Men’s track rolls at Illinois Wesleyan, women second

By Karl Striepe

On the road for the first time this season, both the men and women’s track and field teams traveled to Bloomington, Illinois for the Illinois Wesleyan Invitational, where they delivered one of stronger performance of the young season.

The men won the meet easily, scoring 103 points to beat second place Augustana College (82 points), while the women finished second, scoring 132 points, just shy of host Illinois Wesleyan’s 149.

The performer of the meet for the men’s side was clearly fourth-year Adeoye Mabogunje. The All-American jumper took first place in the high jump competition, winning with a height of 1.95 meters, and then went on to place second in the long jump competition with a distance of 6.67 meters.

Also an individual winner for the Maroons, second-year Pat Hogan finished first in the 5K in a time of 15:51.85. He was followed by fellow second-year Nick Juravich, who was second in 16:12.32.

The distance medley-relay team of fourth-year Patrick Sullivan, first-year Jonathan Allan, third-year David Barr, and second-year Teage O’Connor, had the outstandingperformance, winning the relay race in a time of 10:19.43, just five seconds short of the NCAA Division III provisional qualifying standard for the national meet.

Sullivan, leading the team off with the 1,200-meter leg, shot out to an insurmountable lead with an impressive split time of 3:02.22. Allan then took the relay baton for the 400-meter leg and ran a solid 52.49 slip to pass off to Barr, who ran in 1:59.50 for the 800-meter leg. O’Connor closed for the Maroons, running the 1,600-meter leg in a personal best time of 4:24.94 to hold off the team from Augustana College and secure the victory.

The Maroons also took first place in the 4 x 800-meter relay race as Sullivan and Barr combined with first-year Emil Bojanov and third-year James Mestichelli to run the impressive time of 8:01.62.

In addition to Juravich in the 5K, the Maroons had three more individual runners-up: third-year Brian Eichhorn in the pole vault (4.65 meters), fourth-year Babak Yousefian in the 55-meter high hurdles (7.86 seconds), and second-year Brett Peterson in the triple jump (13.15 meters).

On the women’s side, second-year Kay Saul was the Maroon’s sole individual winner, finishing first in the pole vault competition, clearing a height of 2.72 meters.

But the Maroons did win both the distance medley and the 4 x 800-meter relay races. The team of second-year Jessica Winter, first-year Andrea Keliiholokai, first-year Al Robertson, and third-year Erin Steiner easily outdistanced the competition to win comfortably in a time of 12:37.88 for the distance medley.

Additionally, the 4 x 800-meter team of third-year Emily Kay, first-year Jackie Kropp, and Robertson and Winter again, won easily with a very respectable time of 9:20.00.

But the relay successes were not limited to the longer distances as the team of first-year Melissa Lopez, first-year Andrea Keliiholokai, second-year Gabby Jones, and first-year Betsy England placed second in the 4 x 200-meter relay in a school-record time of 1:50.96. The team of Robertson, Kay, first-year Amanda Slagel, and Winter placed second in the 4 x 400 relay in a time of 4:21.78.

Like the men, the women also had a number of second-place finishes in the individual events. Fourth-year Val Anderson placed second in the weight throw competition with an effort of 13.97 meters. Third-year Carolyn Gruber placed second in the pole vault competition with a height of 2.57 meters. Second-year Sarah Eldridge placed second in the high jump competition clearing 1.47 meters. And second-year Gabby Jones finished second in the long jump with a distance of 5.09 meters.

“I was very pleased with the weekend,” said head coach Chris Hall. “The team finishes were very solid with the men winning and the women coming in a very close second.”

“What stood out in my mind more than anything else was the way that tired athletes kept coming back to run additional races due to the relays format and competed well throughout the day,” Hall added. “Right now I’m more interested in building a really strong team foundation, and we seem to be doing that.”

The Maroons return home this weekend for the second of four scheduled home meets. All events take place on the second floor track in the Henry Crown Field House. The meet will begin at 11:30 a.m.