The 2022-23 season isn’t quite over for Marquette athletics, as the outdoor track & field team has two men who have qualified for the West Preliminaries this week. The event is being held at Sacramento State in California, and the best performers from this prelim will advance to the finals June 7-10 in Austin, Texas.
First up is Mitchell Van Vooren, who will be competing in the 400 meter hurdles. Van Vooren posted a time of 52.14 seconds in the event at the Big East Outdoor Championships, and that earned him the #47 seed out of 48 spots in Sacramento. It’s a pretty competitive event, as Arkansas’ Ayden Owens-Delerme is seeded #1 with a time of 48.26. The first round of qualifying is set for Wednesday, May 24th, with a time of 8:20pm Pacific listed by the NCAA. If Van Vooren advances — that would be the top three from each of six heats and the next best six times after them — then he’ll have to run again on Friday, May 26th at 7:25pm Pacific for what’s listed as the quarterfinals. I presume that’s a national quarterfinal, with 12 men advancing to Austin, since they’re cutting the first round in half for the quarterfinals.
Dan Weizeorick will be competing in the 3000 meter steeplechase in Sacramento. He qualified with a time of 8:53.32, which he posted at the Big East Championships two weeks ago, same as Van Vooren. That slots Weizeorick in at #41 out of 48 competitors. His race will take place on Friday, May 26th, at 5:40pm Pacific. There will be three heats, and only 12 men will be heading to Texas. That’s the top three in each heat and the next best three times overall. With Montana State’s Duncan Hamilton leading the field at 8:25.17, it feels like Weizeorick will have an uphill battle to get into the top 12, but every race is different, so we’ll see what happens.
There is an ESPN+ schedule listing for the West First Round on Wednesday starting at 6pm Pacific/8pm Central. Day Three of the event on Friday is set for ESPN+ starting at 5pm Pacific/7pm Central. Both men are in track events, and that’s the most likely thing that will be aired on the broadcasts due to the ease of one camera setup being able to capture every race.