Chicago men and women clinche bronze at UAA Championships

The men’s and women’s cross county teams both placed third at the UAA championships this weekend. Second-year Khia Kurtenbach came in second overall to lead the women while fourth-year Michael Frasco lead the Chicago men by coming in fourth.

By Zachary Pierce

This past weekend’s UAA Cross Country Championships were filled with positives and negatives, major victories and a bit of disappointment. Both the men’s and the women’s teams traveled to Boston to compete in the biggest race of the year. More specifically, the South Siders traveled to Waltham, MA to compete against their UAA rivals in Carnegie Mellon, Rochester, Emory, Case Western Reserve, Wash U, NYU, and Brandeis, the hosts for this year’s championships at Franklin Park.

On Saturday, the Maroons men’s and women’s teams both placed third overall out of the eight schools competing. Even with these third place finishes, there were some standouts amongst the Maroons competing and overall positivity following the race.

These sentiments were echoed by second-year Khia Kurtenbach post-race, “Overall, I think our team has the potential to place higher than we did. I don’t think that as a team we have raced at our full potential yet.”

Kurtenbach finished highest amongst her teammates with a second place 22:04 in the women’s 6K race. Kurtenbach was followed by fourth-year Brianna Hickey who took seventh place with a time of 22:18, third-year Madeleine Horvath who finished 16th place with a time of 22:46, and fourth-year Catherine Young, who took 26th place with a 23:00 time.

These four runners along with three others finished with 91 points. Wash U won first place with a dominant 35-point performance, and were followed in second by Rochester with 85 points.

Kurtenbach lost out on the top spot amongst the women by less than a second to Emily Bryson of Brandeis. When asked how she felt about it she said, “I was happy with how I executed my race. I think I ran smart and confidently. Obviously it hurt a little bit to miss the win by a few tenths of a second. All the same, I can’t be too disappointed because I think I executed well and gave it my best shot. It was an amazing first cross country conference.”

As aforementioned, the men took home a third place finish as well. They were led by fourth-year Michael Frasco, who took home a fourth place finish in the 8K with a 25:08.

When asked his thoughts about the race Frasco said, “the person you really want to talk to is [second-year] Peter Kreuch. Peter had the best day on the team. Running a 40 second PR in a championship and becoming second-team all conference as a second-year is phenomenal.”

Frasco was followed by third-year Gareth Jones, who took sixth place with a 25:20, Kreuch, who placed ninth with a 25:28, and third-year Timofey Karginov who placed with a 25:53. The men’s UAA title belonged to Carnegie Mellon who finished with 53 points, with Wash U taking second with 68 points, leaving UChicago with third place as they ran for 78 points.

November is a big month for the Maroon runners, as they will travel to Warrenville, IL next for the North Central Cardinal Open, followed by the NCAA Midwest Regional in Rock Island, IL and the NCAA Division III Championships in Oshkosh, WI.