October 13, 2014

New faces, same paces for squad at Lucian Rose

A combination of young talent and top-tier veterans made for a successful weekend in Kenosha, WI for the women’s Maroons and No. 17-ranked men’s Maroons.

Coming off of a first-place performance in the Augustana College Invitational at the end of September, the women continued their dominance, placing fourth out of 25 teams at the University of WisconsinParkside Lucian Rosa Invitational on Saturday. Chicago has now placed first in three of its five competitions and has yet to finish below fourth place.

Chicago had a successful weekend despite competing without three of its top runners. Fourth-year Isabella Penido, first-year Cassidy McPherson, and third-year Maggie Cornelius all did not compete in the invitational due to injury or illness.

However, the force of the young Chicago squad proved withstanding. Strong performances by three first-years displayed promise, not only for the rest of the season but also for the next few years.

First-year Kelsey Dunn placed 49th of 271 runners with a time of 19:12.9. Other first years, Megan Verner-Crist and Claire Costelloe, finished 27th and 32nd overall, respectively.

“We were really excited to place fourth at the invitational, despite having three of our top runners out. Our success this weekend really just shows the depth of our team,” Dunn said. “I can’t wait to see what we’re able to do the rest of the season and as the UAA Championship gets closer.”

While it was the rookies who enabled the team to compete at all, it was a pair of veterans who ensured Chicago’s fourth-place finish. Third-year Brianna Hickey continued her hot streak, finishing first on the team and seventh overall with a time of 18:02.3. Hickey has finished first for Chicago squad at all but one meet this season. Fellow third-year Catt Young finished 16th overall with a time of 18:27.5.

"Our team captain, Brianna, ran a great race out front finishing with a personal record for the 5K. Our freshman also raced phenomenally. Two freshmen, Megan and Claire, broke the 19 minute threshold barrier.It's incredibly exciting how well the team is doing, and I really look forward to what they'll accomplish next weekend at the Oshkosh Invitation and at the upcoming Conference," fourth-year Isabella Penido said.

Fourth-years Jennifer Uehling and Nissa Mai rounded out the Maroon squad, finishing 87th and 88th, respectively.

On the men’s side, Chicago finished third out of 19 teams. Third-year Michael Frasco led the Maroons finishing seventh. Fourth-year Renat Zalov crossed 16th, and second-year Gareth Jones also finished in the top 25, at 23rd.

Fourth-year Kevin On (31st), first-year Mitchell Dennis (32nd), third-year Henry Blood (36th), and first-year Peter Kreuch (64th) also helped the squad’s result.

The Maroons will compete next Saturday, October 18, at the University of Wisconsin–Oshkosh Invitational before competing in the UAA Championship on November 1st.