At the Windy City Invitational this weekend, the women’s squad did indeed run like the wind as it went undefeated. The women dominated the competition on their home turf, winning 14 events.
The will to win this weekend was stronger than ever, perhaps in light of other factors that have been influencing competition schedules lately, like snow and other winter weather. This was a formative meet for the Maroons, as it set the tone for the upcoming peak of the season.
The Rumble, as the competition was also called, featured many strong performances from several South Siders. Fourth-year Jennie Porter contributed to the winning 4x400-meter relay team as well as the distance medley relay team with times of 4:00.34 and 13:03.92 respectively. Also a part of the 4x400 relay team was second-year Mikaela Hammel, who also took first in the 200-meter clocking in at 26.50.
Several other second-years had outstanding showings including Brianna Hickey, Rachael Jackson, and Catt Young. Hickey dominated the one-mile by nearly ten seconds with a time of 5:05.49. Jackson led both the 55-meter dash and the 55-meter hurdles (7.57 and 8.59), and Young shattered the 3000-meter (10:18.00).
Various first-years demonstrated their ability as well by claiming top finishing spots. Amy Wang won both the long jump and the triple jump (4.96m and 10.44m) and Michelle Dobbs clinched the 800-meter by a landslide (2:14.27). Third-year Reecie Dern followed suit by finishing first in shot put (11.23m).
The competition was a combination of DI and DIII schools that included, among others, Lake Forest, University of Illinois at Chicago, and Valparaiso University. The higher level of competition pushed the athletes’ performance at the Windy City Rumble and paved a positive path for the future, which is precisely what they needed. The UAA Championships are rapidly approaching in the next three weeks, so the intensity will only increase.
“It is really important that we all are looking toward [UAAs] and making the most out of every competition,” Dern said. “This is the time of our season where we have to make sure we’re getting marks that will take us to conference.”
Assuming the rest of the team gets healthy in the upcoming weeks and everyone continues to train vigorously, the women’s team will be a force to be reckoned with in the UAA Championships.
“Overall, I think the women are ready to be top contenders for the title in a few weeks,” Dern said.
The women’s team competes this Friday, February 14 at the Chicagoland Championships in Naperville, IL at 5 p.m.