The relay team of Derek Gross, Brad Eagan, Gregory Suarez and Alec Miller placed third with a time of 7:36.35. It was the fastest a 4x800-meter relay team has run since 1983 at Marquette and, in the end, helped the Golden Eagles solidify a 7-point advantage over Butler for second place.
Another big swing event was the triple jump as Marquette took second, fourth, fifth and eighth place to pick up 18 points. Djdade Denson came up with another huge performance, finishing second with a leap of 14.24 meters after taking fifth in the long jump on Friday. He was followed by Dwayne Dash Jr., Alex Halloway and Cory Cegelski.
“DePaul had a really strong team this year and it was a battle to get second. We were happy with the result,” Rogers said. “Our men’s team is definitely set up strong for outdoors where we we’ll be able to defend our title. We just weren’t deep enough this weekend.”
Joshua Word set a school record in the 60-meter dash, running a time of 6.90 seconds to place second overall. Carson Meinholz turned in a runner-up finish as well, scoring a personal-best 4,219 points – good for No. 7 all-time at MU – in the heptathlon.
The Golden Eagles performed admirably on both ends despite a case of the flu floating around, making the performance of some that much more impressive. Looking ahead, Marquette opens the outdoor season in Orlando, Florida on March 17, as it each team marches on towards defending their respective BIG EAST outdoor team titles in May.
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