Marquette Golden Eagles women’s track and field claimed the title of Best Team On Campus on Saturday when they won their second straight Big East Outdoor Championship. The Golden Eagles finished the meet with 195 points, comfortably finishing ahead of the 156 points picked up by St. John’s in second place. It’s the fourth straight title for the team, as they have won the indoor and outdoor titles in both 2016 and 2017.
Thanks to the two year double, the women’s track and field team swipes the title of Best Team On Campus from volleyball. The consistency of winning league championships tops the volleyball team’s active six year NCAA tournament streak. This is partially because volleyball has won just one Big East regular season and one tournament title in that time, and partially because the volleyball team is regrouping after losing their sophomore leading attacker to transfer for the second time in three years. That puts a bit of a wobble in their consistency, and thus the title passes to women’s track and field.
Terica Harris and Monique Felix were the two guiding lights to the title. Harris was named Most Outstanding Field Performer for the meet after winning the long jump and triple jump, while Felix accrued the most points of any woman at the meet. Felix brought home individual championships in the high jump and heptathlon, along with a second place finish in the triple jump. In addition to the titles for Harris and Felix, Gemma Tedeschi won the pole vault for MU, and Maya Marion became the Big East’s first ever three-time champion in the shot put.
As was expected, the women did their damage in the field events. The Golden Eagles had at least two scoring finishers in seven different events, including finishing 1-2-4-6-8 in the high jump, 1-4-6-7 in the pole vault, 2-3-5-7-8 in the discus throw, and 3-4-5-6 in the hammer throw. That is a solid amount of domination and blanket coverage in the field events, and congrats to Bert Rogers and his coaching staff on their well-deserved Coaching Staff of the Year trophy for assembling the talent on the team to do that.
The men’s side of the Big East championship was a bit of a bummer. The Golden Eagles brought home the team title in 2016, but fell short this time around. Marquette finished second, tallying 183 points to DePaul’s 204 points. MU had the lead in the competition after the end of the first day of the meet, but things fell apart early in day two when Connor Boos appeared to slip twice in the last quarter of his third leg of the 4x100 meter relay and had to hobble to hand off to Brandon Bell. That led to a fifth place finish in an event where Marquette was the defending champion as well as close to qualifying for the NCAA regional meet. Xavier won that event in a time much slower than the MU foursome has run already this season, and then things went completely off a cliff. Joshua Word suffered an injury late in the 100 meter dash when he had the lead, leading him to finish seventh instead, one spot ahead of Boos who was walking to ensure MU’s point in the event. These both led to Word and Boos walking in the 200 meters, yet again finishing seventh and eighth in events that, based on the preliminaries, the Golden Eagles had a significant chance to win. These four races only resulted in a four point differential in favor of the Blue Demons, but these were spots where Marquette should have been able to rack up points but due to the tragedy of injury, they did not.
Marquette did come away with multiple individual champions on the men’s side of the event. Freshman Daniel Armstrong won the high jump, clearing nearly more than six inches more than anyone else in the event. Dwayne Dash won the long jump by nine inches over Xavier’s Zachary Polk. The big winner of the day for the men was senior John Krzyszkowski, who won his fourth straight Big East javelin throw title, outdistancing everyone else by more than 40 feet.
Freshman Sam Sagan did not win the decathlon for Marquette, turning in a second place performance as Butler’s Wade Walder won four of the final five events. However, the Cudahy, Wisconsin native set personal bests in the first seven events along the way, which should set up a fun rivalry with Walder, also a freshman, over the next three years.