Track team leaves a trail of blaze at home

By Eric Park

After strong performances at the UW-Oshkosh Triangle Meet last weekend at Oshkosh, Wisconsin, the Chicago track and field teams had the luxury of staying in the comforting confines of the quadrangles this weekend for their second of three home meets.

And on the familiar second-floor track of Henry Crown, both the men’s and women’s teams made quite the home stand. The men’s team, currently ranked sixth in the country, was second of eight teams competing, and the women’s team was third of six teams competing.

The race of the day was easily the men’s mile, where the Maroons fielded their three strongest runners in an attempt at helping second-year Patrick Sullivan qualify for the national meet. Second-year Tom Haxton rabbited the race to a fast pace for 1200 meters before dropping out. However, Sullivan was unable to hold the pace as fourth-year Jerome Tharuad went on to win in 4:19.37, with Sullivan taking second in 4:22.49 and second-year Kevin Drake claiming third in 4:37.39.

The individual performer of the meet was second-year Ray Yousefian who placed fourth in the 55-meter dash with a time of 6.71, the fastest time in the UAA, and then won the 55 meter hurdles in a time of 7.93, the second fastest in the UAA this year.

Other impressive performances came from third-year Ryan Raimo, who won the 200-meter dash in 23.10, and third-year Tim Tuff who placed fourth in the 800-meter dash in 1:57.87. The two then combined with first-year Greg Morgan and Sullivan to take second in the 4 x 400 meter relay with the fastest time in the UAA this year: 3:29.95.

In the field events, fourth-year Keith Mastronardi continued his winning streak, taking first in the triple jump with an effort of 14.21 meters, moving him into 12th in the nation. First-year Seyi Oyenuga was third in the long jump with an effort of 6.67 meters and fourth-year Sean Phelan won the weight throw with an effort of 13.92.

On the women’s side, first-year Erin Steiner continued her streak of impressive races taking second in the mile in 5:29.14, ahead of teammate Hannah Benton who was third with a time of 5:30.80. Second-years Sara Chapman and Amanda Parrish placed second and third in the 3000-meter race with times of 11:22.70 and 11:38.10, respectively.

The distance medley relay team produced the performance of the day for the Chicago women. The four women, third-year Clarisse Mesa, fourth-year Caroline Sham, second-year Rachel Mariani, and fourth-year Catalina Hoyos, won in a time of 13:00.60, the second fastest time in the UAA. In the women’s field events, second-year Diane Valos placed fifth in the pole vault, and second-year Valerie Anderson placed second in the weight throw. Third-year Meghan Cosgriff-Hernan won the weight throw with an effort of 13.03 meters and placed sixth in the shot-put.

Next Friday and Saturday, the Maroons will travel to Romeoville for the Chicagoland Championships.