May 4, 2015

Chicago prepares for last-chance meets

The Maroons look for their hard work to pay off this Thursday as they head into their penultimate meet in Naperville, IL at the North Central Dr. Keller Invite.

With the Chicago men coming off a third-place finish at the UAA championships last week, the Maroons will look for another good showing. Though the Maroons are hoping for sustained success, they will also look to build on some key individual performances, notably in the 4x100-meter men’s relay team and 4x400-meter men’s race. These groups are striving to qualify for nationals along with a host of others.

The 4x100-meter men’s relay team consists of second-year Temisan Osowa, first-year Nathan Downey, third-year Ben Clark, and third-year Jacob Romeo. The quartet finished first last week at the UAA championship with a time of 42.24.

Clark said, “We’d like to qualify two relays for the national meet. Indoors we were able to make a late push in the 4x4, and we’re hoping to continue to improve in that event.  Having Jake Romeo back for the 4x1 has brought that relay into contention as well.  We’ve had some injuries to guys in that group, so our chances depend on our health.”

Meanwhile, the 4x400-meter relay team consists of first-year Obinnaya Wamuo, Clark, third-year Ryan Manzuk, and Downey. That squad finished second at the UAA championship with a time of 3:20.82. Downey also finished second in the 200-meter race at the UAA championship with a time of 22.48, while fourth-year Semi Ajibola also finished second but in the 5,000-meter race with a time of 15:05.79.

The women are coming off the program’s first outdoor UAA championship and are looking to continue their high performances and send some women to nationals following a series of incredible results this season. Third-year Nelson Trotter finished first in both triple and high jump, while fourth-year Pam Yu finished second in triple jump and first-year Ade Ayoola finished second in high jump. Second-year Michelle Dobbs finished first in the 800-meter race, while with third-year Nkemdilim Nwaokolo finished first in the discus.

The 4x100-meter women’s relay team and 4x400-meter women’s relay team also finished second at the UAA championship. The 4x100-meter relay team consists of third-year Rachael Jackson, third-year Mikaela Hammel, third-year Alison Pildner, and second-year Charissa Newkirk. Meanwhile, the 4x400-meter relay team consists of second-year Eleanor Kang, Pildner, Hammel, and Dobbs.

A myriad of others will look to finish the season on a high note and improve on their previous accomplishments during the year.

“Coach encourages everyone who wants to fulfill personal goals to compete in the last two meets. It’s an unusual opportunity given our school’s quarter system so it’s nice to see a lot of guys trying to get better,” Clark said.

The Maroons will begin competing at 12:15 p.m. in Naperville on Thursday and again at 3 p.m. on Friday before coming back to Chicago.