February 15, 2011

Track and field finish at top of field at Chicagolands

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Men and women’s track performed impressively at this weekend’s Chicagolands meet in Naperville. The men placed fourth in a field of 17, and the women were second in a field of 19.

The ladies’ overall score of 109 points, just behind North Central’s winning score of 153.33, was bolstered by several strong individual performances. With 62 points, the men scored only one point less than third-place Carthage, but North Central swept the field with a total of 182.5 points.

“Our meet this weekend showed that we have been working hard in practice these past few weeks. While many of us did not have PRs and were run down from mid-terms or were feeling sick, we still went into [the meet] with the mindset that we were going to compete hard, and that is exactly what we did,” said fourth-year Ashley Eaves. “I was really proud of our team for giving it their all, and if we can get second place at a competitive meet like this now, I can’t wait to see what we will do at our conference meet in a few weeks when we back down in our training cycle and begin to peak.”

“There wasn’t as much competition this year. This was mainly preparation for the upcoming conference meet, where it really counts,” second-year William Whitmore elaborated.

Whitmore won the 5,000-meter run for the Maroons with a time of 15:14.52. “It was a tough fight, but I held off this guy from UIC,” said Whitmore. “Everyone wants to score big at events like the Chicagolands Championships. It felt good to get the win for Chicago.”

While only Whitmore won his event, the Chicago men pulled off high placements in the 60-meter hurdles and 3,000-meter run, also nabbing points in the long jump and triple jump. The latter were claimed by fourth-year Drew Jackson, with 6.67m placing him third in the long jump and 13.75m placing him sixth in the triple jump.

Second-year Dee Brizzolara finished fourth over 200-meters and fifth over 60-meters. Brizzolara’s time of 22.54 in the 200-meters is the best posted by any UAA runner this season by over two tenths of a second. Fourth-years Arthur Baptist and Brian Andreycak placed fourth in the 3,000-meters and second over the 60-meter hurdles.

The women fared slightly better. Fourth-year Kristin Constantine met national provisionally qualifying standards in two events. She threw a whopping 12.79m and 17.04m, respectively, to place second in the shot put and weight throw.

“I was pretty excited to get a better mark in the weight throw, but I was more excited to hit a national standard in the shot put. I hadn’t hit [a provisional mark] in about two years, so it was really good to finally hit it again,” Constantine said of her performance. “I’m hoping to get further marks in the next few meets, but that’s fine for this point in the season. Naperville’s my hometown, so it was fun to do well when my family was there!”

Other standouts on the women’s team were fourth-year Ashley Eaves and third-year Rachel Ohman. Eaves won the 400-meter dash with a time of 1:00.48, and Ohman won the 5,000-meters with a time of 18:27.21.

“I felt as though my [400-meter] performance represented what much of the team was going through; although it wasn’t my best performance of the season, I used it as an opportunity to compete hard and try my best, which paid off in the end. While the time I ran is not the performance I would like to end up with for the season, it was great for the week and I am pleased with not only my results, but our team’s results as well,” Eaves said.

The Maroons will host the Margaret Bradley Invitational on Saturday, February 19 at Henry Crown Field House.