On your mark, get set, go! As late May approaches, so does the conclusion of the collegiate track and field season.
Exhibiting the most success of any collegiate track and field team in the Archdiocese of Milwaukee is Marquette University.
The women’s team won its second consecutive Big East conference championship, while the men finished as runners up.
Close was not an adjective one might use to describe the conference meet for the women. A massive 156 points separated the first place Golden Eagles.
Technically, this is the fourth straight title for the women as they have now won both the indoor and outdoor conference championships in 2016 and 2017.
A combined 29 track and field athletes were honored by being named All-Big East Performers this season.
Highlighting the performances for the women were juniors Maya Marion and Terica Harris, as well as sophomore Monique Felix. Marion became the first-ever three time reigning Big East champion in shot-put with a distance of 45 feet, 6 inches. Marion was also third in discus.
Harris was named the Most Outstanding Field Performer. She won both the long jump and triple jump events, while also getting on the podium as a member of the 4×100-meter relay.
Felix deservedly was named to all-league honors after she won both the high jump and the heptathlon, and finishing second in the triple jump to Harris. Felix was the meets high-point performer, collecting a total of 28 points for the Golden Eagles.
Junior Gemma Tedeschi was also an event winner in the pole vault after vaulting 3.81 meters.
10th-year Marquette Head Coach Bert Rogers was extremely pleased with the ladies performance.
“I was really proud of how the ladies competed today,” Rogers told goMarquette.com. “It was a very solid meet for the women. We didn’t have much for hiccups and the team competed hard, resulting in a lot of PRs. This group was so deserving of the big team win.”
Despite a stellar performance from the women, the final result for the men was definitely a disappointment.
As the reigning outdoor champs, the men came into the final day of competition with a significant lead when hit with misfortune. During the 4×100 meter relay, sprinter Connor Boos suffered a leg injury.
“Connor went down just as he took the lead in the final turn,” Rogers said. “We were expecting him to run well in both the 100 and the 200 and possibly podium in both. We were also expecting him to lead off the 4×400 relay, so there’s a bunch of points that went down.”
Three men did, however, manage to pull off first place in their events. John Krzyszkowski won his fourth consecutive title in the javelin throw. Freshman Daniel Armstrong was first in the high jump. Dwayne Dash Jr. closed out his conference career earning first place in the long jump.
Cardinal Stritch University
St. Francis University was the host to the Chicagoland Collegiate Athletic Conference (CCAC) track and field championships. The men of Cardinal Stritch finished fourth, and the women eighth.
Several athletes obtained notable performances from the weekend of competition.
Highlighting the roster is sophomore Daniel Garcia. Garcia, a native of Barcelona, won the 1,500 meters with an impressive time of 3:51:11. Garcia also finished as the runner up in the 800 meters to teammate Jonathan Kiptum.
Garcia is the defending NAIA national champion for the 1,000 meters indoor and was named last year’s NAIA track and field athlete of the year.
Talbot Mckinney, a sophomore from the Bahamas, finished second in the javelin throw with a distance of 50.34 meters.
Freshman Tobias Spence has a bright future after finishing first in the triple jump, and also obtaining a second in the high jump.
Kiptum, a freshman, was the runner-up in the 1,500 meters behind Garcia. Kiptum also managed to win the 800 meters with 1:52:84.
On the women’s side, senior Payton Tapp from Stevens Point finished second in the 100-meter dash with a time of 12.63 seconds.
Freshman Amberly Melendez also earned a spot on the podium as she earned 3rd place in the race walk event.
Third-year Head Coach Joel Pearson has helped the Wolves break 174 school records.
The team will cap off its regular season at Naperville, Ill., in the Gregory Invitational.
Marian finished its track and field outdoor season after competing in the Northern Athletics Collegiate Conference tournament championships.
The highlight of the meet was freshman and Milwaukee native Tyler Grisham, earning the lone medal for the Sabres after placing third in the 400-meter dash. Grisham broke the school record as well with a time of 50:04 in the race.
Sophomore Ben Franzke was the only other athlete to place in the top 10 in any event. Franzke managed fifth in the long jump with a personal best 1.92 meters.
Despite the individual success of a few athletes such as Grisham and Franzke, rebuilding is currently going underway for the Sabres track and field program.