January 12, 2010

Defending champ UW–Oshkosh spoils track season opener

There is something to be said for starting the season against the best competition in the country: At least when it is over you know where you stand.

That’s the lesson Chicago’s track teams will take away from Saturday’s season-opening meet at UW–Oshkosh. Oshkosh, the national champion on the men’s side and runner-up for the women a year ago, beat the men 109–48 and prevailed in the women’s meet, which also included Augustana. On the women’s side, the Titans beat the Maroons 82–60, while the South Siders defeated Augustana 83–63.

The quality of the competition was exemplified by the throwing field, where fourth-year Claire Ray met the NCAA automatic qualifying standard in the weight throw and hit the provisional qualifying mark in the shot put but still finished second in both events. Fellow fourth-year Nicole Murphy’s 13.55-meter shot put came up just short of Ray’s 13.59-meter toss in third but still met the provisional standard.

Third-year jumper Jacob Solus was the star Maroon performer for the men’s team. His 14.15-meter triple jump met the provisional standard in that event.

Coach Chris Hall expects this meet to serve as a motivator for Chicago.

“Overall, it was an opportunity to get started and see where we are,” he said. “We found out that we’ve got a lot of work to do, but I think we’ve got people that are ready to get down to work.”