Coach Bert Rogers said the Marquette track and field meets this weekend will act as a launching pad for the rest of his athletes’ season. And he expects many good performances.
The team will spread its talent across three meets in two different states from Thursday to Sunday.
Two groups will be in California: the distance runners will compete in the Mt. SAC Relays in Walnut, Calif., Thursday and Friday, and another group will compete in the VS Sports-Long Beach Invitational Sunday. The rest of the team will be in Iowa City competing in the Iowa Invitational Saturday.
Freshman Kyle Winter will be competing at Long Beach. Winter finished ninth (1:04.61) in the final of the 500-meter race in the Big East Indoor Championships.
In the indoor season, Winter ran his best 500 in 1:04.5 at the Blue & Gold Invitational on Dec. 5. He was the hero at the Dual Meet with Milwaukee on Jan. 23, when he anchored the last leg of the 4×400-meter race that won the meet for the men’s team.
Despite all his indoor season successes, he has struggled in the outdoor season. He is still trying to qualify for the Big East Outdoor Championships, which begin April 30.
Winter has been flirting with qualifying for the Big East in the 800-meter and the 400-meter races. He was .02 seconds shy of qualifying in the 400-meter race at the Southern Illinois Spring Classic on March 27. At the Bulls Invitational on March 19, he was 1.37 seconds shy of qualifying in the 800-meter race.
Winter will be competing in both events at Long Beach and is optimistic he’ll qualify for at least the 800. His goal is to complete the race under 1:52. If he reached that goal he would meet the Big East requirement (1:52.54).
Winter’s inability to qualify might not be solely his fault. He said he’d been dealing with foot blisters most of the outdoor season. He took the last week off and believes the rest will definitely help him this weekend.
On the other hand, senior Carrie Schmid has reached the necessary mark to qualify for the Big East Championships in the pole vault in all four of the outdoor meets she competed in. Her best mark came at the Lee Calhoun Invitational (12-feet, 5 1/4 inches). Schmid trumped the Big East mark by over a foot.
A key for Schmid’s stellar outdoor season has been her ability to bring her success in practice to the meets. She said much of her practice time during the indoor season was spent working on her approach, which she said is now solid. Now, the focus is on tweaking her form.
The goal for Schmid this weekend is simple: improve her personal record.
“We’re getting towards peaking,” Schmid said. “There are going to be a lot of PR’s coming up in the next few weeks and this is just the beginning.”