February 2, 2015

Fierce competition derails Chicago's recent momentum

Having run circles around the competition the entire indoor track and field season thus far, the Maroons made the trek to the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater for the Warhawk Classic Invitational to add some more hardware to their ever-growing trophy case.

Up to this point, the men had taken home two victories while the No. 23 women had secured three. Unfortunately, the South Siders were not able to replicate their early season success as the men finished a distant eighth in their meet with a total of 24.5 points, far short of the 145 points the No. 3 UW–LaCrosse squad put up to win the men’s side of the invite. Meanwhile, the women took home fifth place with a total of 79 points, outpaced by the victors, No. 2 UW–Oshkosh, who won with a total of 162 points.

While Friday’s meet did not end in the glory of victory for the men, there were still individual competitors who were able to put up stellar performances in their respective competitions. In total, the Maroons had three top performers on the day. Standouts for Chicago included first-year Patrick LeFevre, who finished second in the 60-meter hurdles with a time of 8.34, fourth-year Semi Ajibola, who finished third in the high jump with a height of 1.96, and second-year Timofey Karginov, who finished fourth in the 5,000-meter run with a time of 15:24.57.

While this was the Maroons’ fourth meet in just a few weeks, members of the team were quick to dismiss any notion of exhaustion playing a role in the team’s lagging finish. With the high quality of the teams at the meet this past weekend, many of which were Division I, the South Siders were facing significant challenges in all directions.

“At this point of the season [exhaustion] isn’t much of an issue yet,” said third-year runner Henry Blood. “I expect some people, especially first-years, will find the number of meets in the indoor season to be exhausting later down the line.”

As for the women’s side, the foes were equally competitive and daunting. However, a number of Maroons were able to put up impressive performances on the day. Standouts for the South Siders included first-year Megan Verner-Crist, who won the one mile with a time of 5:07.13, third-year Mikaela Hammel, who took second in the 200 meter with a time of 26.53s, and first-year Claire Costelloe, who finished third in the 5,000-meter with a time of 18:42.92.

Having come off a string of four meets in the month of January alone, the Maroons would surely appreciate a break from competition. However, they will have no such reprieve in their sights as they have four meets in February to look forward to.

The first meet the Maroons have this month will be this Saturday at the Windy City Invitational here in Chicago. Competition will begin at 11 a.m. with individual event times being posted later.