Track and Field Honors 18 Seniors at Last Home Invitational

The track and field teams swept at the Margaret Bradley Invitational this weekend, ending the last home meet of the season with many incredible performances.

By Matthew Lee, Co-Editor-in-Chief

The University of Chicago’s track and field teams set aside Saturday’s Margaret Bradley Invitational to honor their 18 graduating fourth-years, but runners from all years found glory on the track as the Maroons won victory after victory to sweep both the men’s and women’s team titles. Indeed, by the end of the day, the Maroons had amassed 47 podiums and 16 event titles. 

An illustrious performance by the Maroon men was highlighted by third-year thrower Alexander Scott, whose Herculean 16.33-meter weight throw was good not only for first place on the weekend but also propelled him to lead the entire University Athletic Association. Additionally, Scott added a 15.70-meter shot put—also good for the top step of the podium—to his weekend performance. In individual track events, first-place finishers included first-year Akshay Mody, who scampered 1,200 meters in 3:08.51 minutes; fourth-year Ben Chaimberg, who blazed through the 400-meter in 52.15 seconds; first-year Henry Myers and his speedy 1:57.24 800-meter; and the Hermes-like 22.66-second 200-meter of third-year Tyson Miller. The Maroon men also conquered the 4×400 meter relay, with the team of first-year Sam Casale, third-year Gray Mackall, second-year Kiyan Tavangar, and Chaimberg taking first place. Mody, fourth-year Owen Melia, third-year Joe Previdi, and first-year Marc Motter took second place in the same event, securing a gold-silver sweep for the Maroon men—capping off an incredible and very fleet weekend. 

First-place performers on the women’s team included second-year Sophie Elgamal’s sprightly 5:06.29 mile, first-year Isabel Maletich’s rapid 8.05 60-meter sprint, first-year Kaitlyn Van Baalen’s brisk 2:17.41 800-meter, fourth-year Tali Naibryf’s astonishing 26.25 200-meter, and third-year Taylor Campos’s persistent 10:47.60 3,000-meter. Women’s relay teams also took first and third in the 4×400-meter relay. First-years Kaela Jolibois and Van Baalen; fourth-year Nicole VacaGuzman; and second-year Katie Jasminski combined their efforts for a time of 4:04.54, good for the top of the podium. Meanwhile, second-years Emma Dyer and Elgamal, third-year Shelby Smith, and first-year Sarika Temme-Bapat took third place with 4:20.58. In jumping events, first-year Rachel TerHaar’s 3.35-meter pole vault; Maletich’s 11.46-meter triple jump, and third-year Alisha Harris’s 4.9-meter long jump were all good for first place—ending the Maroon’s weekend on a (literal) high note. 

Van Baalen saw Saturday’s performance as the culmination of a great season. “I think performances have really elevated over the last few meets, which is exciting for us going into the UAA meet this weekend,” she said. “It became clear at this meet that we have a very deep team this year across event groups, so it will be interesting to see what that can do for us.” 

Van Baalen also characterized Saturday’s senior day festivities positively: “Since it was the last home meet of the season, we celebrated our seniors. This gave the whole meet a really fun atmosphere for everyone, perfect for our last meet with the full team.” 

The Maroons hope to continue their success as they travel to Waltham, MA, for the UAA Indoor Championships this weekend.