Dayananda, O’Connor nab UAA honors: Sports Shorts 4/14/06

By Tim Murphy

The way these two have been performing, it was only a matter of time.

A pair of Maroons, first-year women’s tennis player Vindya Dayananda and fourth-year men’s track runner Teage O’Connor, were named UAA Athletes of the Week, the league announced Wednesday.

Tennis’ first-year phenom tore through the competition at last weekend’s Midwest Invite, posting a 4–0 record, all against ranked opponents. Regionally 8th-ranked Dayananda took down regionally 11th-ranked third-year Angie Riedel of UW-La Crosse and regionally 15th-ranked first-year Kendra Murray of Denison Friday before outdoing herself on Saturday. She came from one set down to defeat 30th-ranked third-year Lauren Hom of Gustavus Adolphus and then one-upped herself, defeating 13th-ranked fourth-year Elizabeth Maclellan of Wheaton in straight sets. Dayananda improved her record on the season to 17–8.

O’Connor earned the recognition for his performance at the Chicagoland Championships in Naperville. A star for the Maroons in Cross-Country as well as both track seasons, he placed second out of 18 competitors in the grueling 3,000-meter steeplechase with a time of 9:25.5. O’Connor has excelled in the event thus far this spring, earning a first-place finish in the opening competition of the spring at the Elmhurst Invitational.

It is the second time this season that Dayananda has been honored in the league this season. This marks the first such recognition for O’Connor this spring and the second of his career.