Track teams win second Chicago Invite

By Karl Striepe

Both the men and the women’s track and field teams won their final home meets this weekend at the second Chicago Invitational of the year, held in the Henry Crown Field hHouse. The meet also marked the final opportunity to prepare for the UAA Championships tomorrow at Case Western University in Cleveland, Ohio.

Fourth-year Valerie Anderson highlighted the women’s meet, improving on her NCAA Division III provisional qualifying mark, by winning the weight-throw event with a toss of 15.71 meters. Anderson now stands 10th in Division III in the event.

Performing well in sprinting events, first-year Melissa Lopez won the 55-meter dash in a time of 7.65 seconds. Lopez also won the triple-jump competition with a jump of 10.30 meters. Scond-year Gabrielle Jones finished third in the 200-meter dash with a time of 7.73 seconds.

Many members of the track teams were looking to achieve personal goals in the last invitational of the year.

“Most of the team was looking to get better times and move up the UAA Honor Roll. A number of people were able to move up a couple spots and get a better position for UAAs this weekend. We’re always going out and trying to break our personal records,” said Lopez.

First-year Andrea Keliiholokai won the 200-meter dash with a time of 25.55 seconds. Behind her was first-year Betsy England, who finished third in 28.48 seconds.

In the distance events, first-year Al Robertons finished first in the 800 -meter run, winning the event in a time of 2:21.85. First-year teammate Jackie Kropp was second in 2:22.66. Third-year Mary McGrath was fourth in the 800-meter race with a time of 2:30.35.

Fourth-year Hannah Benton won the women’s 1,500 meter run in a time of 5:04.66, and was followed by first-year Dilshanie Perera, fourth with a time of 5:09.43.

Fourth-year Sarah Mendez won the 3K run in a time of 11:00.96. Fourth-year Amanda Parrish and Benton finished behind her in second and fourth place respectively, in a times of 11:06.13 and 11:37.97.

And in the field events, second-year Sarah Eldridge finished first in the high jump, winning the event with a jump of 1.58 meters.

The Maroons won the meet, finishing with a total of 159 points. Capital University was second with 142 points and Hope College finished third with 96 points.

In the men’s meet, first-year Emil Bojanov highlighted all performances, finishing first in the 800 meter dash with a time of 1:55.56, just missing out on the NCAA Division III provisionally qualifying standard of 1:55.10. Bojanov was followed by third-year David Barr, who finished third in the event with a time of 1:59.62.

In the sprints, first-year Josh Segal finished second in the 55-meter dash in a time of 6.73 seconds. He was followed by fourth-year Babak Yousefian, sixth in 6.90 seconds.

Yousefeian also won the 55-meter high-hurdles with a time of 7.80 seconds.

First-year Jonathan Allan won the 200-meter dash in 23.19 seconds, while third-year Seyi Oyenuga finished second in the 400-meter dash in 52.61 seconds.

Finally, fourth-year Adeoye Mabogunje was second in the long jump competition with a jump of 6.47 meters.

The men won the meet with a team total of 128 points. They were followed by Capital University with 110 points and Hope College with 97 points.

Preparation for Friday and Saturday’s UAA Championships has involved a combination of intense conditioning in the pool and drills targeted at improving skills for individuals’ events. At this point in the season, most of the training has already passed the maximum level. Low-impact training is used to keep the team healthy yet conditioned for their most important meet of the season

This year’s UAA Championships are particularly exciting for both the men’s and women’s teams. For the first time in Chicago’s UAA history, both squads have the opportunity to win the meet in the same year.

“Right now we’re ranked number one in the conference, and our efforts are focused on maintaining that top spot,” said Lopez. “Most of all, we want to kick Wash U’s butt.”

The men’s team, which won the meet in 2002, is the decided favorite to take home its second team championship. The women, who have never won an indoor title, are also expected to dethrone Washington University and take home their first title.