April 18, 2014

Chicago churns out second-place finish in field of nine

Coming off an impressive showing at the Chicagoland Championships last Saturday, with the women’s track and field team securing a third-place finish and the men coming in fourth, the Maroon track contingent looked forward to yesterday’s meet at Wheaton College with great anticipation, poise, and intensity.

The South Siders finished second overall on both the men’s and women’s sides in a nine-team field. North Central College claimed first in both the men’s and women’s fields with 283 and 162.50 points, respectively.

The women’s squad didn’t let the pressures of the last meet before the UAA championships cripple them whatsoever as their impressive placing demonstrated. Second-year Catt Young displayed her distance dominance in the 3,000-meter, grabbing first by 16.9 seconds. Furthermore, the women’s 4x400-meter relay team of first-year Michelle Dobbs, second-year Alison Pildner, first-year Eleanor Kang, and third-year Francesca Tomasi continued to top the field, finishing first with a time of 3:57.80. Fourth-year steeplechase runner Michaela Whitelaw moved herself into the top 5 of the conference rankings by winning second place, securing top placement heading into next week’s conference championship.

“Michaela Whitelaw is now a top-five conference runner, as she absolutely killed it today,” first-year Temisan Osowa said. “The steeplechase is one of the toughest events out there, nothing short of torture in my opinion.”

As for the men’s team, its success was a collective effort, but the team’s showing was also bolstered by the performance of some particular individuals. Notably, Chicago second-year and national champion Michael Bennett was not only able to bring home the pole vault, but he was able to eclipse the school record again with a jump of 4.90m. The men’s 3,000-meter run played out in a manner similar to the women’s 3,000-meter, with fourth-year Samuel Butler taking first place in a time of 8:55.66.

“It was like watching a man running amongst boys. Utterly destroyed,” Osowa said about Butler.

Furthermore, Bennett commented on his own performance, approach, and record-breaking performances on the year.

“Personally, I have been very slow and methodical, yet consistent in my progression throughout the year,” Bennett said. “I have to make some technical adjustments that take time to get used to but will hopefully carry me to new heights in the weeks to come.”

With the Maroons wrapping up their regular season schedule, they head into next week’s UAA Conference Championships with rejuvenation, excitement, and anticipation.

“We are looking very strong on both the men’s and women’s side heading into the conference meet next weekend,” third-year Ben Buchheim-Jurrison said.

Chicago kicks off the conference meet at home next Saturday, April 26, beginning at 10 a.m.