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Men’s track and field battled it out for second place, behind the heavily-favored-to-win Wash U, at last weekend’s UAA Championships in St. Louis.
The host Bears led the competition with 192 points over 21 events, while the Maroons held on to second place with 163, just edging out third-place Emory by four points. Chicago’s victory over the Eagles and their overall performance will provide them with plenty of confidence over the next few weeks as they look to close out the outdoor season.
“[Placing second] feels pretty good,” third-year Drew Jackson said. “It was a rough weekend with the weather, the cold, and rain. But the team came out and competed.”
The poor weather was a significant factor in the weekend’s meet, as the athletes were forced to struggle against heavy winds and rains. On Saturday, conditions deteriorated to such an extent that the competition was interrupted due to a tornado warning.
“I didn’t really know it was happening,” Jackson said. “I just heard the sirens and then they made everyone go and sit in the basement for about half an hour.”
Despite the interruption, the Maroons were still able to put in impressive performances, with a first-place individual finish on the track—third-year Felipe Fernandez del Castillo in the 5k—and three on the field —first-year Eric Villhauer in the javelin, and third-years John Sabacinski and Jacob Solus in the discus throw and triple jump, respectively.
Both the 4x100-meter and 4x400-meter relays also took home the gold. Fourth-years Blake Obuchowski, Patrick Offner, and Bill Chang, along with first-year Dee Brizzolara, ran away with first place in the 4x100-meter relay, while Offner, Brizzolara, Solus, and third-year Tobias Blattler composed the 4x400 winning team.
Other important results were second place individual finishes by Offner in the 200-meter dash and Jackson in the triple jump, as well as by the 4x800 relay team, composed of third-years Harry Backlund and Andrew Wells-Qu and first-years Anthony Farias-Eisner and Chris Cheng.
“I didn’t have my best jump this weekend,” Jackson said. “It was still great to get out there and compete. Now I’m just looking forward to Nationals and trying to get ready for that.”
The team has just three meets left before the national competition.
“Performing well in less-than-optimal weather can definitely set the tone for the rest of the season,” Solus said.
The Maroons will head to Benedictine this Friday to compete in the Twilight Invitational.