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The student news site of Marquette University

Marquette Wire

The student news site of Marquette University

Marquette Wire

Marquette hosts first Invitational in three years on Senior Night

Photo by Adrian Fraga
Marquette track & field seniors were honored after the Marquette Invitational.

Bert Rogers summed up Friday’s Marquette Invitational in three words.

“It’s home cooking,” the director of track & field and cross country said.

For the first time since 2021, the Golden Eagles were able to compete at Shimek Track & Field, its home track.

“It’s awesome that we get to host a home meet here,” senior distance runner Dan Weizeorick said. “It was a lot of fun getting out there and actually racing on the track that we trained on for years.”

The COVID-19 pandemic canceled the 2020 meet. Marquette got to hold it the following year, but due to Milwaukee’s restriction rules no visitors were allowed.

In 2022 the university hosted a meet, but it was held at Wisconsin Lutheran. In 2023 the track needed a resurfacing so they were again unable to compete at their real home.

And after Shimek got resurfaced over the summer the Golden Eagles were finally able to play in their backyard again.

“It’s still actually got that new car smell,” Rogers said. “And everything’s just nice, crisp new. It’s exciting, the team has been looking forward to this one.”

And this time — most importantly — in front of fans.

“Getting to see all of that,” graduate student sprinter Zachariah Murray said. “Finally getting to see the track, the stands and the sidelines all packed with fans and parents. It’s really nice to see that kind of support for our team and the other competitors out there.”

There were also other Marquette athletes in the stands as well.

“It felt great. I mean, I walked around and saw the lacrosse team, the soccer team, so that was really nice,” junior jumper Kaylee Hopp said. “And then just the school cheering us on was really great. Because there’s not that many people that go to track meets. So that was really cool.”

The team practices at Shimek as much as possible, but weather conditions impact have forced them to move more than once this year. They’ve had to go to Pettit National Ice Center, the Old Gymnasium and the bubble at Valley Fields.

“We kind of bounce around a little bit,” Rogers said. “But as long as the weather’s nice, we’re out here.”

And the team, instead of having to go somewhere else to compete, was able to take advantage of playing where they practice.

“We’re out here almost every day just running running on the track, practicing and you get used to the surroundings,” Murray said. “So you’ll just know, oh, there’s a tree there and you’re almost done (with) the race, you’re almost done whatever distance you go.

“And you just get familiar with it. And it becomes second nature and you don’t even think about anything.”

The Marquette Invitational also served as the team’s Senior Night.

“It’s awesome to be able to host our Senior Night at home,” senior distance runner David Zeller said. “A lot of family has been able to come up for most of our teammates, so it’s been great. One last home meet with all my best friends. Just grateful.”

After the meet ended, 14 seniors were honored with a flower and a hug from Rogers, assistant coach Sean Birren and friends and family.

Weizeorick said that he remembers his steeplechase at the Big East outdoor championships during his sophomore year, when he posted the No. 2 all-time program result of 8:53.32.

“It was kind of when I found my event of what I was best at,” he said. “And just that race on that stage was just very special for me.”

Zeller, who holds the No. 6 all-time result in the 5,000m (14:31.18), said he always enjoyed the WashU Distance Carnival.

Murray holds two all-time program bests for the 400m. He first set the record (47.98) as a first-year. But this past winter he broke his original time and posted a 47.97.

“I first broke it back in 2020, my freshman year. And I’ve kind of just been chasing that ever since and now my fifth year here, I broke it again,” Murray said. “And I think the most astonishing part is I only broke it by a 10th of a second.”

Rogers said that while all the awards and records are meaningful, it doesn’t tell the full story of what the seniors mean to the program.

“Just a great group of senior leaders,” Rogers said. “They work hard, they set a good example. Our main thing is just coming in, day-in and day-out, let’s work hard, let’s get better. And they lead that just by how they approach.”

This article was written by Jack Albright. He can be reached at [email protected] or on Twitter/X @JackAlbrightMU.

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About the Contributors
Jack Albright
Jack Albright, Executive Sports Editor
Jack Albright is a sophomore from Charlton, Massachusetts studying journalism. He is the Executive Sports Editor of the Marquette Wire for the 2023-24 school year. In his free time, Jack likes to hang out with friends and watch Formula 1. He is excited to write fun stories about all things Marquette athletics and oversee new types of digital content.
Adrian Fraga
Adrian Fraga, MUTV Sports Multimedia Journalist
Adrian is a Sports Multimedia Journalist at the Wire. He is a first-year from Miami, FL studying communications. In his free time, Adrian enjoys cooking and drawing. This year Adrian is looking forward to the experience of being a Wire staff member.

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