April 24, 2012

Hitting their stride: At DePaul Invitational, Chicago falls to Blue Demons, defeats other DI teams

The South Siders continued to build momentum at their last meet before the UAA Championship despite no outstanding individual performances. In the DePaul Invitational that took place Friday and Saturday, the Maroons defeated all other teams except DePaul’s Blue Demons, besting DI programs Northwestern, UIC, and Chicago State.

In the dual-meet style competition, the Maroons defeated UIC by 28 points, Chicago State by 144 points, and a diluted Northwestern by 214 points. Chicago lost to DePaul by 70 points.

Despite a strong team performance, Chicago did not perform to the best of its ability on an individual level.

“This meet was definitely not the best for any [one] of us,” first-year thrower Reecie Dern said. “[However] in all events we had multiple people place.”

The Maroons left the invitational with 10 top-three finishes across all events and numerous others placed in point-scoring positions.

Fourth-year jumpers Paige Peltzer and Madison Allen had strong showings and placed first in their respective events, with Peltzer reaching 1.67m in the high jump and Allen leaping 10.46m in the triple jump. Other standouts included second-place finishes from third-year Kayla McDonald and second-year Michaela Whitelaw in the 400-meter (59.19) and the 3000-meter steeplechase (11:48.23) respectively.

“They did very well against some of the best competition they have faced all year,” assistant coach Laurie McElroy said. “Everyone appears to be bringing their times down and the team is starting to really hit its stride.”

Later this week, the Maroons will compete in the most important meet of the year, the UAA Conference Championship at Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh. With the momentum gained from this last meet, McElroy is confident.

“The team is peaking at the right time and should be at their best for the conference meet,” she said.

If the Maroons manage to carry this form through the weekend, they could have a lot to cheer about by next Monday.

“If we come into the meet with more energy and enthusiasm,” Dern said, “we can do some really great things.”