MU struggles for points at Big East Indoor Championships

The Marquette men finished 12th and the women finished 14th over the weekend at the 2011 Big East Indoor Championships held in Akron, Ohio.

Though the men finished last as a team, they managed to improve their overall point total from last year’s meet by 11. The women also had some good performances, even though they finished with a lower point total than they did last year.

“We definitely had some solid performances,” coach Bert Rogers said. “The first day we were a little flat, but we came back and competed hard the second day.”

Junior Jack Hackett led the Marquette men by placing fifth in the mile run. Sophomore Kyle Winter also placed well, grabbing eighth in the 800-meter run. The Golden Eagles expected to see big showings from senior thrower Joe Kohut and junior thrower David Carbajal, and senior distance runner Nick Szczech, but their accomplishments were overshadowed by the strong performances of Hackett and Winter.

Rogers said Kohut and Carbajal both “tried a little too hard,” and that it affected their throws. He also said Szczech ran very good races in the 3,000 and 5,000 meters.

“Nick was leading most of the race, but he got passed by several All-Americans,” Rogers said. “The same thing happened on Sunday. He had a nice weekend though.”

Hackett, who earned four points for his team with the fifth-place finish, said he had to fight to earn his position in the race.

“Prelims started off extremely slow, but about halfway through the race, the pace kicked up and it got very fast,” Hackett said. “I fell back a little but was able to kick my way up into position for the finals. The final was very similar, and I managed to finish fifth.”

Winter had a very good weekend in the open 800-meter race and the 4×800-meter relay.

“In the prelims of the 800, I did well and won my heat,” Winter said. “Unfortunately, the finals didn’t go so hot. I fell back and finished eighth, but it was good experience for the future.”

Winter and his teammates did not fare as well in the 4×800-meter relay. An unfortunate drop of the baton during the handoff between Winter and junior Billy Schlottke led to the team finishing 10th in the finals of the event.

The women’s side also had a strong meet. Freshman pole vaulter Abby Croft led the way, setting a freshman record on her jump 11 feet, 7.75 inches. Lauren Darnall had a good meet, finishing sixth and jumping 12 feet, 7.5 inches, still short of her goal of 13 feet.

Another big performance on the women’s side was senior Alyssa Davis in the triple jump. She finished seventh in the event, jumping 39 feet, 3 inches, which was good enough for a personal best and third all-time at Marquette.

“Alyssa’s jump was very good,” Rogers said. “She came in ranked much lower than where she finished, and she surprised everyone. I thought it set the bar for our team a little bit.”

Marquette returns to action at the Alex Wilson Invitational at Notre Dame on March 3.

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