A surprising start for track and field

Coach Bert Rogers had no goals on how many individual victories Marquette’s track and field team would achieve at the Blue & Gold Invitational this past Friday. To his amazement, the team won seven individual events in what Rogers called a “workout meet.”

Rogers said seven victories is average on a four team field against Notre Dame, DePaul, and Detroit.

Freshman long-sprinter Kyle Winter said this was a meet in which the team wanted to make its presence known. He felt the team did so by qualifying 12 athletes for the Big East Indoor Championships.

Winter came into the meet with one goal: break the conference mark of 1:05.65 in the 500-meter dash, which would qualify him for the Indoor Championships. He won first place in 1:04.5.

Winter said this was a good start for him to build his season upon even though he cut his foot while running in new shoes.

Sophomore Jack Hackett was one of the 12 athletes who qualified with his first place finish in the mile run. Hackett won the mile race by .07 seconds with his time of 4 minutes, 12 seconds. Rogers knew Hackett was capable of this type of performance but didn’t expect a victory from him this early in the season.

“As we get into our more peak mode, I think he’ll run even faster,” Rogers said. “I thought he’d be up there competing for a victory, but he ran a little better than I thought he would this early in the season.”

Freshman sprinter Chanel Franklin won first place in the 200-meter dash in 25.67 seconds, 0.2 seconds ahead of the competition, which Rogers estimated was a “half-step” difference. In the 60-meter dash she finished in third at 8.02 seconds, 0.14 behind first place. Rogers was very pleased with the freshman’s performance, but said there’s room for improvement, at least in the 200-meter.

The technical error relates to the way Franklin came out of the block at the start of the race. Franklin said a typical runner in the 200-meter keeps her body low and drives out for 20 to 25 meters whereas she drove out for 10 meters before running straight up and down.

“We have a few things to work on in her start, some technical things,” Rogers said of Franklin in the 200-meter. “I know she was excited and that might have contributed to the technical error.”

Rogers said the error cost Franklin at least the tenth of a second she needed to qualify for the Indoor Championships. He expects her to qualify for it at some point this season.

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