Marquette track uses home meet as preparation before Big East Championships

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The Marquette track and field team finished up its regular season hosting the Marquette Invitational on Saturday. Despite cold and rainy weather and the relocation of some of the events to the Marquette Gym, the meet was a success for the most part as a handful of Golden Eagles turned in great performances.

Coach Bert Rogers said he took the invitational predominantly as one last chance to get better before the Big East Conference Outdoor Championships this weekend.

“We were looking to use that meet as sort of a last tuneup for the Big East,” Rogers said. “It was cold, and the conditions could’ve been better, but a couple of our guys were looking to finally PR, and they succeeded in that.”

Ten Marquette women and three Marquette men achieved personal records in the invitational, while three athletes recorded top-five all-time marks.

Junior Chanel Franklin won the 100-meter dash with a time of 12.35 seconds, a meet record. Franklin also led the charge in Marquette’s one-two-three finish in the 200-meter dash along with sophomores Gretchen Homan and Kate Hein. The trio recorded times of 25.94, 26.11 and 26.31 seconds, respectively. Franklin’s 4×100 meter relay team of senior Stephanie Grant and sophomores Carlye Schuh and Katie Kemmerer also took first place.

Schuh took home the long jump title with a leap of 18 feet-1.75 inches, freshman Kathryn Koeck won the hammer throw with a toss of 172 feet one inch, and sophomore Kristen Gaffey won both the shot put (44 feet, nine and half inches) and discus throw (141 feet five inches.)

Senior Courtney Kelly, who claimed a victory in the steeplechase with a time of 11 minutes 15.12 seconds, said she got everything she wanted out of the weekend.

“I definitely need to work on hurdles and my water landing, but today was a good step,” Kelly said. “The weather was rough. I tried to take advantage of the wind, but it was rough on the home stretch. I’m definitely looking for a PR next weekend.”

On the men’s side, freshman Michael Kemmerer won the 400-meter dash with a time of 50.09 seconds, and junior Patrick Maag won the 5,000-meter run recording a personal and meet record time of 14 minutes 44.10 seconds.

Senior Jonathan Kusowski won the hammer throw with a toss of 187 feet seven inches, good for third on Marquette’s all-time list.

“I was hoping for a little bit more today, but with the weather it was hard to pull it all together,” Kusowski said. “Having all your friends around you really makes you want to throw farther. I’m definitely trying to hammer out some kinks. It felt like practice being at home, but I tried to take it like every other week.”

Rogers said the rare home meet was a nice opportunity for his athletes, especially the seniors, to play in front of their friends, families and teachers. Rogers was especially impressed with Kusowski’s throw and said he thinks it bodes well for Marquette heading into the conference championships.

“We should really be able to compete well in a number of events,” Rogers said. “Some of our guys, like (senior) Tyler O’Brien have been getting it done year-in and year-out and we are looking to finish towards the top in several big events.”