May 3, 2011

Chicago strong at Lisle, despite short turnaround from UAAs

Track and Field took a much needed rest at the Benedictine Twilight Invitational on Friday in Lisle. After a series of grueling practices and the UAAs, the Maroons showed up at Benedictine with the intention of giving their athletes a break from intense competition and training.

Several regular competitors sat out at Benedictine, including fourth-year Andrew Wells-Qu, who has already qualified for nationals. Those who did compete were much more relaxed than at other meets.

“We were very laid-back at the meet. We didn’t have the same competitive edge that we bring to conference and other big meets,” said fourth-year Brian Andreycak. “I think our performances suffered as a result, but we still accomplished some good things.”

However, such low-key events can still be useful in preparing for bigger meets later in the season.

“In these late season meets after conference, the point isn’t really to beat up on other teams, but to run fast times which builds confidence for next season,” said fellow fourth-year Felipe Fernandez del Castillo. “We definitely saw some of that on Friday.”

Many athletes used Benedictine to try events that they don’t normally compete in. For example, fourth-year Arthur Baptist, who normally runs long distance events, raced in the 800-meter run.

Others used the meet to try and improve upon their overall seasons.

“I’m very pleased that I was able to hit a provisional mark while having a mediocre race, although I’m certainly frustrated that I could have bettered my national standing,” said Andreycak.

But all in all, the Maroons mainly used Benedictine as an opportunity to relax and have fun. “Another big part of these late meets is to just go out there and have a good time running track again,” said Fernandez del Castillo. “We definitely got to do that.”

Fernandez del Castillo placed second in the 3000-meter, a distance that he does not ordinarily run. “For myself, I was glad to just go out and practice running quickly in a shorter race. I think it will leave me in good position for my 10k at the Chicago Penultimate invite.”

Although Benedictine offered a break for Chicago, the Maroons will begin to train hard again this week in preparation for bigger meets down the road.

The team will travel again this weekend to Madison, WI for the Wisconsin Twilight Invitational.