Golden Eagles host Marquette Twilight meet

Junior Peter Bolgert and redshirt junior Sarah Verdoliva are on a hot streak as the Marquette track and field team enters its second and final home meet this Saturday at 11 a.m. at Valley Fields.

Bolgert ran the third fastest 3,000-meter steeplechase in Marquette history (9:01.04) at the Mount San Antonio College Relays last Thursday and the sixth fastest 1,500 meter-race in outdoor history (3:49.58) last Sunday at the Long Beach Invitational. Bolgert beat his previous best mark in the steeplechase by 10 seconds and the 1,500 by five.

“It was one of the best weekends of my life, in terms of setting personal records,” Bolgert said. “There’s definitely room for improvement in the steeplechase.”

Verdoliva, who will compete this weekend in the 400-meter dash, ran the fourth fastest 800-meter race in Marquette outdoor history (2:11.47) last Friday and Sunday she set a personal record in the 1,500 (4:36.54), which was just 1.48 seconds off of being the 10th best 1,500 in school history.

Coach Bert Rogers said what makes both of these athletes good is they’re both naturally built for the events they compete in. They also display a competitive nature that exceeds what the normal athlete displays.

In the steeplechase, which Bolgert considers his better event, the goal for the Big East Outdoor Championships is to finish the race in less than nine minutes. In order to accomplish that goal, Bolgert said he’ll need to be faster out of the gate.

If his Big East goal comes to fruition, it’ll push him toward the school record of 8:53.29. He believes the record will be an achievable goal sometime in the near future.

Bolgert would love to break the school record at the Big East. He said it could happen there because the conference steeplechase race is run at a faster pace. This weekend is out of the question because Bolgert won’t be competing; instead, he will have a day of tough training.

Verdoliva will be competing this weekend, but not in either event she qualified for in the Big East. Rogers said he wanted Verdoliva to compete in an “off” event to serve merely as a tune up for her Big East preparations.

Time will not determine whether this weekend is a success for Verdoliva, she said. If she holds her form — a constant stride length, arm motion, and hip placement — throughout the 400, she’ll view the weekend as a success.

Qualifying for the Big East will not be on Verdoliva’s mind this weekend, since she’s already qualified. She said it’s a relief not to have to chase a number anymore. Now that it’s over with, she can focus strictly on racing.

With no number to chase and family and friends to cheer her on at Valley Fields, Verdoliva is excited for the weekend.

“Knowing that there are a lot of familiar faces there to support you makes it a little more exciting,” Verdoliva said. “You really just want to show everyone what you can do.”