Golden Eagles Head to Lee Calhoun Memorial Invitational
April 7, 2011
MILWAUKEE - A week after 100- and 200-meter dash victories at the Oliver Nikoloff Invitational, Tyler O'Brien and the rest of the Marquette men's and women's track and field teams return to action Friday at Western Illinois University's Lee Calhoun Memorial Invitational in Macomb, Ill.
Action begins at 2 p.m. Friday with the women's hammer throw, while the events begin on the track at 4:30 p.m. with the women's sprint medley relay. Friday's competition is expected to conclude at roughly 6:40 p.m. following the men's 10,000-meter run. The action Saturday is slated to run from 10 a.m. through the men's 1,600-meter relay at 5:20 p.m. Saturday's competition will be televised live for the first time in the meet's 22-year history on WIUTV3, channel 3 in Macomb.
"It will be a nice meet for us this weekend, very similar in terms of the level of competition to last weekend's Cincinnati meet," head track and field coach Bert Rogers said. "The weather forecast looks like it will be a little warmer so that will be a bonus. We are looking at this as a little more of a tune-up for next week and getting ready for the Mt. SAC Relays. Most years we seem to have good times and good marks at this meet so we are looking forward to more of the same."
O'Brien, the BIG EAST Men's Outdoor Track Athlete of the Week, will kick things off on the track Friday afternoon with a 200-meter leg in the sprint medley relay, where he will join freshmen Connor Stengel (200) and Aryan Avant (400), along with sophomore Kyle Winter (800).
"We are trying to put together a couple of fast men's and women's sprint medley relays. On the men's side, Tyler and Connor will run the 200-meter legs, and then it goes Aryan in the 400 and Kyle will anchor with the 800 leg. We are looking forward to doing that same relay at the Drake Relays in a couple of weeks, so it is a nice opportunity to practice it once in a meet setting before we head out to Drake."
The four men's sprint medley runners will also compete in the open 400-meter dash, although Winter may compete in the 800-meter run instead.
In the women's sprint medley relay, freshmen Carlye Schuh (200), Kate Hein (400) and Sarah Ball (200) will join junior Stephanie Grant (200) while sophomore Chanel Franklin recovers from an injury sustained last Saturday in Cincinnati.
Freshman Brett Hardin will return along with five other men in the hammer throw to continue his improvement in his first season at MU. Hardin is third in school history with personal-best distance of 184 feet, 8 inches (56.28 meter), recorded at the Oliver Nikoloff Invitational on April 3. Redshirt junior Jonathan Kusowski is sixth in school history in the event.
On Saturday, freshmen Jerrick Backous and Nick Benn will compete in the pole vault. Backous climbed into the MU top-10 last weekend with height of 14 feet, 5 1/2 inches, placing him fifth in school history.
"We are just continuing to look for progress in all of our areas. You can expect to see some good marks in the throws and our jumpers will have a good day, especially if we have some better weather."
The Golden Eagles will be joined by teams from Bradley, Illinois State and Wisconsin-Milwaukee, among others.
Lee Calhoun was the track and field coach at Western Illinois from 1980-1989 and was inducted into the National Track & Field Hall of Fame's inaugural class of 1974, the year before Marquette's own Ralph Metcalfe was honored with induction.
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