The Maroons are competing today in the North Central College Last Chance Meet in Naperville, IL, which started yesterday. This meet serves as the last opportunity for the South Siders to qualify for the NCAA DIII National Championship, which will take place in two weeks.
“The field is very competitive, with a number of other runners looking to qualify,” said second-year Gareth Jones. There are a few different anticipated races, such as the one between fourth-year Ben Buchheim-Jurrison and third-year Yorkbell Jaramillo in the 300-meter steeple, as both look to continue their successful seasons thus far.
On the women’s side, the Maroons look for more individual success as third-year All-American and All-UAA Brianna Hickey looks to qualify in the 1,500-meter race and retain her qualifying spot. Second-year Michelle Dobbs, another All-American who is currently ranked fifth in the country, looks for another win in the 800-meter race. Third-year Nkemdilim Nwaokolo, an All-American in the indoor weight throw, also looks to qualify for the outdoor weight throw on Thursday.
Having earned both the indoor and outdoor UAA titles, the women look to cap off their regular season on a high note. “The fact that the women were able to take both the indoor and outdoor championship titles was huge. This is even considering all of the injuries that have nagged the team throughout the season,” Jones said.
The men’s team has also found success this year, finishing second in the indoor UAA championships and third in the outdoor UAA championship a few weeks ago.
First-year Obinnaya Wamuo, third-year Ben Clark, third-year Jacob Romeo, and first-year Nathan Downey look to secure a spot together at Nationals in the 4x100-meter race.
Jones, coming off an All-UAA selection in both the outdoor and indoor 5,000-meter race this year looks to qualify for the 10,000-meter race. “I think my odds are good, but in a race as long as the 10K, a lot can happen,” Jones said.
Regardless of the outcome, Chicago looks to finish the season strong, send its seniors off the right way, and retool for the upcoming season.
The Last Chance Meet began yesterday at 12:15 p.m. and will continue through today at North Central College.