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Marquette Wire

The student news site of Marquette University

Marquette Wire

The student news site of Marquette University

Marquette Wire

Track teams miss mark at big east championships

Marquette’s men’s track and field team finished 12th and the women’s team finished 15th at the Big East Indoor Championships this past Saturday and Sunday at the Armory in New York City.

There were 13 men’s teams and 16 women’s teams participating. The men (4.5 points) finished 142 points back of meet champion, Notre Dame. The women (9.5 points) finished 105.5 points behind meet champion, Villanova. Both teams finished .5 points ahead of Providence.

Coach Bert Rogers said the team put forward some great performances Saturday in the preliminaries, but then failed to turn the great preliminary performances into points in the finals.

Of the four athletes Rogers said to watch — thrower Jeff Kluge, high jumper Erynn James, sprinter Tyler O’Brien and pole vaulter Carrie Schmid — only one of them finished in the top five, but none were able to win their individual event.

Senior Carrie Schmid tied for seventh place in the pole vault, which scored 1.5 points for the team. Her best vault was 11-feet, 9 3/4 inches. That was 3 1/4 inches short of the school’s all time mark she set in 2008. Rogers was satisfied with Schmid’s performance considering this was really only her second meet of the season since she was coming off a shin injury.

Junior Tyler O’Brien finished the preliminary 200-meter dash in 22.09. In the final, his time fell to 22.45 and he finished in ninth place out of nine runners. O’Brien said the difference between his performances was hamstring fatigue. In the preliminary race on Saturday, he ran on fresh legs. In Sunday’s final he said his hamstring tightened up on him, which hurt his ability to give his best.

O’Brien said he would have to run under 22-seconds to win the race, and the effort required just was not there. The winner finished in 21.51 seconds, which meant Tyler would have had to run his best race in Marquette history in order to win. His school indoor record is 21.87 seconds.

O’Brien didn’t think full health would have enabled him to win but felt he could have finished in the top 5 had health been on his side. He said fully recovering from the hamstring injury will be key to running the 200 in less than 22 seconds.

Senior Erynn James did not meet her goal to jump 5 feet, 9 inches. She jumped two inches short of that mark but still finished tied for fifth and scored three points for the team. Had she jumped her school indoor record 5-feet, 10 inches she wanted to jump, she would have finished in second place, 1 1/2 inches behind the winner.

Senior Jeff Kluge, the school’s second best weight thrower statistically, fouled in all three of his weight throw attempts and failed to place. Had he broken Dan Fax’s school record (62 feet, 7 3/4 inches), he would have finished in second place at the meet.

Rogers wouldn’t go so far as to suggest he was surprised that Kluge didn’t break the record at this meet. But he thought this was the environment that would have brought that type of performance out of him.

“I think he got a little too excited and tried to do too much,” Rogers said about Kluge’s three faults. “He put a few good ones out there but couldn’t keep himself in the ring.”

Kluge and James will both get another shot to reach their goals. Kluge and the throwers will travel to Iowa State the weekend of March 5 while James and a handful of other non-throwers will travel to Notre Dame. This will be Kluge’s last chance to break the indoor weight throw record and James’ last chance to qualify for the NCAA Indoor Championships.

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