Both ends of the cross-country team have put on a tremendous show throughout the start of their season, giving them great momentum with only a few meets left until conference action kicks off. The women’s team has finished first in all three of its meets thus far at the St. Francis Invitational (5K), Aurora Invitational (6K), and Augustana Invitational (6K). In the first meet of the year, third-year Cassidy McPherson earned her first career win with the top finishing time of 18:24.2.
At the Aurora Invitational, third-year Kelsey Dunn was the top runner for Chicago, taking third place at the invitational with a time of 23:03.62. Three other Maroons placed in the top ten, including fourth-year Madeleine Horvath (5th, 23:11.47), third-year Claire Costelloe (6th, 23:16.16), and third-year Cassidy McPherson (8th, 23:19.09). The Augustana Invitational was an impressive showing as the Maroons placed seven racers in the top 26 and finished with 39 total team points. In her first race of the season following a nagging injury, third-year Khia Kurtenbach won the women's 6K with a time of 22:27.4, earning herself UAA Athlete of the Week honors.
When asked about the season so far, McPherson stated, “I think in general we are pretty optimistic about where our season is headed. We raced very well in general during preseason as a team, and are hoping to keep the momentum going into our more competitive meets. We are getting healthier and have been having really solid workouts the past few weeks, so we are looking forward to putting it all together in the bigger meets like Oshkosh and conference a month down the road. One of our biggest challenges will be continuing to stay healthy, as we don't have a very big team, so it will be important to have everyone able to contribute and performing our best when it really counts. We are trying not to look too far ahead, and want to stay focused day to day on what we can be doing to get better as a team and continue to improve throughout the season.”
McPherson seems hopeful but wants to stay focused as the Maroons move out of preseason and into more intensive and challenging competitions. McPherson herself has been awarded UAA Athlete of the Week following her performance in the first meet of the season.
Looking at the men’s team, the Maroons placed first at the St. Francis Invitational and the Aurora Invitational while placing third at the Augustana Invitational. Chicago's top runner for the first meet of the season was fourth-year Timofey Karginov, who posted his highest-ever finish in his collegiate cross-country career. Karginov had a repeat performance in the next meet, this time finishing in first place for the first time in his time at UChicago. The third meet, once again, featured Karginov as the top runner for the Maroon men. Rightfully so, Karginov has garnered three UAA Athlete of the Week honors since the beginning of the season.
Coming up next, the Maroons will head to Bourbonnais, IL, to compete in the Illinois Intercollegiates meet this Friday, September 30.