Women race to 2nd, men to 3rd at conference championship

Men and women’s cross country placed third and second, respectively, at the UAA Championships this weekend.

By Bronagh Daly

Chicago had a successful meet this past Saturday at the UAA Championship in St. Louis. Although the Maroons did not match last year’s accomplishments, the team was still able to meet its expectations and perform well.

“I think that the main difference this year from last year was that our team was not the favorite to win the meet,” third-year Catherine Young said. “Last year, our team went into UAAs with the mindset that we would win and second would be a disappointment. This year, that wasn’t the case. Wash U was definitely the favorite to win this year, and our goal was to give them as much competition as possible.”

This goal was successfully met by team leaders Young and third-year Brianna Hickey for the women—who took second overall—as well as third-year Michael Frasco and second-year Gareth Jones for the men, who placed third as a team.

Both Young and Frasco brought home second-place finishes with times of 21:53.59 and 25:07.21, respectively. Jones also raced to a fifth-place finish with a time of 25:24.04, and Hickey took 11th place with a time of 22:19.56.

Young was frank about her opinions with the weekend’s results.

“I think the team had a mixed bag of performances this Saturday. Some girls really rose to the challenge and competed well while other girls didn’t have their best day,” Young said.

She was still very positive about the final few races to come.

“I believe our team should remain confident about our ability level and look to regionals and nationals to really reach our peak potential,” Young said.

First-year Peter Kreuch finished 50th with a time of 26:43.37, one of seven male Maroons to place in the top 50.

“It would have been great to crack the top two, but I am happy that this race showed us where we need to improve in the coming weeks,” Kreuch said. “I was proud of the team’s performance this weekend, but I am confident that we have more in the tank.”

Utilizing this confidence, the squad is preparing harder than ever this week. Those that are competing in the North Central College Cardinal Open this Thursday are hoping to best last year’s finishes when the men took third place out of three teams and the women took fifth out of five.

However, many runners will rest this coming Thursday in preparation for the NCAA Midwest Regional meet on November 15.

“The athletes who are competing at regionals will not be competing at the North Central College Cardinal Open,” Kreuch said. “However, those athletes who are preparing to race are ready to end their seasons on strong notes. They have been mentally and physically preparing for the coming race through several time trials in the past few weeks.”

Chicago expects that this intensive preparation will soon pay off, as the Open quickly approaches.

The North Central College Cardinal Open starts on November 6 at 4:30 p.m. in Warrenville, IL.