Keys’ record headlines successful track and field weekend


Photo courtesy of Marquette Athletics

Sophomore Joe Keys broke the Marquette heptathlon record Saturday, which stood out from an eventful weekend at University of Notre Dame, University of Wisconsin-Parkside and the University of Chicago.

He scored 5,241 points in the event, passing the previous record of 5,234 points set by his training partner and fifth-year senior William Eggers in last season’s BIG EAST Championships.

The heptathlon is a seven-event competition including three races of different lengths, high jump, long jump, shotput and javelin throw.

“I wouldn’t say it was a surprise,” head coach Bert Rogers said. “It was a big goal for (Keys), and it sets him up nicely now going into the BIG EAST.”

Marquette set 53 personal records this weekend. Senior captain Brendan McKinney was one of the athletes to set a personal record, recording a distance of 19.23 meters in the weight throw at UW-Parkside. It was also the second-highest mark in Marquette history.

“This weekend was more about the individual performances,” Rogers said. “The goal was to be able to compete at a high level against good competition, and we definitely attained that.”

Marquette athletes won 17 total individual events, including freshman Jefferson Osunkwo winning the triple jump with a distance of 13.51 meters (44 feet, four inches).

On the women’s side, junior Kalina Gardiner won the mile with a time of 5:12:46. She was one of nine Marquette women to win their events this weekend. Rogers said he has been impressed with what he’s seen from the women’s team so far.

“We’ve had a lot of women stepping up and filling some shoes of lost seniors,” Rogers said. “We have a lot of talent. As the season has gone along, I’ve gotten a lot more optimistic and excited about the women’s group.”

Moving forward, Rogers said Marquette has two weeks to “fine tune themselves before conference.” They will be sending some athletes to Grand Valley State University this weekend for the GVSU Big Meet, and then the whole team will be going to Madison next weekend for the Wisconsin Shell Shocker.