Jan. 21, 2016
MILWAUKEE - The Marquette University men's and women's track and field teams resume indoor action at the John Tierney Quad on Saturday, Jan. 23, inside the Klotsche Center on the campus of UW-Milwaukee.
The Golden Eagles will go up against the likes of Illinois-Chicago, Western Illinois and host UW-Milwaukee at the meet. Field events will get started at 11 a.m. followed by running events at approximately 1:30 p.m.
"With it being the first meet - a lot of times - it's about breaking off the rust," said ninth-year head coach Bert Rogers. "We want to come out with some good performances and win the meet, and hopefully, those will go hand in hand."
Saturday's action will mark the first time the entire track and field team will compete together as only the sprinters and jumpers competed last time out at the Blue and Gold Invitational at Notre Dame back on Dec. 4.
At the season opener, Brandon Bell set a school record in the 60-meter dash with a time of 6.93 seconds for a third place finish, while Anton Rice ran to a personal-best and a win in the 600-meter dash.
Freshman Monique Felix paced the women by taking first in the triple jump and sixth in the 60-meter hurdles. In the process, she set two all-time marks at MU and was named BIG EAST Field Athlete of the Week for her efforts.
Following Saturday's meet, the Golden Eagles will head to Cedar Falls, Iowa for a pair of meets at Northern Iowa Jan. 29-30.
During the 2015 indoor season, three school records were set, five freshman records were broken and numerous top-10 marks were reached. Outdoor season saw five more school records fall, including two freshman marks in what was a tremendously successful 2015 campaign.
A quick look back at the top marks from last season: Indoor | Outdoor
Last year was a great year for Marquette newcomers, highlighted by then-freshman sprinter Cassy Goodrich, who burst on to the scene with a sensational debut season, breaking numerous records and earning All-BIG EAST accolades in three events at both the indoor and outdoor league championships. This year's roster features a long list of potential freshman phenoms.
Notables on the women's side: Allison Chmelik (jumps), Monique Felix (multis), Ashley Gaffey (throws), Madison Ricciardi (hurdles) and Catherine Sherwood (multis).
Notables for the men: Connor Boos (sprints), Terrance Howard (throws), Karl Tatum (sprints) and Jay Whalen (sprints).
Last year featured an abundance of family ties, highlighted by sibling throwers and recent graduates Kat and Will Koeck. Returning in 2016 are sophomore twins Jennifer and Jessica Parker, along with elder sister Alison, as well as another trio in D.T. McDonald and his younger sisters Clare and Maeve. Also returning are twin juniors Anna and Arra Strong.
Freshman thrower Ashley Gaffey follows in the footsteps of her older sister, Kristen, who graduated from Marquette in 2014.
FILLING THE VOID
Speaking of throwers, the Golden Eagles bid adieu to several of which who were very accomplished over their careers. Will and Kat Koeck dominated the hammer throw with each taking home BIG EAST outdoor titles, while Sam Kennedy and Brett Hardin also were tremendously successful.
The Golden Eagles return sophomore Maya Marion, who captured the BIG EAST outdoor title in the shot put last season. Overall, head coach Bert Rogers and throws coach Michael Koenning hope the healthy mix of returners and newcomers give Marquette a well-rounded group to score well in all the throws events during both the indoor and outdoor seasons.
POTENTIAL BREAKOUT PERFORMERS
Marquette registered its highest-ever finishes at the BIG EAST Conference indoor and outdoor championship meets with the men and women each taking second place at both. It couldn't have happened without several student-athletes doing their fair share, including a host of breakout performers. So who are this year's candidates for potential breakout seasons?
Anton Rice (Sophomore/long sprints): Set the No. 2 all-time mark at MU by winning the 600-meter run at the Blue & Gold Invite in December. Also holds the No. 3 all-time mark in the 500-meter run and No. 7 mark in the 1,000-meter run.
Alec Miller (Sophomore/mid-distance): Coming off an impressive cross country campaign in the fall, Miller set freshman indoor records in both the 800- and 1,000-meter runs in 2015.
Dwayne Dash Jr. (Junior/jumps): Set the No. 4 all-time mark at MU, while taking runner-up in the long jump at the BIG EAST indoor Championships in 2015.
Terrance Howard (Freshman/throws): Won the Minnesota state title in the discus as a senior at Park Center in Minneapolis last year with a personal-best and No. 4 mark in Minnesota state history of 191 feet, 11 inches. That distance would be the No. 2 mark all-time and just three inches shy of the all-time record held by Greg Uher from 1998.
Cassy Goodrich (Sophomore/sprints): Set school and freshman records in the 200- and 300-meter dashes and another freshman record in the 400-meter dash during her freshman indoor season. She then set outdoor school and freshman records in the 200- and 400-meter dashes and, according to head coach Bert Rogers, is just scratching the surface of her potential.
Tatyana Pashibin (Senior/jumps): Defending outdoor high jump champion and runner-up at the indoor meet. She is the current holder of the No. 3 mark and freshman record (5 feet, 8.75 inches), which she set back in 2013 and is motivated to surpass that mark during her senior season.
Nicole Ethier (Senior/long sprints): An All-BIG EAST honoree as a member of the indoor and outdoor 4x800-meter relay teams last year. Holds the No. 2 mark all-time in the 800-meter run for outdoor and claims the No. 6 mark for the indoor 500-meter run. She's poised for a breakout senior campaign.