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Your 2018 Big East Outdoor Track & Field Championships Preview

It’s that time of year again, where the Golden Eagles look to bring back trophies to Milwaukee.

Joel Swanberg
Joel Swanberg, getting ready to jump way the hell over something super tall.
Facebook.com/MUTFXC

2018 Big East Outdoor Track & Field Championships

Date: Friday, May 11, 2018, and Saturday, May 12, 2018
Time: 9am Central thru 5pm Central on both days
Location: Spire Institute, Geneva, Ohio
Streaming: Big East Digital Network on Fox Sports Go starting at noon CT on both days, with Matt Schumacker and Declan Murray on the call.
Live Results: TimerHub.com
Twitter Updates: @MUTFXC

It’s a big weekend in Ohio for Marquette track and field, as the Golden Eagles look to defend five individual titles at the Big East conference championship meet, as well as bring home their third straight women’s title and the second men’s title in three years.

If nothing else, you won’t be able to say that Marquette isn’t covering enough events to win. The Golden Eagles are taking 74 competitors between the men’s and women’s teams, which should at the very least guarantee a top 3 finish in both competitions just purely on the number of points that you can rack up with that many athletes. On top of the pure numbers involved, Marquette will come into this meet motivated, as both the men’s and women’s team fell just short of the title in the indoor conference championship earlier this school year. The women finished in second by just four points, while the men’s team runner-up spot was determined by only eight points.

The women’s team will be led by Maya Marion, Gemma Tedeschi, and Terica Harris. Marion is the defending league champ in the shot put after becoming the first woman to win three straight titles last year. She’s the favorite to win again this year after recording the best throw in the Big East this season with her new school record this past Friday. Tedeschi is looking to come home with a second straight pole vault title, while Harris is hoping to swipe another two championships and a trophy. She won the long jump and triple jump a year ago as well as Field Athlete of the Meet honors, and she’s amongst the favorites yet again this year.

The defending champs aren’t the only ones expected to make an impact. Marquette has the three best high jump marks in the Big East so far in 2018 in Marin McClowry, Lindsey Mirkes, and Breanne Marchan. Over in the discus, Keely Knobbe and Jenna Rosenthal (yes, the MU volleyball star) have the two best throws in the league.

As you can tell, that’s an awful lot of field events, and not so much with the track events. Marquette has made a habit of racking up heavy point loads in the field events in the past few years, placing multiple people in the top eight in most events. The Golden Eagles’ title hopes will most likely rest on someone making a bit of a surprise in a footrace or three.

Over on the men’s side, Daniel Armstrong is MU’s only individual defending champion. The sophomore is looking for his second title in as many outdoor conference meets as well as another trip to the NCAA meet after qualifying in the indoor version earlier this year. Joel Swanberg isn’t the defending outdoor pole vault champion, but he is the reigning indoor champ. He set a school record recently, and you’d have to figure that puts him on the inside track to a title here. Same goes for Joshua Word, who has the best 100 meter dash time in the Big East as well as the second best 200 meter time. Word and teammate Connor Boos were both felled by hamstring injuries one year ago that ended up costing Marquette points in both the 100 and 200 meter races as well as the 4x100 meter relay. It’s hard to say for certain, of course, but those injuries may have ultimately decided the Big East title, as the Golden Eagles ended up finishing second.

Over in the field department, Brendan McKinney and Terrance Howard have the two best hammer throw measurements in the Big East in 2018, while William Eggers and Joseph Keys are the only athletes in the Big East to record a score in the decathlon. I’m going to go ahead and guess they might have a chance to win in Ohio.