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Armstrong wins third consecutive BIG EAST indoor title, has high hopes for nationals

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Armstrong wins third consecutive BIG EAST indoor title, has high hopes for nationals

Photo courtesy of Marquette Athletics

Photo courtesy of Marquette Athletics

Photo courtesy of Marquette Athletics

Photo courtesy of Marquette Athletics

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For the third consecutive season, junior high jumper Daniel Armstrong won the BIG EAST indoor title in high jump this weekend.

Armstrong won the conference title and qualified for NCAA Indoor Track and Field Nationals with a height of 2.15 meters. It was part of the men’s team’s second-place finish at the BIG EAST Indoor Track and Field Championship. The women finished in third behind Villanova and DePaul.

As Armstrong returns to the highest stage, he said he is looking for more success on the national stage.

“I see myself as a top-eight high jumper in the country,” Armstrong said. “My goal is to be a First-Team All-American.”

This is nothing out of the ordinary for Armstrong, who has been one of Marquette’s premier athletes sinced he stepped on campus. Armstrong has earned All-BIG EAST honors four times and has five BIG EAST titles. He also

Head coach Bert Rogers said he was also an impressive athlete before he committed, but he has improved tremendously in the last two years.

“He was very raw when he committed,” Rogers said. “He has gotten so much stronger and has fine-tuned his technique since then.”

Rogers said there was a big difference and jump in performance from Armstrong’s freshman to sophomore season, and most of that was due to his body adapting to collegiate strength training and new jumping techniques.

Armstrong said he is continuing to work on his “10-step approach” for high jumps, which has changed this season. Last season, it was split up five and five, meaning five jumps on the straight approach and five on the curved approach, but now it’s a six-four split.

“I don’t really like the curve,” Armstrong said. “With this new approach, I’m spending more time building momentum on the straight, which is transferring to the curve.”

He is also still working on his vertical takeoff. He said he has a bad habit of leaning directly into the pit when he leaves the ground, which costs him inches, so that has been a focus of his training and preparation.

Now as he returns to nationals, he’s looking to improve on his 15th-place finish from last season.

“I wasn’t confident going into the meet last year, and didn’t really know what to expect,” Armstrong said. “Now I’m going into it with a different mindset and hoping I can perform to the best of my ability.”

After his win at the University of Wisconsin-Parkside in December, Armstrong moved into second place in the nation with his height of 2.21 meters. Rogers said before the meet this weekend Armstrong is “far and away the best jumper in the conference.”

“That kid is a big-time performer,” Rogers said. “When the stakes are high, he steps up his game and comes through.”

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