Squad Takes Fifth at UAA Championships

The men’s track and field squad was able to snatch two wins at the UAA Championship this weekend. It finished fifth in the conference and grabbed four all-conference honors.

By Michael Cheiken

This past weekend, the Maroons traveled to Wash U to compete against their conference rivals in the UAA Outdoor Track & Field Championship. The two-day meet was to start Saturday morning and conclude Sunday afternoon.

The Maroons got off to a roaring start. The javelin was the first event of the day, and on just his second throw, third-year Joey Gary reached 52m. Conserving his energy for the long jump to take place less than two hours later, Gary passed on his remaining four throws and took third place with his massive toss.

Unfortunately, the long jump was not as successful for the Maroons, who were unable to crack the top eight. As Chicago’s three long jumpers were leaping, their teammates were taking their turn with the hammer throw. Two third-year throwers impressed, with Andrew Maneval (49.32m) and Brandon Dixon (45.55m) taking second and fourth place, respectively.

But Maneval wasn’t done yet, and just hours later, tossed the discus 44.12m en route to another second-place finish. The vaulters were not to be outdone by their throwing teammates, however, and when it was their turn to hoist themselves over the bar, fourth-year and former national champion Michael Bennett and second-year Nathan Downey took the top two spots on the podium with heights of 4.85m and 4.52m, respectively.

The track events were mostly trials to qualify for the final races to take place on Sunday, but the 3000-meter steeplechase, the 4×800-meter race, and the 10k all had their final heats on Saturday. The young Chicago 4×800-meter squad took sixth place of seven teams to earn three points, and third-year Timofey Karginov took sixth place in the 10k for an equal three points.

With the slew of great performances on the first day, the Maroons were in a great position. On Sunday, the Maroons put forth a couple of excellent performances. Seemingly unfatigued by his previous day’s work and eager to improve upon his duo of second-place finishes, Maneval threw the shot put an astounding 15.40m and took first place in the event. Fourth-year Ryan Manzuk stepped up to the occasion as well, starting the day helping the 4×100-meter relay team to a third-place finish and then setting a personal record by over a second with a time of 54.84 seconds in the 400-meter hurdles on the way to a second-place finish.

Unfortunately, these great performances were not quite enough. The Maroons finished in fifth place with 121 points, a mere three and a half points behind Emory and five points short of NYU. With that in mind, first-year Owen Melia was optimistic. “It was a great weekend; we really had some great individual performances. It made me proud to call UCTF my family,” he said.