The women’s and men’s teams placed first in last week’s Phoenix Invitational, and the Maroons hope to continue their momentum this Saturday at the Illinois Wesleyan University Triangular Meet. Chicago will battle against its conference rival, Wash U, and the host, Illinois Wesleyan.
On the men’s side, the Maroons hope to avenge their one-point loss to Wash U in last year’s UAA championships. After their successful start to the season last week, the Maroons believe they’re much improved from last year.
“We have a good mix of great newcomers as well as experienced veterans. Everyone who competed at nationals last year is returning this year, so the team shows a lot of promise. After gaining some confidence from the Phoenix Invitational, I think everyone is eager to get back on the track next week to see what else they can do,” third-year Kareem Kebaish said.
Last year in the Triangular Meet the men placed second behind rival Wash U again. Even though the season is just starting, the South Siders are looking to send a message to their rival and to the rest of the UAA conference.
“I think everyone has something to prove going into this meet. It will be a good measure of where we stand and what we’ll need to improve upon through out the season…We have our eyes fixed on finally winning the UAA championship. We also have an impressive number of athletes that will be in contention for the national championship as individuals and relay teams,” fourth-year Parker Tikson said.
On the women’s side, Illinois Wesleyan comes in as the favorite for its first meet of the season, as it is ranked #2 in the country. Chicago comes in at #8, while Wash U comes in without a ranking in the top 25. Last year the Chicago women won the Triangular Meet by a comfortable margin. They hope to continue last week’s momentum and win again.
“The Phoenix Invite was a great start to the season. A lot of my teammates were hitting times and distances that they usually don’t make until the end of the season, and the freshmen performed well at their first meet, so I think everyone is excited for what we’ll achieve this season,” said fourth-year UAA champion Alison Pildner.
The Triangular Meet will serve as a measuring stick for the team’s high expectations.
“I think we can expect to see some very good early season performances. This is a great opportunity for our team to see how we compare against other athletes we may compete against in the conference and national meets,” Pildner said.
Both teams hope to make a statement against rival Wash U and build their momentum from last week this Saturday at 11 a.m. at Illinois Wesleyan.