Women’s Track & Field Captures UAA Title

Women’s track & field defeated reigning UAA champion Wash U to take home the conference title, while the men’s team placed third out of seven teams in the conference.

By Kevin Johnston

The UChicago women took home the program’s fifth UAA Indoor Track and Field Championship this past weekend. Case Western Reserve University was the scene for the Maroons’ glorious victory, in which the Maroon women managed to topple a highly competitive field, including last year’s champion Wash U. The team score was tight from the start, as the Maroons found themselves at a deficit to Wash U following the action on day one. However, by the conclusion of day two, it would be Chicago, not Wash U, taking home the UAA title with a nine-point margin of victory. 

The Maroon women were led by a series of exceptional performances in a wide variety of events. Second-year Alisha Harris placed second in the 60-meter, while fellow second-year Mary Martin took third in the same event, alongside a second-place finish in the 200-meter. Martin and third-year Nicole VacaGuzman were a part of the 4×400 relay squad that finished second, outsprinting the Wash U relay team by a solitary second. VacaGuzman also finished second in the individual 400-meter. Fourth-years Megan Verner-Crist and Ade Ayoola rounded out the second-place finishers, both grabbing the second spot on the podium in the one mile and shot put respectively. 

The highlight performance for the Maroons had to have been the high jump, where the Maroons swept the top three places. Second-year Laura Darcey won her second event at the UAAs, after winning long jump the previous day, while third-year Alexandra Thompson and Ayoola followed up right behind her. The Maroon women ended the weekend with an impressive 14 all-UAA performances alongside the team championship. 

The men’s team, although not quite as successful as the women’s, still managed to place a respectable third out of seven teams. The men also finished in third place last year. Second-year Joe Previdi captured first in the 800-meter, while fourth-year Patrick LeFevre placed first in the 60-meter hurdles. The 4×400 relay on the men’s side managed to place one better than the women’s 4×400 relay, taking first place with a time of 3:22.77. Finally, second-year Alexander Scott placed fourth in the shot put, with a distance of 15.18m. 

While the men’s placing may seem a heavy disappointment compared to the success of the women’s team, fourth-year sprinter Connor Turkatte held an optimistic viewpoint regarding both teams. “Both the men’s and women’s teams did a fantastic job at UAAs this year! The women’s team finished first place in team score, and the men came in third,” Turkatte observed. “I think everyone did a really great job, and it was a lot of fun watching everyone rise to the challenge and perform so well.”  

The indoor track and field season continues next Friday, as the Maroons compete at the Carthage Final Qualifier, beginning at 3 p.m.