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Marquette Wire

The student news site of Marquette University

Marquette Wire

The student news site of Marquette University

Marquette Wire

Ethier, Goodrich break long-standing indoor records

Both runners took vastly different paths to top marks
Cassy Goodrich (left) and Nicole Ethier (right) broke team records in consecutive weeks. Photos courtesy of Bert Rogers (left) and Maggie Bean (right)

When Nicole Ethier arrived at Marquette, she was unsure of her fate as a track and field athlete. Head coach Bert Rogers was courting her as a walk-on, but she didn’t specialize in a specific event. Rogers decided Ethier was best fit as a long sprinter. Last weekend, three years after walking on, she broke the school record for the 600-meter run.

Ethier became the second Golden Eagle this season to break a school record, joining teammate Cassy Goodrich, who broke the all-time mark in the indoor 400 meters the weekend prior. While they’re two of the fastest runners in program history, both took different paths to get to the top.

“In high school, I was more of a sprinter,” said Ethier, who was voted a captain this year by her teammates. “I did the 200, 400 and I was a triple jumper. I came here and they moved me up to the 800.”

Rogers frankly said that triple jump might’ve been her best event.

“Until she was a (high school) senior, they threw her in a couple relays and that’s what really got me thinking when I was talking to her about coming to Marquette and maybe walking onto the team,” Rogers said. “I was like ‘well, she might transition up’ because we’ve had people like that in the past that have maybe done more of the short sprints, and through training and hard work have worked their way up to become really high-level 400, 800 runners. That’s exactly what has happened with Nicole.”

The 600 and 800 are demanding races because they require both speed and endurance. Before her senior season, Rogers recommended she start training with the cross-country team for the first time. It’s common for mid-distance runners to run cross-country and build stamina before transitioning into the faster track and field season.

“That was a huge jump into doing more distance stuff,” Ethier said. “I think it helped me a lot to have that base and the mentality to run longer, so this year I could focus on running faster in the 800 and now the 600.”

The addition of cross-country training not only helped Ethier, but also gave Goodrich a new challenge during the off-season.

“In the fall, we do hill workouts on Fridays,” Goodrich explained. “We’ll go to a 200 (meter) hill and tempo that, so I get a pull from her tempo a little bit because I have difficulty pacing. She helps me there, and I think we work very well at pushing each other.”

Their camaraderie is a luxury for Rogers because coaches often struggle to find workout partners for elite sprinters. Goodrich is certainly elite – the sophomore from Franksville came to Marquette as the top sprinting recruit in Wisconsin, having won the state title in the 400 her senior year in high school. As a Golden Eagle, she’s been nothing short of spectacular – she holds the 200 and 400 school records for both indoor and outdoor and ranks in the top-10 in the indoor 60 and 300 and outdoor 100.

Goodrich’s latest record-setting performance came Feb. 6 at Notre Dame, where she ran the 400 in 54.72 on a flat track. Ethier’s came Feb. 12 at Grand Valley State, where she finished the 600 in 1:33.22, which converts roughly to a 2:05 800 time. Both women currently rank in the top-five in the BIG EAST for their events.

With more school records within reach for both athletes, their primary focus isn’t on breaking them. Instead, they’re more concerned with doing whatever it takes to score points for the team. With the BIG EAST Indoor Championships next week, the Marquette men’s and women’s teams are looking to avenge two second-place finishes to Villanova last year.

“Our biggest goal is to go there and perform,” Goodrich said. “We’ve been training all fall for this and we want to go there and do the things we’ve been planning on.”

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