Freshmen lead the way for track and field


Photo by Maggie Casey

Jack Hackett, Marquette’s top runner, graduated last year.

By Jack McHugh

Bolstered by strong performances from the freshman class, the Marquette men’s and women’s track and field teams shone at the Grand Valley State Big Meet Friday. The team traveled to Allendale, Mich., and competed in the Kelly Family Sports Center in one of their final tune-ups before the Big East Indoor Championships, which looms just two weeks away.

Freshman Jennifer Parker finished fifth in the 800-meter run with a personal-best time of 2:12.25, which was good for the third best time in Marquette history. Her twin Jessica Parker’s mile time of 4:55.97 earned a sixth-place finish.

On the men’s distance team, four runners set personal bests in the 5,000-meter run. Junior Patrick Campbell and freshman Jack Carpenter both had a time of 15:10, while sophomore Nate Gomoll and Kevin Ryan had identical times of 15:18.

Freshman Cassy Goodrich, who earned Big East Women’s Track Athlete of the Week honors two weeks ago, boasted another highlight performance, finishing second with a time of 55.78, just .55 seconds slower than her conference-best time from the week before.

Although the freshmen provided a boost, both the men’s and women’s teams were anchored by firs- place finishes from juniors Anton Rice and Kellie Greenwood. Greenwood edged out the Northwestern duo of Jena Pianin and Andrea Ostenso for a one second victory in the mile, and Rice finished a comfortable 1.7 seconds betterthan the second-fastest time in the 600 meters.

On the infield, sophomore Nicole Jaffke placed sixth overall in the pole vault, vaulting more than 11-feet, nine inches (3.58 meters), sixth best in Golden Eagle history.

Up next for the Golden Eagles is the Panther Tune-Up Friday, hosted by Wisconsin-Milwaukee at the Klotsche Center.

From there, the team will travel to New York for the 2015 Big East Indoor Championships, after which they’ll have a two-week break to gear up for the NCAA Indoor Championships in Fayetteville, Ark.