Track & Field Heads to Sacramento for NCAA West Prelims
May 23, 2018
2018 NCAA West Preliminary Rounds
For live event updates, follow Marquette Track & Field on Twitter: @MUTFXC
MILWAUKEE – Marquette University track and field sends three individual qualifiers to the 2018 NCAA West Preliminary Rounds hosted by Sacramento State University at Hornet Stadium, May 24-26, in Sacramento, California.
Daniel Armstrong (high jump) and Jessica Parker (800 meters) make return trips to the NCAA West Prelims after competing last year in Austin, Texas, while Maya Marion (shot put) competes in her regional debut.
“All three are excellent representatives of Marquette University and have had amazing seasons so far,” said Marquette head coach Bert Rogers. “We’re looking forward to the next opportunity to get to nationals. All have great chances to get to Eugene.”
It marks the seventh-straight season Marquette will send at least three student-athletes to the NCAA West Prelims. The top-12 finalists in each event at both preliminary round sites (Sacramento, California and Tampa, Florida) will advance to the NCAA Championships in Eugene, Oregon, June 6-9.
Armstrong is coming off his second-straight BIG EAST outdoor high jump title and fourth-consecutive, including indoors. He helped the men's team secure its second team title in three years. The Michigan City, Indiana, native recorded a season-best on his first attempt at 2.16 meters (7-1 feet), which ranks 14th in the west region and 31st-nationally.
At last year’s regional meet, Armstrong cleared his first attempt at 2.00 meters (6-6.75 feet) before narrowly missing on each of his three attempts at 2.05 meters (6-8.75 feet). Back in March, the sophomore qualified for his first NCAA Indoor Championship meet held in College Station, Texas, where he was named a Second Team All-American.
“Making indoor nationals was a big deal, but then we had to regroup with training and it was a little bit of a longer road to get back to his level,” Rogers said. “Right now, his confidence is high and he’s excited for it. There’s some good jumpers in the west, but the nice thing about the sport is it’s him versus the bar. First attempt makes are huge. He thrives in big meets.”
Marion, a senior, makes her first regional appearance in the shot put, qualifying with a mark of 15.31 meters (50-2.75 feet) at the team's final regular season meet, the Wisconsin Twilight (May 4). Not only was it a season-best, but it set a school record, breaking Rachel Thiel’s previous mark set back in 2010. The distance also ranks 44th in the region and 91st-nationally.
The Aurora, Illinois, native fell short of her fourth-straight BIG EAST shot put title, but remains the only three-time outdoor champ in league history. She placed runner-up in the shot put and fourth in the hammer throw as the women’s team finished third overall.
“When you look at her career, it’s surprising this is her first regional meet,” Rogers said. “She’s meant so much to the team as a leader and a BIG EAST champion and this is a great opportunity for her to wrap up her career on the national stage.”
Parker qualifies for her second-straight trip to the NCAA West Prelims in the 800 meters after running a season-best at the Wisconsin Twilight with a time of 2:07.08, which fell just shy of her current school record of 2:06.97, set at the same meet last season. Her current time ranks 32nd in the region and 67th-nationally.
At last year’s regional meet in Austin, Texas, the then-junior ran the eighth-fastest qualifying time overall on day one to advance to the quarterfinal round where her season would come to a close.
“She was so close last year,” Rogers said. “I feel like she has the experience and is coming on at the right time of the year. I’m excited. It’ll be a great opportunity for her to finish off her career with a trip to Eugene as well.”
Schedule/West Region Marks
Women’s 800-meter run (First Round) – Thursday, May 24 | 10:35 p.m. CT
GOMARQUETTE.COM THE OFFICIAL HOME OF MARQUETTE ATHLETICS