SPORTS

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February 24, 2009

Men win ten events in last UAA tune-up

[img id="77319" align="alignleft"] For the second year running the Margaret Bradley Invitational, track and field’s final warm-up before the UAA meet, was just a walk in the park for the Maroons.

Both the men’s and women’s squads won easily in this year’s Invitational, just as they did in last year’s inaugural edition of the meet. The women notched 160 points, three first-place finishes and four provisional qualifiers en route to the victory, while the men picked up a win with 229 points, 100 better than second-place Hope College, on the strength of ten first-place finishes.

Between the two squads, Chicago had five winners in the short-distance events. Third-year Blake Obuchowski won the 55-meter dash with a 6.52 seconds win, and second-year Brian Andreycak was first in the 55-meter hurdles, posting 7.96 seconds.

Second-year Keith Newhouse had the top time in the 200-meter dash, finishing in 22.95 seconds to edge out his classmate Patrick Offner. Offner would pick up a first of his own, though, when he ran a 51.71 second race in the 400-meter dash.

First-year Kaitlin Swanson also won the 400-meter dash. She crossed the line in 1:02.28, just a hair faster than third-year Emma Finestone.

The men picked up 10 more points when their 4x400 relay snagged first. That team, composed of fourth-years Herman Reeves and John Eric Humphries, plus second-years Toby Blattler and Andrew Wells-Qu, finished in 3:25.77.

To go along with their four winners from the short distances, the men had another foursome of winners in the middle- and longer-distances. Wells-Qu got another first-place finish, this one in the 800-meters with a time of 1:53.68. In the mile, second-year Harry Backlund won in 4:22.52 and was followed shortly by three more Maroons who combined to round out the top four.

The 3,000-meters went to second-year Jim Mumford, who ran a 8:47.90 second race. Fourth-year Maxwell Working ran a 8:50.25, which put him in the runner-up spot with time to spare; no other runner managed to break nine minutes.

Second-year Nick Nunez won the 5000-meters, running a 15:30.05.

In the field events, third-year John Pribik was Chicago’s lone first-place finisher, clearing 4.50m for the win in the pole vault. All told, the men won 10 of the 17 events contested.

On the women’s side, the trio of third-year Claire Ray, second-year Kristin Constantine, and third-year Nicole Murphy dominated the weight throw and shot put, as has become a habit. Ray won the shot put with a distance of 13.06m, and she and Murphy, who came in second, both had provisional-qualifying times.

Constantine was third in the shot put but won weight throw by putting up a 15.89m. That distance was good enough to make her a provisional qualifier, and Ray, the runner-up, also had a provisional-qualifying mark. Third place went to Murphy.

The Invitational is named after Margaret Bradley (A.B.’01), who ran cross country for Chicago and was named an all-American during the 1999 season. Bradley returned to the University to enroll at the Pritzker School of Medicine in 2003 but passed away in 2004 during a hike at Grand Canyon National Park.

The men’s and women’s seasons continue in two weeks when they travel to NYU for the UAA Indoor Championships.