Sports Shorts 4/13/07: UAA honors Maroon trio

By Tim Murphy

After a weekend of standout performances, the UAA served up Chicago athletes their rightful dues. With a pair of NCAA provisional qualifications in the 10k and the decathlon, fourth-year Abby Sheldon and third-year Zach Rodgers took home weekly Athlete of the Week honors for their performances at the Chicagoland Championships, while first-year Marissa Lin earned the award for her impressive weekend at the Midwest Invite for women’s tennis.

Competing against some of the top squads in the region, Lin earned her first career UAA honor after racking up a 5–1 record in individual and singles play. The freshman sensation from sunny southern California went undefeated in three matches at first singles, and teamed up with second-year All–American Vindya Dayananda at first-doubles to go 2–1. Her only blemish on the weekend came in the squad’s opening round match with Carthage, where the tandem fell 9–7.

Despite running in the race for the first time, Sheldon established herself early on as a contender in the 10,000 meters, and then stuck with the pack long enough to ensure an NCAA B-cut with a split of 37:26.50. The time was good for second in the event, and helped put her team in position for its eventual runner-up finish at the meet. It was her first-ever Athlete of the Week award.

Rodgers picked up where he left off in the decathlon last spring, proving a cut above the rest of the competition over 10 events. The team captain finished with 6,189 points, good for first place, in addition to hitting the national standard. The honor was his first of the outdoor season and second of his career.