Things went well for the Golden Eagles, as we’ll get to in a minute, but they didn’t go MU’s way. The women’s team finished sixth in the Big East meet with 84 team points, falling well short of the 197.50 points compiled by 2021 champion Villanova. Over on the men’s side, newcomer Connecticut rampaged through the competition with 294 total team points, winning by a 172 point margin over second place Georgetown. The Golden Eagles finished in fifth with 93 points.
So it wasn’t Marquette’s weekend at the Spire Institute in Ohio. These things happen.
This doesn’t mean it wasn’t a successful weekend.
Look at this tweet from the MU track and field team’s account. This is only what the two teams accomplished on the first day of competition, which is always the slightly less busy day of the two:
Day 1 at @BIGEASTchamps by the numbers...— Marquette TF/XC (@MUTFXC) May 15, 2021
26 - Personal Records
7 - All-Time Top-Ten marks
5 - Podium finishes (Vinnie Voudrie, @MadyMarko, @BrielleBuechler, @JuMpF4n4t1C20, Marquis Ward)
3 - Freshman Records (@juruokwaramoi@JochimsKate @thejulianwright)#gotafterit
They didn’t put a tweet like this together for Day 2, so I don’t have confirmed numbers for all of that stuff for that day. However, a scroll through the tweets from the day shows another 17 personal records between the men’s and women’s track teams. Yeah, they finished well off the championship pace. These things happen. But the two teams busted their butts and put in a gigantic pile of personal bests with the Big East title on the line. What more can you really ask for than their best ever performance in the most important meet of the year?
Marquette did bring home two gold medals from the meet, one on each side of the aisle, with both Big East titles being won on Saturday. Senior Marquis Ward notched one of those 17 Saturday personal records on his sixth and final attempt in the triple jump. He cleared 15.31 meters on that jump, edging out Butler’s Brendan Watkins at 15.24 meters. Not only is that Ward’s best jump of his career, but it’s also the second best distance in MU history.
BIG EAST CHAMPION Men's Triple Jump! Marquis Ward marks his lifetime best in the 6th and final round to move from 3rd to 1st! His jump of 15.31 / 50-2.76 is #2 in MU history! @JeffersonOsunkw 6th place, 13.92 / 45-8! #gotafterit pic.twitter.com/I1vH4YeNYI— Marquette TF/XC (@MUTFXC) May 15, 2021
Lindsey Mirkes was MU’s sole individual champion on the women’s side. After back-to-back runner up finishes in the high jump in 2018 and 2019, Mirkes cleared 1.80 meters, or five feet, 10.75 inches, to win the Big East title. This makes Mirkes the defending champion in both indoor and outdoor high jump, as she won the indoor title in 2020 and it was not contested this spring. Not only is that Mirkes’ best jump of her career, but it also ties the Marquette school record as well.
The only thing left on the track and field calendar for the year is NCAA regionals and nationals. Marquette will be placed into the West regional if they have athletes who qualify. That will be contested at Texas A&M in College Station on May 27, 28, and 29th. There hasn’t been an official announcement from Marquette as to whether or not anyone has qualified, so we’ll have to wait and see what happens. Obviously, Ward and Mirkes would be MU’s best candidates after this meet, but you don’t have to post your best time/distance/etc. at the conference meet to get to regionals. In fact, Marquette’s best option for competing in the NCAA meets is Joe Keys, as he had the best decathlon score in the country earlier this year.