Golden Eagles Dominate Competition At Marquette Twilight Meet
April 26, 2008
MILWAUKEE -- Hosting their first track and field event in six years, the Golden Eagles and visiting participants competing in the Marquette Twilight meet had to battle windy conditions Saturday at the Melvin "Bus" Shimek Track and Field Facility at Valley Fields.
Marquette shined in front of its home crowd by winning a total of 17 events despite Mother Nature. Winds were steady between 15-20 mph. Gusts of wind up to 40 mph caused the cancellation of the men's pole vault event, which was initially delayed an hour in hopes that the winds would calm as evening set.
"Even though it was really windy, we were competing hard," said Golden Eagles head coach Bert Rogers. "You could just see it out there the way everybody was just getting after it. You could see that fire there. It was fun to see. I was very pleased with the turnout, especially since we haven't had a meet in so long."
Sure qualifying times are also in jeopardy of being nullified due to high levels of wind assistance above the maximum limit in the sprinting events. Such is the case with Tyler O'Brien, whose time of 10.55 easily won the 100-meter dash and was the second fastest time in school history. On paper, it was also good enough to qualify him for the NCAA Regional and a U.S. junior national event, according to Rogers.
Two Golden Eagles produced all-time facility marks Saturday. Carrie Schmid did so by winning the women's pole vault at height of 3.55m (11-07.75) and Rachel Thiel claimed the women's shot put with a throw of 14.77m (48-05.50).
"It was more about victories and more the competition itself, not as much just chasing marks, which I think sometimes can be a fault of our sport," said Rogers. "It's more about just getting out there and racing and competing in events."
Cassie Peller won the women's 800 meters with a time of 2:17.51, Jayne Grebinski dominated the women's 1,500 meters with a time of 4:51.37, while MU also took home the women's 4x400 meter relay.
Also winning events were Lana Rabas in the high jump, Jenna Mahaffey in the women's hammer throw, Kelly Magennis in the women's javelin, Eric Meissner in the men's 400-meter dash, Jed Burey in the men's 800 meters, Peter Bolgert in the men's 1,500 meters, Scott Mueller in the men's 5,000 meters, Mike Laabs in the men's 110-meter hurdles, the men's 4x100-meter and 4x400-meter relays, and Jeff Kluge in the men's hammer throw.
"The big thing about conference, is we're not worried about times as much as we want to beat people," said Rogers, whose teams will compete next at the BIG EAST Conference outdoor championships, which begin Friday, May 2 at Villanova. "We want to place higher and grant it, you usually have to run faster, and jump higher, and throw farther to do that, but I think this was just a good stepping stone for that."
Saturday was also a golden opportunity for Rogers and his staff to say thanks to the 10 seniors who had just competed in their lone and final home meet. A short ceremony followed the final event in which they were recognized.
"It's really neat, because this class for me is like that first group," said Rogers, who is in his fourth year at Marquette, first as head coach. "They were all freshmen my first year. You know, it's bittersweet. You're excited to see them take that next step in their lives and finish off their strong senior year and collegiate career. At the same time you're sorry to see them go. This senior class is really top notch."
Rogers also thanked the dozens of volunteers who helped make the event a success.