Marquette Track and Field: Big East Outdoor Conference Championship Preview

Marquette track and field travels to Piscataway, N.J., for the 2013 Big East Outdoor Championship this weekend. The championships will be held at the Bauer Track and Field Complex on the campus of Rutgers University.

The Golden Eagles hope to improve upon the men’s 12th place finish and women’s 15th place finish in 2012. Marquette is currently ranked 16th on the men’s side and 18th on the women’s side in the NCAA Great Lakes Region.

The men notched 28.5 points over three days last year, with thrower Jonathan Kusowski scoring nine points. The team will be without him and sprinter Tyler O’Brien in its effort to top its second-highest Big East championship total, as both graduated last spring.

Senior Jack Hackett heads into his final Big East championship ready to run the men’s 5,000-meter and 10,000-meter runs. He currently has the seventh best time in the 5,000-meter run after his 14:05.66 at the Mt. SAC Relays. His first attempt at the 10,000-meter run came at the Stanford Invitational, where he left disappointed with his 30:24.84.

Seniors Patrick Maag and Connor Callahan will double up on the same races as Hackett. Senior A.J. Gedwill will also participate in his final Big East Championship, as he races in the 3,000-meter steeplechase. Due to law school commitments and studying, Tyler Leverington has been scratched from the team’s trip.

Senior Kyle Winter will run in the 800-meter dash with freshman Anton Rice, much like at the indoor conference championship, where both made it into the finals. Both will also run in the 4×400-meter relay that will include sophomore Glenn Lawrence Jr. as the second leg and junior Connor Stengel as the anchor.

One week after taking the first three places at the Benedictine Twilight Invitational, junior Spencer Agnew, sophomore David Sajdak and freshman DT McDonald will race in the men’s 1,500-meter run. Sophomore Brendan Franz will join the trio for the men’s 4×800-meter relay. He set a new personal best in the 800-meter dash at 1:54.04.

On the women’s side, junior Carlye Schuh will double up on 100-meter dashes in the open race and the women’s 4×100-meter relay. She will also participate in the women’s long jump, where she finished seventh last year. In the one year since, she’s improved her personal best to 19’10.25”, which ranks as the fourth best in the Big East.

Junior Gretchen Homan will run three races this weekend. She is slated for the 400-meter dash with junior Kate Hein before both team up for the 4×400-meter relay with sophomore Katie Tolan and junior Katie Kemmerer.

Freshmen Molly Hanson and Kayla Spencer will both run the 1,500-meter relay and the women’s 4×800, which hopes to stay away from the bottom of the conference, where it sits entering Saturday. Villanova is the clear favorite to win that race after setting the collegiate record at the Penn Relays last weekend in 8:17.91.

The throwers will take four women and two men to the conference championship. Sophomore Will Koeck leads the men’s side for the hammer throw, where he enters with the Marquette school record and fourth best mark in the Big East. His sister, junior Kathryn, has the second best conference mark.

Action at the Bauer Track and Field complex begins at 11 a.m.

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