March 7, 2016

Maroons Surge Into NCAA Championships

Last weekend, some of the Maroons participated in the Carthage College Final Qualifier in Kenosha, WI. This meet served as the last opportunity for several individuals to qualify for nationals.

The women representing Chicago had an impressive showing. Third-year Madeleine Horvath won the 3,000-meter race finishing with a time of 10:06.31, while first-year Alexandra Thompson finished second in the women’s high jump with a height of 1.64m. Second-year Vivian Barclay finished fifth in long jump at 5.31m while fourth-year Rachael Jackson finished sixth with 5.29m.

Heading toward the finale of the season, the Maroons have begun to see the fruits of their labor, with many of the individuals fighting through injuries during the season.

“Training has definitely been paying off, and whenever I need motivation my teammates are there working hard and having great performances,” Horvath said.

On the men’s side, second-year Nathan Downey placed fourth in the pole vault with a height of 4.41m last weekend. In addition to the work ethic of the South Siders, Downey credits the success to the chemistry the team has.

“I would say our success is firmly rooted in team chemistry and senior leadership. We spend our off days playing basketball together. The games get rowdy especially when fourth-year Zach Jenkins is on the court,” the second-year said.

However, none of the competitors at the Carthage College Qualifier were able to quite meet the marks necessary for going to the national meet. Luckily, however, all but one of the athletes will have another chance next year for improvement, and the prospect of the spring season certainly allows the Maroons to stay positive.

In the last meet of the indoor season this weekend, Chicago looks to have both team and individual success at the NCAA Division III Indoor Championships. The women will send the distance medley relay team consisting of second-year Cassidy McPherson, fourth-year Mikaela Hammel, third-year Michelle Dobbs, and fourth-year Brianna Hickey, as well second-year Khia Kurtenbach who will compete in the 5K and 3K.

The women’s 4x400 team with Hammel, third-year Dobbs, first-year Nicole VacaGuzman, and third-year Eleanor Kang will look to continue its record breaking season, with fourth-year Alison Pildner serving as an alternate. Dobbs also qualified in the 800-meter, bringing her to an impressive total of three events.

Though the UAA tournament didn’t go as well as the men and women’s team would have liked, both teams expect great results from the individuals going to nationals. Downey and Horvath look forward to watching their fellow Maroons “Shock the Nation” before the outdoor season begins.

The NCAA Division III Indoor Championships will begin Friday in Grinnell, Iowa. Friday has prelims in the 800-meter and 4x400-meter relay occurring at 4:20 p.m. and 6:35 p.m., respectively, as well as finals for the 5K at 5:50 p.m. and the distance medley relay at 7:10 p.m. Saturday is a day exclusively for finals, where the 800-meter champion will be decided at 3:55 p.m., the 3K at 4:40 p.m., and the 4x400-meter relay at 5:20 p.m.

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