Track & Field to Defend BIG EAST Crowns
May 11, 2017
2017 BIG EAST Conference Outdoor Championships
MILWAUKEE — For the first time, the Marquette University men’s and women’s track and field teams look defend their BIG EAST Conference Outdoor team titles as the Golden Eagles head to Villanova to compete in the two-day event, beginning Friday, May 12.
Over the past several seasons, Marquette head coach Bert Rogers and his coaching staff has led Marquette track and field on a steady rise to the top of the BIG EAST Conference as evidenced by a sweep of both titles in 2016 and the women capturing their second-straight indoor crown earlier this spring.
The Championships will once again be broadcast live on the BIG EAST Digital Network via FOX Sports Go. Coverage begins each day at 11:55 a.m. Central time with Pat O’Keefe on the call and Megan O’Brien track-side
The Golden Eagles captured gold in 2016 by scoring heavily in the field events as both the men’s and women’s field athletes accounted for nearly 60 percent of the teams’ winning point totals.
On the women’s side, MU features multiple individuals ranked in the top eight in seven of eight field events, including five in the top seven in the high jump. Sophomore Monique Felix, who has claimed Most Outstanding Field Athlete honors at both BIG EAST Indoor Championships and last season’s league outdoor meet, is entered into the high jump, triple jump and heptathlon – all three of which she will contend for gold.
Junior Terica Harris was the team’s lone dual individual champion (long jump, triple jump) at BIG EAST Indoors and will eye a clean sweep as she currently has the season’s top mark in both events. In the pole vault, Marquette features four of the top six marks this season, including junior Gemma Tedeschi and sophomore Julie Clayton, who sit atop the season-best list and will each contend for a title.
Junior Maya Marion is seeking to become the first-ever three-time winner in the shot put after claiming gold as a freshman and sophomore. The Aurora, Illinois, native is currently one of eight repeat champions since records began in 1983. No female has ever won three shot put titles, much less three in a row.
On the track, senior Brittney Feivor and junior Jessica Parker appear to be peaking at just the right time. Feivor, who is entered in both the 5,000 and 10,000 meters, broke the all-time record in the former just two weeks ago at the Drake Relays following a 10k performance at the Mt. SAC Relays (April 13) that proved to be the second-fastest time in MU history.
Jessica Parker (1,500 or 800) is coming off a record-breaking performance in her own right, setting the all-time record and third-fastest time in the BIG EAST this season in the 800 meters last Friday at the Wisconsin Alumni Classic. It’s still to be determined which event Parker will compete in, the 800 or the 1,500 meters.
All three women’s relay teams (4x100, 4x400 and 4x800) will look to rise ahead of their season rankings as each have the third-fastest times in the conference entering competition.
On the men’s side, it’s much of the same story with the field athletes looking to secure as many points as possible. Entering the meet, Marquette features multiple athletes in the top eight for all eight field events, including at least three in all but the shot put where they have two in the top seven.
Freshman Daniel Armstrong looks to make a name for himself this weekend, seeking the sweep in the high jump after taking the indoor crown back in February. Following in the footsteps of Wally Ellenson (2015, 2016) and Michael Saindon (2014), Armstrong has a chance to make it four-straight for Marquette men’s high jumpers at the BIG EAST Outdoor Championships.
Marquette could see four consecutive titles in the men’s javelin as well, with senior John Krzyszkowski looking to become the first male athlete to win four BIG EAST titles in the event. The Mississauga, Ontario, native has the league’s top mark this season (71.44 meters) and by a wide margin (+14.04 meters). He currently ranks ninth in the West Region and 15th nationally. Under the right conditions, Krzyszkowski could challenge the league’s 15-year-old record set by Paul Pisano of UConn (71.10 meters) in 2002.
Also looking for consecutive titles is junior William Ford, who re-broke the school record on the way to gold in the pole vault last season. A win would mark another remarkable run by a male field athlete as it would give Ford three-straight BIG EAST titles in the event with the inclusion of his BIG EAST indoor title in February.
On the track, all eyes will be on the men’s 4x100-meter relay team looking to repeat as BIG EAST champs. The group consisting of Joshua Word, Jay Whalen, Connor Boos and Brandon Bell have broken the school record four times already this season, including last week at the Wisconsin Alumni Classic after running a time of 40.71 seconds, which is more than a full second faster than last season’s winning time at BIG EAST.
All four will be looking to earn some hardware as well, individually, with their top times sprinkled throughout the BIG EAST lists in the 100, 200 and 400 meters.
GOMARQUETTE.COM THE OFFICIAL HOME OF MARQUETTE ATHLETICS