Chicago falls short at Phoenix Invite

Augustana outstretched men’s track at last weekend’s Phoenix Invitational, narrowly taking first place by a 158–155 margin.

By Sheridan Lardner

Following the trail blazed by five first-place finishers, men’s track and field took second in a field of five teams at the Phoenix Invitational hosted at Henry Crown Saturday.

Augustana College collected 158 points to win the meet, staying just in front of Chicago’s 155 points. With Olivet pulling in a distant third at 85 points, the Maroons were left to go head-to-head against the Vikings, last year’s College Conference of Illinois and Wisconsin outdoor champions, competing in their 2009 season opener.

Three South Siders put in winning efforts on the track, with a pair of top finishes in field events and six second-place showings adding to Chicago’s team total.

Coming off an outing that earned him UAA athlete of the week recognition, second-year Andrew Wells-Qu managed to keep a step ahead of opponents in the mile run. His time of 4:26.03 beat out Augustana first-year Mike Tisza’s 4:26.31.

The 3,000-meter run was another close call, with second-year Arthur Baptist shaving seconds off his seed time of 8:55.00 to cross the line in front of two runners seeded ahead of him. Clocking an 8:47.89, Baptist got the best of Olivet third-year Drew Collette (8:48.91) and Augustana second-year Matt Bowman (8:52.93).

In sprints, the Maroons packed a one-two-three punch in the 55-meter dash. Third-year Blake Obuchowski led the way, mounting a 6.60 on the clock. Classmate Terrence Robertson followed with a 6.68, and second-year Keith Newhouse completed the sweep with a 6.70.

Over in field events, Augustana fourth-year Ted McMillan was in NCAA–qualifying form, clearing the provisional standard of 2.02 meters for the high jump with a leap of 2.07 meters. For the Maroons, second-year Jacob Solus landed a tenth of a meter short of hitting the provisional cutoff in the triple jump, recording a distance of 13.95 meters for first.

Fourth-year Seth Satterlee rounded out Chicago’s top honors at the meet. Posting a mark of 4.53 meters in the pole vault, the veteran edged the higher seeded fourth-year from Augustana, Steve Sulfridge, and his effort of 4.38 meters.

Next up for the South Siders is another stand at Henry Crown. The team has the weekend off but will host the Chicago Duals on January 31 as it continues on the road to UAAs held in New York March 6–7.