PREVIEW: Marquette Track & Field teams look to build on early success

Junior+sprinter+Ariana+Mansavage+at+the+Blue+Demon+Holiday+Invite+Dec.+10.+%28Photo+courtesy+of+Marquette+Athletics.%29

Junior sprinter Ariana Mansavage at the Blue Demon Holiday Invite Dec. 10. (Photo courtesy of Marquette Athletics.)

With two meets already under their belts in the 2021-22 season, the mindset for the Marquette men’s and women’s indoor track teams is simple: locked in and ready to compete.

“We have a really strong team this year and I’m excited to see where that goes,” junior sprinter Ariana Mansavage said.

Before winter break, the teams competed in the Blue & Gold Invite at Notre Dame Dec. 3 and the Blue Demon Holiday Invite at DePaul Dec. 10.

Both teams earned victories in the long jump, triple jump and the 800m dash in both meets.

“These first two meets were great for the team. We saw a lot of growth and a lot of bounce back from last year,” redshirt sophomore Julian Wright said. “A lot of people are getting into good shape. A lot of freshmen showing new times and just putting down place-marks to start with at the beginning of the season.”

Marquette’s Track and Field athletes set 33 personal records, four made the all-time top-10 lists at the Blue and Gold Invite and 36 Golden Eagles set personal records and five made the all-time top-10 lists at the Blue Demon Holiday Invite

Wright stated that he believed his teammates performed pretty well and that it was good for him to get his feet back on the ground, running against actual competition again.

Coming off the Blue Demon Holiday Invite meet, Mansavage was one high point. Mansavage is now ranked third in school history in the 300-meter dash with a 40.54, taking third place in the event.

Head coach Bert Rogers said he was pleased with the team’s performance in the last two meets.

“There were good starting-off points,” Rogers said. “The stuff we do in December counts, but we’re sort of training through it. So, in December, I usually look at it a little bit more like practice meet opportunities and I was pleased.

The Golden Eagles will compete in seven more meets – Lake Michigan Open, Bill Clinger Multi, John Tierney Invite, Meyo Invite, Parkside Classic, GVSU Big Meet, and St. Valentine’s Invite – before the BIG  EAST Championships Feb. 25 and 26 in Chicago.

With depth on both sides of the team, Rogers said Marquette’s goal this season is to continue building on their times and skills as the season progresses.  

“The goal is the same. Always a team trophy,” Rogers said. “With UConn now in the conference, that increases the competition level but that raises for everybody. We’ve got the depth to stick our noses in there. We definitely would not be favorites or anything, but I think you can consider us as a dark horse.”

Mansavge said a goal of hers this season is to break the current indoor record of the 400-meter dash.

As for Wright, he said he is looking to going after both the 200-meter and 400-meter indoor and outdoor dash as well as having his eyes set on the regional meet.

Rogers said he is encouraged on what is to come this season

“We got a lot of senior leadership with the whole COVID-19 situation,” Rogers said. “We have a lot of people that ended up staying back to use up their extra years of eligibility, so we have several fifth-years and even a sixth-year. We have some experience and it just helps our depth overall and experience in a lot of different areas. I am looking forward to the season and seeing what we will be able to do.”

This article was written by Johnnie Brooker. He can be reached at johnnie.brooker@marquette.edu.