Junior Josh Word represented Marquette at the Big East Indoor Track and Field Championships on February 25, where he broke a Marquette school record for the 60m dash with a time of 6.90 seconds, earning him a silver medal.
For this incredible accomplishment, his name will be engraved in Marquette's athletic performance research center, which is set to begin construction sometime this year.
Josh's journey to his success began like the rest of our Scholars did, on the golf course. While caddying at Evanston Golf Club led him to receive the Evans Scholarship, his track and field career began at Loyola Academy in Wilmette, Illinois.
Josh participated in the 100m, 200m, and 400m dashes, along with relays. He also competed in the long and triple jump. His excellence began to show as he ran in the ISHA State Championships for the 4x400m relay. During his time at Loyola, he achieved a personal record of a 7.25s for the 60m dash.
Upon being accepted to Marquette and receiving the Evans Scholarship, Josh was invited to try out for the D1 program as a preferred walk on. He admits that, "the first practice, I accidentally warmed up with the distance team. I almost quit because I thought the sprinters had to do a 2 mile run to warm up. Then I realized I was with the wrong group."
During the first few weeks of this season, Josh reinjured his hamstring and had to go through two weeks of rehab. However, his first race back was the 60m dash, where he set the second fastest time in Marquette history for the event. His coach began to focus him on this race because of his success.
Describing the day of the event, Josh says, "race day was stressful, I was so nervous I felt sick and didn't want to run. My coach gave me a pep talk and I listened to 22 (by Taylor Swift) and just focused on what I knew I could do."
After running such a successful race, waiting for the results was stressful. Josh describes, "Once we saw those numbers, my teammates and coach ran up and hugged me. I was so excited I was jumping up and down and running around the entire stadium."
Josh says that his favorite part about track is his teammates. "They're like my third family, after my Evans Scholars family, of course."