Track & Field Begins Indoor Campaign Friday at Notre Dame
Dec. 2, 2010
MILWAUKEE - The Marquette University men's and women's track and field squads will kick off the 2010-11 indoor season Friday at the Notre Dame Blue and Gold Invitational. The meet will begin at 4 p.m. CT at the Loftus Sports Center in Notre Dame, Ind.
The Golden Eagles' travel party will consist of only sprinters and jumpers along with a single distance runner in sophomore A.J. Gedwill. After a solid Fall of training, head coach Bert Rogers will have an opportunity to see what his returners and a talented group of freshmen can accomplish.
"This meet is always pretty low key," Rogers said. "We are only taking sprinters and jumpers as most of the cross country team is in regroup-mode and the throwers have been fighting through some illness. I am looking at it as our 'time trial,' as we are still in the middle of our training period. We want to run and jump well, but the overall thing is we are still training for January and February, so it is a nice test to see where we are at before finals."
With 34 new faces and a large group of second-year athletes, the squad will have a different look from years past, although Rogers believes this year's newcomers could prove to be be a successful bunch, especially in the sprints.
"The sprints and the jumps are groups where we are very young, but we have a tremendous group of young women. Gretchen Homan, Kate Hein, Katie Kemmerer are doing excellent and we are going to hear a lot of them during the season. We have also added some shorter sprinters and jumpers in Cashay Harris and Carlye Schuh, both of whom have had a great Fall and are very fast," Rogers said.
In addition to the freshmen women, junior Stephanie Grant and sophomore Chanel Franklin will look to continue their climb up the Marquette record book this weekend in the 500- and 200-meter dashes, respectively. Grant ranks seventh in school history in the 500, while Franklin is fifth in the 200, and won the event at the Blue and Gold Invitational last season with a time of 25.67. Franklin will also compete in the 60-meter dash, an event in which she ranks sixth in MU annals.
With senior sprinter and 200-meter school-record holder Tyler O'Brien redshirting for the MU men, sophomore Kyle Winter returns to defend his title in the 500-meter dash and will be joined by freshman Connor Stengel, the 2010 Wisconsin state champion in the 400.
"A couple of young guys in Aryan Avant and Connor Stengel are very strong in the 200 and 400 and should be able to make an impact right away in the BIG EAST, which is something we are definitely looking for," said Rogers.
Avant will be with the sprinters this weekend but will not compete due to injury.
Big things are expected in the pole vault from junior Lauren Darnall who came on strong for the Golden Eagles during the 2010 outdoor campaign. Darnall will be joined this weekend in the pole vault by Abby Croft, a freshman from Richfield, Wis.
Alyssa Davis, who holds the No. 3 spot in MU history in the triple jump will compete in that event after earning second at the Blue and Gold Invitational last season.
In the men's jumps, talented sophomore Cheldon Brown will look to improve on last season's runner-up finish in the high jump, and will also give the long jump a shot along with junior James Muehleman.
Marquette returns four of the eight student-athletes who competed in the 2010 West Preliminary Round of the NCAA Championships, although none of them will be active this weekend. O'Brien qualified for the regional in 2008.
Notre Dame is collecting canned goods and non-perishable items at the meet to donate to a local food shelter for the holiday season. Monetary contributions are also welcomed and appreciated.
GoMarquette.com will feature event-group season previews leading up to the entire squad's season debut at the Badger Classic on Jan. 15 in Madison, Wis.
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