Chicago Disappointed After Third Place Conference Finish

Although the third-place finish wasn’t what the women’s track and field squad hoped for at the UAA Championship, it still managed to churn out ten all-UAA performances.

By Michael Perry

The Maroons came in third place this weekend at the University Athletic Association (UAA) Championship. The Maroons scored 161.5 points during the two-day meet in St. Louis. The nation’s No. 2-ranked team, the Wash U Bears, took home first place for the weekend.

During the two-day meet, the Maroons took home first place in two events and collected 10 All-UAA honors. Fourth-year Nelson Trotter came in first place in the high jump with 1.69 meters, while second-year Megan Verner-Crist also came in first in the 1,500-meter with a time of 4:43.33. Second-year Ade Ayoola followed in Trotter’s footsteps by coming in second in the high jump for the Maroons as well with a jump of 1.65 meters.

The team nearly had a third Maroon come in first place, as second-year Khia Kurtenbach’s second place finish in the 5,000-meter was only 0.02 seconds shy of first. Third-year Madeleine Horvath was hot on her trail as she finished in third place.

The other second-place finishers for the Maroons were fourth-year Nkemdilim Nwaokolo in the shot put, third-year Michelle Dobbs in the 800-meter, and the dominant 4×400-meter team of Dobbs, first-years Emma Koether and Nicole VacaGuzman, and fourth-year Mikaela Hammel.

At the end of the day, however, the impressive Maroon performances were not enough to overtake the Bears, who won eight different events on their way to the school’s 14th conference title.

The Maroons still have plenty of meets left on the docket as they look towards the NCAA DIII National Championships that will take place at the end of May. Even though they didn’t win, the team felt good about their performance.

“This weekend was definitely a success,” said first-year Grace Penders. “We surpassed our expectations coming into the meet. We had personal bests in nearly every event, as well as a few school records. It was a great weekend to lead off into our next two meets before Nationals.”

The women also have much to look forward to, as this third-place finish is the lowest they have placed since their third-place finish on January 23 at the Illinois Wesleyan Triangular. It seems that the Maroons won’t settle for a finish like this again, as after that third place, they ripped off four straight victories to close out the indoor season. Expect a bounce-back meet to come.

The Maroon’s next meet is this weekend at the Valparaiso Crusader Open, which will be held a short drive away from Hyde Park in Valparaiso, IN at 11 a.m.