Marquette Wire

Maya Marion looks to end career on top

Senior+thrower+Maya+Marion+is+going+for+her+fourth+BIG+EAST+outdoor+shot+put+title.+%28Photo+by+Maggie+Bean+via+Marquette+Athletics.%29
Senior thrower Maya Marion is going for her fourth BIG EAST outdoor shot put title. (Photo by Maggie Bean via Marquette Athletics.)

Senior thrower Maya Marion is going for her fourth BIG EAST outdoor shot put title. (Photo by Maggie Bean via Marquette Athletics.)

Senior thrower Maya Marion is going for her fourth BIG EAST outdoor shot put title. (Photo by Maggie Bean via Marquette Athletics.)

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Most track and field athletes don’t get close to a conference title. Marquette senior thrower Maya Marion is going for her fifth title in four years.

Now one of track and field’s most decorated athletes is looking to continue her leadership role as team captain. But finding her voice hasn’t always been easy for her.

“I had to work on intensity,” Marion said. “I had to teach myself to be more intense, even in practice. I’m usually really chill during meets because I have to balance my adrenaline with my personality and stay really calm because that’s just how I operate.”

She’s also atypical because it’s fairly rare to have a repeat BIG EAST champion in any event, and it’s even more rare to see someone like Marion, who is on the cusp of winning the outdoor shot put title four years in a row.

Shot put isn’t Marion’s only event; she also competes in the weight and hammer throw. She achieved a personal best in the weight throw two weeks ago at the Meyo Invitational at Notre Dame. She threw 17.68 meters, or 58 feet, 0.25 inches, which was the fifth-best mark in program history.

By the end of the indoor season, Marion said she would like to break her close friend Kathryn Koeck’s indoor weight throw record of 18.15 meters or 59 feet, 6.75 inches. Koeck and Marion became friends when Koeck was a senior and Marion was just a freshman. Last summer, Marion was in Koeck’s wedding.

“It’s cool because we’re friends, and she said that ‘if anyone beats me, I want it to be you,'” Marion said.

Marquette throws coach Mike Koenning said he believes Marion could break the school record in more than just the weight throw; she is also close in the shot put.

Marion’s personal best throw in the shot put was farther in the indoor setting than outdoor.

“She knows she’ll likely get the outdoor record, but the indoor record is a good goal,” Koenning said. “We have two really good opportunities here with trips to Wisconsin and the BIG EAST meet to do it.”

Marion is also a team captain and her leadership abilities have shined through this season, helping her team get through tough practices.

“(I want) to be an example through my characteristics,” Marion said. “Even if you have a rough practice, you have to keep working through it.”

With the BIG EAST Indoor Championships approaching for the track and field team, Marion hopes to continue the run of form she’s been on in both shot put and weight throw.

“It’s a lot of little points that add up,” Marion said. “I’m confident in myself to win shot put, but with weight throw, it’s just getting so much better. Last year I came in second in the shot put for indoors, but I was sick, so the pressure is really making me want to work harder so that I can win first (place.) That would be great.”

Neither Marion nor any of the other throwers traveled to Michigan last weekend for the Big Meet hosted by Grand Valley State. However, Marion will be at this weekend’s upcoming meet at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, which is one of Marion’s favorites for a variety of reasons.

“Every time I go to Madison, I (reach a new personal record),” Marion said. “I just really get amped up, and it’s a different kind of amp. Amped for some people is not really amped for me, but I really get excited to throw because it’s always a really competitive meet.”

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