SPORTS

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May 30, 2008

Spring All-Maroons

Top team: Women's Track and Field

The numbers tell the story for women’s track’s breakout spring: seven NCAA qualifications, five All-Americans, two Nationals runners-up, and one 10th-place National finish. Taking second place at the outdoor UAA Championships and then sending an unprecedented number of athletes to compete on their sport’s biggest stage, the young squad outdid itself to follow an already successful winter. With 17 of the team’s 21 National points coming from underclassmen, the future is bright for these Maroons.

Men's Track and Field MVP: Zach Rodgers

Competing at Nationals for the second year in a row as Chicago’s only individual qualifier, fourth-year Zach Rodgers posted an 11th-place finish in the triple jump. His squad’s most versatile athlete, Rodgers was the runner-up in the long and triple jumps at UAAs, and was hoping to earn an NCAA–qualifying score in the decathlon before he surprisingly posted a nationally eighth-best 14.32 leap in the triple jump during his last meet of the regular season.

Women's Tennis MVP: Marissa Lin

The Central Region’s Rookie of the Year last season turned in another classic season, finishing the year with a 24–4 record at first singles. Second-year Marissa Lin made a second trip to the NCAA tournament and with doubles mate third-year Vindya Dayananda, made the second round. A Regional Champion at the Intercollegiate Tennis Association’s fall tournament in solos and pairs play, Lin was an All-American in both divisions this season.

Women's Track and Field MVP: Nicole Murphy

Racking up points for the Maroons all year alongside fellow second-year Claire Ray, thrower Nicole Murphy was new to the National stage last weekend when she rose from her sixth-place seeding to take silver in the shot put. The win gave her eight of Chicago’s eventual 21 points and boosted them to a 10th-place finish. Murphy also smashed a conference record in the shot put as she topped the podium in April at outdoor UAAs.

Men's Tennis MVP: Will Zhang

First-year Will Zhang earned his stripes with a 14–8 singles record, with most of his action coming at the first singles spot. Shouldering the burden at the top of the lineup for the Maroons, the UAA Rookie of the Year turned in strong performances throughout the season, highlighted by a two-set win over the NCAA DIII’s top-ranked player, Wash U second-year John Watts, on March 2. He was also named an alternate to the NCAA tournament.

Softball MVP: Jen Jacobson

Stringing together a DiMaggio-esque 25-game hit streak, fourth-year shortstop Jen Jacobson never failed to make it to first base this season, reaching it on a fielder’s choice during the only game in which she couldn’t get a hit. An offensive fixture, the captain led her squad in batting average, hits, total bases, and home runs, while taking a team second in slugging, runs, and on-base percentage.

Baseball MVP: Dominik Meyer

In his first season as part of Chicago’s batting order, fourth-year designated hitter Dominik Meyer led the Maroons in batting average, slugging percentage, and RBI. Seamlessly adjusting to the lineup after an injury forced him out of the pitching rotation, Meyer singled in his first collegiate at-bat this spring. Closing his career in an equally impressive fashion, he roped a two-run game-winning homer in his final plate appearance last month.