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Marquette Wire

The student news site of Marquette University

Marquette Wire

The student news site of Marquette University

Marquette Wire

Track & field preparing for Big East Indoor Championships

Marquette track & field poses before a meet in 2023. (Photo courtesy of Marquette Athletics.)

Marquette track & field has had three months to prepare for what comes Friday: the Big East Indoor Championships.

The championships span two days — Friday and Saturday — at the Dr. Conrad Worrill Track and Field Center at Gately Park in Chicago.

The Golden Eagles go into the tournament coming off the Panther Tune-Up, in which 10 competitors set new personal records.

“It was just what we wanted today,” head coach Bert Rogers said after the meet in a release from Marquette Athletics. “Today was a prep meet for Big East next weekend. Overall, a pretty successful day with a few freshmen getting their last race in of the season combined with athletes setting PRs and having top 10 performances.”

The Marquette Wire spoke to two track & field athletes ahead of the tournament:

Dan Weizeorick bounces back after early injury

Senior distance runner Dan Weizeorick started the year injured, but said since then he’s been able to bounce back in preparation for the championships.

“I was a little injured coming into the season, but I’ve been able to have really great training, good races and a solid plan in terms of when I was going to race, which has prepared me well for the Big East championship,” Weizeorick said.

In the Meyo Invitational in February, he set the sixth fastest 5000m time in program history (14:29.92.).

“I’m excited for it (the season) to culminate here and excited to see what we can do,” Weizeorick said.

Weizeorick said strategy is going to be extremely important when running his distance.

“I think the biggest thing is that, in running distance especially, I mean in any race really, it’s about being able to stay calm when you’re going at a fast speed and not getting out of control. It’s about building and maintaining your breathing and just keeping your cool,” Weizeorick said. “I think it’s always about trying to stay relaxed in a chaotic environment like a race, and that’s what helps you perform at your best.”

Weizeorick said managing his mental health helps him stay grounded in big moments like the Big East Championships.

“A big part of that is trusting what you’ve done, which comes from putting in the work for months leading up to it. I never feel pressure because I believe pressure is what you feel when you’re unprepared, whereas nerves are just excitement,” Weizeorick said. “I get nervous but not pressured because I prepare well. The best way to manage it when the moment comes is to prepare in the months leading up to it.”

Daylee Braden has record 2024 season

Junior sprinter Daylee Braden has set multiple program records this year.

At the Blue Demon Holiday Invitational in December, Braden set the program record in the 600m with a time of 1:32.44 to place first. Then, at the GVSU Big Meet in February, Braden beat her own program record with a new 600m time of 1:30:66.

Like Weizeorick, Braden feels ready for the championships due to her intensive training.

“Just taking it step-by-step, it’s been really good, and a lot of the training has been paying off, which is really encouraging,” Braden said. “I think everything is just going to line up for the Big East. I’m really excited to see how the indoor season ends up.”

She said the team altered its training regimen partway through the season, which has helped her improve in the mid-distance categories.

“This has helped my 400 and 600-meter performances, particularly in the final stretch,” Braden said. “I appreciate our evolved training, which balances longer runs with short speed drills to maintain overall speed.”

Braden said making sure her body is in peak condition helps her prepare.

“It’s something you have to prioritize because if you’re not mentally prepared or stable, your performance is going to suffer,” Braden said. “So, I just try to make sure I sleep on time and eat properly, really prioritizing that and ensuring that I’m mentally healthy. That has helped a lot.”

This article was written by Dakota Barnes-Rush. He can be reached [email protected] or on Twitter/X @DakotaRushMU.

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