Maroons chase fourth straight victory

Women’s cross country has dominated its competition this season, and will meet its next foes in Kenosha, WI, at the Luciana Rosa Invitational this weekend.

By Russell Mendelson

The Maroons have dominated their competition this season, and they’ll meet their next foes in Kenosha, WI, this weekend.

In its first meet of the year, Chicago took second. Since then, the South Siders have finished first in all three of their meets.

The team can attribute a significant portion of its success to young, rising stars: Second-years Catherine Young and Brianna Hickey have been particularly impressive. Fourth-years Michaela Whitelaw and Elise Wummer have also made important contributions.

“I can honestly say that [Whitelaw and Wummer] have inspired the whole team throughout preseason,” Young said. “Without them, the team could not have come this far. Their determination and leadership have prompted all of our success and, as individual runners, they are both major contributors to the team wins at meets.”

A notable feature of Chicago’s season so far has been the team’s commitment to racing in groups, a strategy that has resulted in plenty of high-placed individual finishes.

“A big component of our racing strategy is finding teammates and racing in packs,” Hickey said. “This demoralizes other teams and encourages us to stay focused and keep the pace honest.”

Young has led the pack more often than not this year, having won three of the first four races this season, and by a margin as large as 20 seconds in the team’s inaugural race this year.

“My personal success is largely based off of the team’s success. They support me just as much as I support them, and I would not have the confidence I do in races without knowing that I have 10 girls behind me to fill in my spot if I lose pace,” Young said.

Hickey was able to maintain Chicago’s ownership of first place in the third race of the season, the one instance in which Young’s name was absent from the leaderboard.

“The most important part of my success this season has really been the strong base of miles I ran over the summer,” Hickey said. “Having a year of college racing under my belt doesn’t hurt either.”

The Maroons will head north to Kenosha this weekend for the Lucian Rosa Invitational, and are now preparing for the challenges that course may have to offer.

“The course this weekend is fairly hilly and challenging. I think that if the team sticks together and runs hard at the beginning of the race, we will be able to build momentum toward the finish and place highly,” Young said.

The Maroons are scheduled to start racing at the Lucian Rosa Invitational at 10 a.m. this Saturday.