Track and field headed south

The Marquette track and field teams will open their outdoor season with two meets in Tampa, Fla.

The first, the USF Open, will be this Friday and feature only throwers. The second, the USF Bulls Invitational, will be held on March 18, and will feature the entire team, minus the distance runners.

“We’re excited to be down there,” coach Bert Rogers said. “We will be down there all week and it will really give us the chance to work on our events outdoors and in a warmer climate. It gives us the flexibility to do some things that we really can’t do up here.”

Sophomore sprinter and high jumper Cheldon Brown said everyone will be looking to improve their conditioning.

“We are working on getting stronger, so we should see some good performances this week,” Brown said. “We won’t be at our best, but we’re hoping for a good start.”

The USF Open will be the first chance for the Marquette throwers to work outdoors this season.

One thrower who is looking to continue his success from the indoor season to the outdoor season is junior David Carbajal.

Carbajal had an excellent indoor season competing in the weight throw, but will drop that event in the transition to outdoor. He will instead compete in the hammer throw, discus, and shot put.

“I actually just started throwing discus again just recently,” Carbajal said. “I’m hoping to qualify for it in conference this season and hopefully I’ll get off to a good start at this meet.”

Carbajal also expects his team to compete much better this week with the additions of senior Jonathan Kusowski and freshman Bret Hardin, who both redshirted the indoor season.

“They definitely make us deeper,” Carbajal said.

The meets will serve as a good start to the outdoor season, which will feature some athletes that didn’t compete in the indoor season, such as senior sprinter Tyler O’Brien, who redshirted last year’s outdoor season and this year’s indoor season.

“He has been looking really good in practice,” Rogers said. “He is excited to get out there and compete again, and I fully expect to see some really good things from him this year.”

Brown is another athlete who hopes to build on the success of his indoor season going into outdoors.

“I think the momentum from indoor will really help a lot,” Brown said. “Towards the middle of the season there, I kind of hit a rough patch, but once the end of the season came around, I was right on point.”

Rogers expects both Brown and freshman high jumper Michael Saindon to be jumping at better heights this outdoor season.

Marquette will spend the entire spring break in Tampa, which not only allows for a change in training, but also brings a much-needed change in weather.

“The whole team is really excited to get out of the snow and into the sun,” Brown said.