Throwers Win Four Events at USF Open
March 11, 2011
TAMPA - The Marquette throwers captured four event victories and notched seven BIG EAST Conference qualifying marks Friday afternoon at the USF Open in Tampa, Fla., their first meet of the outdoor season.
"It was a great opener to the outdoor season," Marquette associate head coach Michael Koenning said. "Obviously all the hard work that we put in up in the snow since the indoor conference meet has paid off. Our team has developed a little rivalry within and that is great for competition."
Redshirt junior Jonathan Kusowski won the hammer throw with a toss of 182 feet, 11 inches (55.76 meters) and notched the third best mark in school in the process. Freshman Bret Hardin set the freshman record in the event during the first collegiate meet of his career with a toss of 180 feet, 4 inches to place as the runner-up to Kusowski. Hardin's mark is also the seventh-best in school history and qualifies him for the U.S. Junior National Championships on June 22-26 in Eugene, Ore.
"Jon has really been working hard since his indoor season ended last year and he has improved his technique and become much more polished," Koenning said. "He has really matured physically and as a competitor and improved today on each throw. Bret has worked hard as well during his redshirt season indoors and expects a lot of himself."
Robert Bleem also captured a victory for the Golden Eagles in the discus where he reached a BIG EAST-mark of 158 feet, 11 inches (48.45 meters).
"Jamie and Kristen did well today and I think there is a lot more there for each of them to tap into," Koenning said.
The throwers will stay in Florida while the rest of the squad will join them later in the coming week.
"We will focus on the hammer and discus and get the repetitions in here that we can't get in Milwaukee because of the snow. The warm weather is good for an event like the discus because it keeps you loose."
The Golden Eagles return to action in Tampa on Friday, March 18 at the USF Bulls Invitational.
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