SPORTS

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April 28, 2009

Maroons struggle in fourth-place finish at UAA Championships

In sweltering heat, the Maroons’ hopes for the UAA championship were deflated by Wash U this weekend at Carnegie. The men’s track team placed fourth this weekend at the UAA championships. Wash U won the day, winning the meet with 221 points while Carnegie took second place with 152 and Emory, the indoor champs, tallied a score of 144.5. Chicago finished with 142 team points.The lone first place finish for Chicago was in the 4x800 meter relay. The team of second-years Harry Backlund, Toby Blattler, Andrew Wells-Qu, and third-year Alex Garbier clocked a time of 7:47.19, earning 10 points for the team. Other notable performances came from Bill Cheng, who placed second in the 100 meters, and Wells-Qu, who finished second in the open 800 meters. The 4x100 meter relay team, Terrence Roberston in the long jump, and Drew Jackson in the triple jump also posted second-place finishes.While the men had a fair share of solid performances, at the end of the day on Sunday, they were not able to accumulate enough points. Wash U won the other nine individual events, dominating the sprinting and many of the field events.“I thought our team performed well, we just didn’t quite get over the hump in a number of events,” said second-year Brian Andreycak, who placed second in the 110-meter hurdles. “Most of our times and marks were good, but relatively few were good enough.”Andreycak offered one explanation for the team’s lackluster performance:“I thought the heat this weekend was definitely a factor. The weather was in the high 80s and that was probably the hottest temperature I’ve ever competed in. There was almost nothing we could have done about Wash U, who quite simply beat us, down winning every individual sprinting event and the 4x100. We weren’t able to pick up points everywhere we could have against Emory, which cost us again.”This weekend also saw a deficiency of outstanding personal appearances on the part of the men, causing many on the team to be dissatisfied with their performances. “I personally feel extremely disappointed,” Andreycak said. “I came in seeded third, but I felt that I could have run a significant season best like I did last year. As the defending champion I definitely feel as though I should have won. It just didn’t come together.”The completion of the UAA Championships signals the end of the major team events. The next significant meet on the men’s team’s plate is Nationals. The main goal in the upcoming meets will now shift from racking up points for the team to individuals perfecting their events. “The focus is now on qualifying for Nationals and shooting for personal bests for those that are so inclined,” third-year Blake Obuchowski said. “Some people choose to stop their seasons after the conference meet for a variety of reasons that range from laziness to injury to psychological breakdowns caused by this school, so the team does get somewhat smaller after the conference meet.” The men went into this meet having outright won one meet and placed second in another. The team must move past their disappointing showing at the conference meet and now concentrate on getting individuals qualified for the national meet. The men have a week off from competition and their next opportunity to earn a ticket to Nationals will be the Chicago Penultimate Invite.