Powered by four individual titles and 18 top three finishes, YOUR Marquette Golden Eagles have come away from Spire Institute in Ohio with the 2018 Big East Men’s Outdoor Track & Field title! It’s the second outdoor title in three years for the MU men and second outdoor Big East title overall.
Marquette finished with a total of 234.5 points, rolling to an easy team victory over second place Villanova, who finished with 183.5 points. The dropoffs stayed steep from there, with DePaul in third at 132, followed by Georgetown at 111, Butler at 103, Providence at 49, and Xavier at 32.
All four individual champions came on Day 1 of the two day event, and three of the champions point towards Marquette being the favorite again in 2019. Joel Swanberg is the only senior of the four, winning his second pole vault title. It’s Swanberg’s seventh outdoor Big East medal and his 16th overall. Junior Brendan McKinney got his first ever Big East title with a personal best 56.88 meters in the hammer throw. Sophomore Daniel Armstrong repeated his championship performance from last season in the high jump, winning it at 2.01 meters, but continuing to clear heights up to a 2018 best 2.16 meters to improve his positioning for the NCAA regionals. Finally, freshman Samuel Johnson was the only competitor to hit seven meters in the long jump, getting the mark right on the button to win that event.
Since the Golden Eagles didn’t have a lot of individual winners, they made their statement with heavy placement instead. MU had at least two scorers (aka a top 8 finish) in 14 different events. They did serious damage in the decathlon (finishing 2-4-5), hammer throw (1-3-6), triple jump (2-3-7), pole vault (1-2-4-4-6), 3000 meter steeplechase (3-7-8), 110 meter hurdles (2-3-4), and the 100 meter dash (3-4-8). Joshua Word and Connor Boos deserve special attention, as they went 3-4 in the 100 meter dash, 3-4 in the 200 meter dash, and helped MU to a second place finish by just .08 seconds in the 4x100 meter relay.
Marquette’s women’s team ended up with a third place team finish on their side of the competition, snapping their string of two straight Big East championships. They were in contention after the first day, trailing first place Villanova by just 18 points. While they weren’t able to close that ground, they were able to move up a spot to third, finishing with 162 points, trailing DePaul at 171 and Villanova at 196.
The women posted two individual champions, with both wins coming on Saturday. Terica Harris won the triple jump for the second year in a row and giving her a third straight title when you include the indoor championship earlier this year. She hit a personal best 12.60 meters to win by half a meter as well as tie the school record that has stood since 1992. Keely Knobbe was MU’s other champ, tossing the discus 42.81 meters for the win. Knobbe and teammate Jenna Rosenthal were two of just three competitors able to clear 40 meters in the event.
I suppose the way to look at it is that Marquette just didn’t have the runners to be able to push through for the title. MU’s best finish in a solo track event was Cassy Goodrich finishing third in the 400 meters, and Marquette only managed points in two running events: the 200 meters and the 1500 meters. Field events had a strong Marquette presence, with the Golden Eagles doing frighteningly well in the high jump (2-3-4-7), shot put (2-3-6), discus throw (1-2-5-7), and hammer throw (3-4-6-7-8).