Talented teams at Whitewater will gauge Maroons’ strengths

The track teams head out on a rare road trip this weekend for a meeting with some of the nation’s top teams at the Warhawk Classic.

By Jake Grubman

The men’s and women’s track teams love Henry Crown. They really do.

Sometimes, though, it’s nice to get out of the house.

“I’m really looking forward to our first away meet,” third-year thrower Nicole Murphy said. “I think everyone comes together while away because we’re isolated from everything but track and the team….

ometimes it’s hard to get pumped up for a meet in Henry Crown because we’re in there every day and sometimes the meet doesn’t feel much different than practice.”

This weekend, the teams hit the road for the first and only time this season when they skip across the Wisconsin border for the star-studded Warhawk Classic at UW–Whitewater. On the men’s side, the fourth-ranked Warhawks play host to top-ranked Augustana and third-ranked North Central, among others.

The women, meanwhile, face a field that includes second-ranked North Central, fourth-ranked UW–Oshkosh, eighth-ranked Augustana, and 10th-ranked Whitewater.

The Maroons have already competed against three teams at the meet. Both sides suffered narrow losses to Oshkosh in their season opener, and both defeated North Central at the Chicago Duals over the weekend. The women also defeated Augustana at the Phoenix Invitational, while the Vikings edged out the Chicago men at the same event.

The women’s team will be looking to throwers like Murphy for major points this weekend, just as they did at the Chicago Duals. Murphy has placed no lower than third in the shotput in three meets so far, but she was outdistanced by two of Oshkosh’s throwers in the season opener.

Fellow third-year Claire Ray, meanwhile, has swept three weight throw competitions, putting up provisional qualifying performances each time.

The men’s points have come mostly on the track, as only fourth-year pole-vaulter Seth Satterlee has taken gold on the field. The runners have plenty of talent to make up the difference, though, as was demonstrated by their four first-place finishes at the Chicago Duals.

With nearly half of the indoor season in the books, both sides want to continue their successes at last weekend’s Duals, where the men went 10–0 and the women finished 8–1. The meet saw four Maroons hit NCAA provisional qualifying marks, running the total for both teams to five.

“I think the team is really at a critical point of the season,” said second-year jumper Jacob Solus, who reached the provisional mark in the triple jump last weekend. “This is where we have to start putting out the big marks for things at the end of the season like conference and nationals.”

With a month remaining before the UAA Championships, Chicago is also looking to come together as a team.

“As Coach Hall always says, the best team at the meet will be the one that cheers and supports itself the best,” Murphy said. “I know personally that I still need to get to know the team better and work on supporting the other events. I think this will improve with our first away meet.”