With the UAAs just under a month away, the Maroons will stay home this weekend to compete in the Windy City Invitational.
Both the men and the women came out of last week’s meet in Whitewater, WI with a slightly bitter taste in their mouths after placing eighth and fifth respectively. Although the results appear disappointing on paper, it is worth examining them in context, as many of the schools and individual competitors from last weekend’s meet in Wisconsin are some of the best in all of DIII. Five of those nine teams for the men are currently ranked within the NCAA’s top 25, including three top 10 selections and the No. 1 overall, North Central. The women faced three top-25 teams including the No. 2 team in the country, UW–Oshkosh, who won the meet, and No. 4, the host, UW–Whitewater.
Despite the tough competition, there were standout performances by some of Chicago’s own. First-year Patrick LeFevre took the 60-meter hurdles down to the wire, finishing in a virtual tie for first, but took second overall after further review even though both hurdlers recorded identical times of 8.34.
“At the end of the race I saw that I finished next to the guy who was the top runner from prelims. I didn’t think I beat him at the end, but I knew it was a good race,” said LeFevre of the nail-biter of a finish he had with unattached runner Marcus Smith.
“I’m very happy with my time and I’m very motivated to improve on my 60 dash time as well this weekend,” LeFevre said.
Fourth-year Semi Ajibola placed third overall in the high jump, securing his position with a jump of 1.96m.
“My mentality entering the meet was that it was my day to break 2.0m” said Ajibola on his performance. “I ended up 4cm shy of this goal, but I had some good attempts at 2.01m so I couldn’t be too upset with my performance.”
In his attempts to reach his goal of 2.0m, Ajibola faced some adjustments along the way, which he considers an important learning experience for future meets.
“During competition, I needed to adjust my steps significantly as the bar went up and I brought in more speed. Changing steps in high jump is often a very uncomfortable experience, but I was able to adjust and doing so put me in a position to perform better,” Ajibola said. “Being comfortable with making the change needed to adapt to the current situation is a lesson that I will keep in mind moving forward.”
LeFevre, on the other hand, has had to resist the urge to make adjustments, as he is currently satisfied with his progress.
“I feel like I’ve adjusted to college track and am in a good rhythm going into the second half of the indoor season,” LeFevre said. “I’ve seen good results so far, and I’m going to keep doing what I’m doing. It’s like the old saying: if it ain’t broke don’t fix it.”
Ajibola agreed, applying the same idea to the team’s overall performance.
“As a team, we just need to continue working hard, trusting the system, and taking care of our bodies,” Ajibola said. “If we can sustain a positive training and competing environment among ourselves throughout the season those three things will come naturally.”
Come see the Maroons on home turf this weekend beginning 11:30 a.m. Saturday at Henry Crown.