Marquette Wire

Track and Field: Team sends three to Cali, others to debut at Cincinnati

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The Marquette track and field team will be scattered throughout the country as runners will wear blue and gold from California to Ohio. Most of the Golden Eagles will be competing at the Oliver Nikoloff Invitational in Cincinnati, where the weather calls for temperatures in the 50s for the weekend.

“It’s the Midwest,” coach Bert Rogers said. “Each of the last few years we’ve been there hasn’t been particularly warm. We usually have some pretty good performances there.”

Jack Hackett will run his first race of 2013 at the Stanford Invitational. He was last seen running at the 2012 NCAA Great Lakes Regional Cross-Country Championship, where he placed 35th overall with his time of 32:00 for 10,000-meters.

Much like the 2012 outdoor season, Hackett will focus on the longer distances like the 5,000-meter and 10,000-meter runs. He starts 2013 with personal bests of 14:14.45 over 5,000-meters and 30:04.72 over 10,000-meters.

In the winter, Hackett started training with first-year law student Tyler Leverington before each shifted their focus to distance. Leverington will run the 1,500-meter run, which is a race Hackett may dip into just a few times in 2013.

Seniors Connor Callahan and Patrick Maag will also head to the West Coast, running the 5,000-meter run at the San Francisco State Distance Carnival. It will be their first outdoor track race in more than a year, so they will look to execute a smart tactical race plan. Junior Jack Senefeld will not travel to California, as he is currently recovering from an injury.

Getting under 14:20 in the 5,000-meter run and 30 minutes in the 10,000-meter run would be ideal for both runners. Callahan opens the season at 14:33.32 in the 5,000-meter and 30:54.22 in the 10,000-meter. Maag set his 5,000-meter personal best indoor season at 14:35.91, while his outdoor personal best of 31:23.92 comes from last year’s Oliver Nikoloff Invitational. Besting those marks would put runners getting under those marks would put them in contention for spots at NCAA Regionals.

Many of the team’s runners will make their season debuts in Cincinnati.

“We’re ready to start putting down some good marks,” Rogers said. “I’m sure we’ll see some standout performances, and there will be a few that aren’t so hot. I think the team is excited and ready to get back to competing.”

On the field side, Will Koeck could break the school record in the hammer throw this weekend after coming up one centimeter short in his last attempt at the USF Bulls Invitational.

“I think sometimes we forget that he’s only been doing this for a little bit over a year,” Rogers said. “He’s just getting better and stronger each week, so as he gets more consistent, the bigger and better throws will keep on coming. I think it’s only a matter of time before he sets the record and breaks it a few more times.”

Action at the Oliver Nikoloff Invitational starts on Friday.

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