February 28, 2003

Track teams have strong finishes at Chicagoland Championships

Traveling south, through the bar-and-church lined small towns that bring to mind the worst of John Mellencamp and Tom Petty, the Chicago track and field teams wended their way to Lewis University, in Romeoville, Illinois, for the 2003 Chicagoland Championships.

Over the two-day tournament, with the women competing on Friday and the men on Saturday, the Maroons fared well against their fellow Windy City competitors. The men placed third and the women sixth out of a total of 14 teams.

Third-year Patrick Sullivan highlighted the meet, winning the men's mile in a meet record time of 4:13.67. Sullivan, who led the race from the gun to the finish line, quickly opened up an insurmountable lead over the rest of the outclassed field, was forced to run unaided or pushed by any competition. With a little luck, then, Sullivan should be able to better his time at the upcoming NCAA Division III national meet.

But Sullivan was not the only strong performer for the men. The distance medley relay team of third-year Karl Striepe, second-year Greg Morgan, second-year David Barr, and first-year Teage O'Connor started things off strongly for the Maroons, winning the day's first event in a time of 10:38.89. O'Connor also managed a comeback win in a later 800-meter heat.

The men also featured a series of strong double scoring performances in the 200-meter dash, and the 800-meter and 3K runs. In the 200, fourth-year Ryan Ramio finished fourth in 23.05 seconds and second-year Brandon Halcott finished fifth in 23.14 seconds. In the 800, fourth-year Tim Tuff placed fourth and second-year James Mastichelli placed sixth with respective times of 1:58.21 and 1:59.77. And third-year Tom Haxton finished second in the 3K run in 8:36.68 and was followed by fourth-year Peter Bugg, who placed sixth in 8:52.23.

In the field events, third-year Adeoye Mabogunje placed second in the high jump, clearing a height of 1:98 meters, and fourth-year Kenny Musick placed fifth in the weight-throw with an effort of 13.66 meters. The 4x400 team of Ramio, Tuff, Halcott, and Morgan closed the meet out strongly with a fourth-place finish in 3:25.66.

Highlighting the women's competition were the performances of third-year Val Anderson in the field events. Anderson won the 20-pound throw with an effort of 15.59 meters, and was sixth in the shot put with a throw of 11.05 meters.

Also winning her event was first-year Jessica Winter, who finished first in the women's mile in a time of 5:16.64. She was followed by fourth-year Clarisse Mesa, who placed fourth in the mile in a time of 5:24.

Second-year Erin Steiner, making a rare appearance for the women's team, placed second in the 5K run with a time of 18:27.60. Fourth-year Diane Valos was fifth in the pole vault, clearing a height of 2.90 meters.