February 14, 2003

Mabongunje and Valos excel in field events as track team comes out on top

In a high-spirited affair that took place on the raised second-floor track of the Henry Crown Field House, the University of Chicago men's and women's track and field teams hosted their second of three home meets.

Things went well, especially for the men's middle-distance runners, with the 800-meter race proving to be the spectacle of the day.

Fourth-year Ryan Raimo stood out in the Maroons' sprinting events, placing fourth in the 400-meter dash with a time of 51:04.

In the 1,500-meter run, first-year Teage O'Connor managed fourth place with a time of 4:13.40 despite ignoring all who advised him to wear spikes. He was followed directly by third-year Sam Yount, who finished fifth in 4:13.73.

The 3,000-meter run featured enormous improvements on the parts of second-year Joe Tonna and first-year Nick Juravich. Tonna finished second in a personal record time of 9:30.62 with Juravich directly behind, also setting a PR with a time of 9:33.64.

The men's distance medley relay team of second-years Sam Jacobson and Ruici Tio and third-years Karl Striepe and Kevin Drake came away victorious, winning easily in 10:46.63.

But the 800-meter run was still by far the race of the day. Third-year Patrick Sullivan continued his amazing stretch of almost-wins. He again finished second, with a phenomenal time of 1:55.28. The race was so fast that even this was not good enough to win.

Teammate Juravich had to say of Sullivan, "He's like the unholy love-child of the T-1000 and Narcissus."

Perhaps more impressive even than Sullivan's performance were those of second-years David Barr and James Mestichellli, each of whom had personal bests in finishing fifth and sixth, respectively, with times of 1:57.58 and 1:59.46.

In the field events, second-year Brian Eichhorn finished second in the pole vault, clearing a height of 4.11 meters, and second-year Seyi Oyenguga made his season debut with a fifth-place finish in the long jump with a distance of 6.23 meters.

Third-year Adeoye Mabongunje provided the second highlight of the day, winning the triple jump with a school-record distance of 14.35. With the mark, Mabongunje moves up on the list of those provisionally qualified for the national meet. He also just missed the automatic qualifying standard of 14.38 meters.

Strong showing in the middle-distance and field events marked the women's side of the meet.

Fourth-year Jelena Pantel was third in the 400-meter dash, with an impressive time of 1:01.45, and first-year Jessica Winter placed third in the 800-meter run with a time of 2:24.88.

The women claimed the top two spots in the 1500-meter run with second-year Erin Steiner winning the event in 5:01.09 and second-year Mary McGrath placing second in 5:06.46.

In the field events, fourth-year Diane Valos continued to impress, this time with a second-place finish in the pole vault. She cleared a height of 2.94 meters.

Third-year Val Anderson again proved the high scorer of the day, placing first in the weight throw with an effort of 14.86 meters and then fourth in the shot put at 10.36 meters.

Fourth-year Meghan Cosgriff-Hernana placed second in the weight throw with a throw of 12.91 meters, and first-year Stephanie Lewis was fifth in the shot put with a distance of 10.30 meters.

Both teams will race this again this Saturday at the CCIW/UAA Dual meet in Kenosha, Wisconsin.