Last Chance for Maroons

The NCAA National meet was on the line for several members of the track and field squad, as they went to the Carthage Invite and the Last Chance Meet in the hope that their times would qualify them for the final meet of the indoor season.

By Emma Griffiths

This past weekend, both the men and the women of Chicago traveled to Carthage College and the University of Wisconsin–Eau Claire to compete one last time, in an attempt to qualify for the NCAA Indoor Nationals Championships this coming Friday and Saturday at North Central College in Naperville.

This meet will mark the end of the indoor season for the Maroons as they will soon begin working towards outdoor season, which starts after spring break. Second-year Alexandra Thompson took fifth in the high jump and first-year Isabel Garon snatched fourth in the pole vault at the Carthage Invite, although these finishes were not enough to qualify them for the national stage.

With exciting results sure to come, the South Siders will be bringing nine athletes to compete in six events. A highlight of this news is that third-year Khia Kurtenbach has qualified to compete in the 3,000-meter, 5,000-meter, and the distance medley relay. Although these results are astounding, they seem to be expected for Kurtenbach, as she is a returning All-American in the 3,000-meter and 5,000-meter. She is the third seed in both the 3,000-meter and 5,000-meter.

Khia’s teammates on the distance medley relay include fourth-year Michelle Dobbs, third-year Megan Verner-Crist, and third-year Cassidy McPherson. This team is ranked seventh going into the national meet, boding well for their success this weekend. Interestingly, Dobbs is coming off of basketball season and qualified as part of this squad just this Sunday after not racing the entire year.

Two first-years will be competing this weekend for the Maroons, with Robin Peter running the 60-meter hurdles and Alisha Harris as a part of the 4×400-meter relay with fourth-year Eleanor Kang, third-year Olivia Cattau, and second-year Emma Koether. Robin is ranked ninth going into the meet and the 4×400-meter relay is ranked 10th in the nation.

Representing the UChicago men, third-year Nathan Downey will be competing in the pole vault with a seed height of 4.9 meters. He is ranked 14th going into the meet.

Other teammates that went to the qualifiers this past weekend include first-year Laura Darcey in the pentathlon, third-year Will Ackerman in the heptathlon, and the men’s 4×400-meter relay, which included first-year Tyson Miller, first-year Elliott Paintsil, fourth-year Temisan Osowa, and third-year Obi Wamuo.

With the meet being so close to UChicago, many of the team members are looking forward to watching in person and cheering on their teammates. This support is continuation of the strong team unity that has been exemplified throughout the season.

“I’m excited to see what we can do there, and I’m also looking forward to our outdoor season where I’m sure our team will excel and also perform at a high level at our outdoor conference meet,” captain Kang said.

The meet this weekend begins this Friday at 10 a.m.