Track and Field to Start Spring Season with Ted Haydon Invitational

Coming off an indoor season in which the women’s track and field squad boasted two All-American and one National Champion performances, the ladies will look to build on this success in the great outdoors. The men’s team finished in a respectable 4th place at the UAA Indoor Championship, but they have plans to improve at the Ted Haydon Invitational this weekend. .

By Frances McDonald

The track and field team will compete at the first meet of the outdoor season this Saturday against 13 teams. This annual meet is named after UChicago’s own Ted Haydon, a member of the U.S. Track and Field Hall of Fame. Each year, the Ted Haydon Invitational serves as the first meet of the outdoor season for the Maroons. In 2015, both the men’s and women’s teams started the season by placing first among their opponents.

This year, the indoor season for the Maroon women went extremely well at the NCAA Championships. UChicago sent runners into five events and came home with a national championship. Third-year Michelle Dobbs, a familiar face on the winning side for UChicago with six All-American honors, brought home yet another national title in the 800-meter race. She ended the indoor season with a bang, breaking her own school record to come in first place by .64 seconds with a time of 2:11.34. More success came from younger teammate Khia Kurtenbach, who earned two All-American awards after the NCAAs. Kurtenbach placed fourth in the women’s 3,000-meter run with a time of 9:40.03, breaking the school record for that event, and also finished sixth in the 5,000-meter run. The UChicago women placed eighth out of 77 teams to finish the 2016 Indoor NCAA Championships.

Last year in the Ted Haydon Invitational, the men’s and women’s teams garnered a total of 14 event wins. First-place wins came in the pole vault, 3,000-meter run, shot put, 400-meter hurdles, 800-meter run, high jump, discus, and 4×400-meter relay. 

On the men’s side, last year’s outdoor season wrapped up with nine All-UAA awards and five UAA Champions. Kevin On (A.B. ’15) placed first in the 10,000-meter run. Other first-place finishes came in the 4×400-meter relay from current second-year Nathan Downey, current third-year Temisan Osowa, and current fourth-years Ben Clark and Jacob Romeo. 

Last year, the women finished the season as UAA Champions. They garnered 15 All-UAA awards and named eight UAA champions. Current fourth-year Nkemdilim Nwaokolo, named UAA MVP for field events, won first place in all three throwing events: shot put, hammer throw, and discus. Current fourth-year Nelson Trotter placed first in both the triple jump and the high jump. 2015 graduate Pam Yu placed first in the long jump.  As for the runners, Dobbs won the 800-meter run and went on to be an All-American in the same event for the 2015 Outdoor NCAA Championships. Four runners won the 4×800-meter relay. 

The Maroons look forward to the meet that will take place at home this Saturday at 11 a.m. at the Ted Haydon Track in Ratner Athletic Center.