Maroons Ready to Run

Fueled by their win at the Phoenix Invitational last week, the track and field team looks to repeat that success this weekend.

By Katrina Williams

The Chicago Maroons are traveling down to the I-55 Triangular meet hosted by Illinois Wesleyan University this weekend. Going into their second meet of the season, the Maroons are looking forward to competing after coming off a great team win last weekend at their season opener, the Phoenix Invitational. The South Siders combined 17 wins between the men’s and women’s teams.

Third-year sprinter Emma Griffiths looked back, saying, “Last weekend was the start of what I think will be a really exciting season. We’ve got some great freshmen joining us this year that have really been strong assets to the team in performance, dedication, and enthusiasm.” 

The I-55 is a huge meet, where one of their largest competitors Wash U will be competing. Third-year All-American Emma Koether is looking forward to the meet. “The I-55 meet is cool because it’s an early-season look at where our top competitors are at physically”, Koether said. “Comparing ourselves to previous national champions in the second week of season will give us a good sense of what we need to do to improve and beat them out in a couple of months.” 

Wash U and Illinois Wesleyan are both tough competitors for the Maroons. Koether said, “Teams like Illinois Wesleyan and Wash U are consistently ranked top in the nation in many events, especially women’s sprinters. Racing Wesleyan and Wash [U] in the 4×4 is always daunting, but always a thrill. We are young, fresh, and eager, and although we graduated a few amazing competitors on our team, we are still strong.” The first-year class dominated the meet this past weekend—two of the 4×400 runners are first-years—where they came up with a victory with a time of 4:12:05. 

Koether continued to speak very highly of the first-year class, saying, “They are one of our best to date, and I can’t wait to see what talent they bring to the table this weekend. Last weekend was a good preliminary look at the team as a whole, but I think this weekend will be an even better showcase of how we are all coming together.”

Men’s first-year standout Ryan Cutter is looking to showcase his one-mile run this weekend as well. Last meet, he won the one-mile event where he ran an impressive 4:27.61. Griffiths continued, “Our seniors this year will be a big determining factor, with Khia Kurtenbach coming in as the Cross Country National Champion, Angel Fluet, who was the Athlete of the Week last week, and Patrick LeFevre, who will be a very strong competitor in the hurdles.” 

Both the men’s and women’s teams are coming off of great wins and looking forward to carrying their momentum this weekend and competing against some of their stiffest competition in the I-55 Triangular meet in Bloomington, IL. “Going into this weekend, I’m expecting to see some outstanding performances as we compare against Wash U and Wesleyan, two of the top teams in the country,” Griffiths added.

The Maroons will begin the meet on Saturday at 11 a.m.