Runners turn in solid performance at Lee Calhoun Invitational

The women’s track and field team placed third while the men placed seventh this past Saturday at the Lee Calhoun Memorial Invitational held in Macomb, Ill.

The women scored 106 team points en route to the third place finish out of 12 teams. The men posted 64.33 points in their seventh place finish out of 16 teams. Both teams finished 104 points back of first place.

“Overall it was a very good meet for us, particularly in the sprints and the jumps,” said coach Bert Rogers. “We had a number of personal bests and several people either moved up on, or got on to top 10 lists. The throwers had kind of an average day. But I think we competed well top to bottom.”

It was the women who led the way over the weekend, capturing 15 of the team’s 24 overall personal records (PRs), six of which were set by sprinters. Freshmen sprinters Carlye Schuh and Kate Hein and junior Stephanie Grant had arguably the best performances of the weekend.

Schuh placed fourth in the 100-meter dash (12.2 seconds), which was also a PR and the fifth best all-time in Marquette history. Schuh also placed third in the triple jump, with a distance of 37 feet, 10 ½ inches, which is now sixth all-time at Marquette and a PR.

Hein set a PR in the 400-meter dash, placing fourth (56.88 seconds). The performance was also good enough for fourth all-time in the event. Grant finished fifth in 57.08, which was a PR and the fifth-best in Marquette history.

But it was sophomore Melissa Budelier who stole the show, winning the 3000-meter steeplechase (11 minutes, 58.38 seconds). Her victory earned Marquette 10 much-needed points and was the only women’s event title of the day.

“My goal was just to improve and score as many points for the team as I could,” Budelier said. “I think I did that pretty well.”

This was the first collegiate victory for Budelier, who is new to the steeplechase this year.

“It’s nice to see her get the win,” Rogers said. “Even though she won, I think there is still a lot of room for improvement there, which is something that we’re excited about.”

The only event victory for the men was in the sprint medley relay. Senior Tyler O’Brien, sophomore Kyle Winter, and freshmen Aryan Avant and Connor Stengel won in 3:27.57.

“The sprint medley relay is just kind of a fun break for us,” Winter said. “It’s a good chance to run something different and kind of build camaraderie among some of the sprinters.”

The meet also saw strong performances from sophomore Patrick Maag, who set a PR and placed third in the 1,500-meter run with time of 3:59.01, and freshman Jerrick Backous, who placed sixth in the pole vault (14 feet, seven and ¼ inches) which is the third-best in Marquette history.

Marquette next competes at the Cal State L.A. Twilight Open in Los Angeles and the Mt. San Antonio College Relays in Walnut, Cal. Both events start this Thursday.