January 19, 2017

South Siders off to Hot Start

The University of Chicago men’s and women’s track and field teams were victorious in their first indoor meet of the season on Saturday, topping the field of six teams at the Phoenix Invitational. With the home field advantage, the women dominated with 246.5 total points to best second place Aurora University by almost 100 points. The men’s team tallied 220 points to top Aurora’s 161.5 points. 

The women came away with 10 wins while the men totaled seven. First-year sprinter Alisha Harris was a multiple winner on the day, taking first place in the 60 meters and the 200 meters. In the 800 meters, UChicago went 1-2-3 with third-year Cassidy McPherson leading the way. In the distance events, third-years Kelsey Dunn and Khia Kurtenbach were victorious in the 3,000 meters and one mile, respectively. 

Along with Harris, first-years Robin Peter, Isabel Garon, and Mary Martin also began their collegiate careers with wins, taking home first place finishes in the 60-meter hurdles, pole vault, and long jump, respectively. Rounding out the victories for the women were third-year Ade Ayoola in the high jump and the 4x400-meter relay team.

On the men’s side, the squad swept the distance events with third-year Michael Stubna in the 5,000 meters, third-year Peter Kreuch in the 3,000 meters, and fourth-year Nick Nielsen in the one mile. In the field events, fourth-year Joey Gary won the triple jump and third-year Nathan Downey won the pole vault. The two other victories came from fourth-year Temisan Osowa in the 60 meters and third-year Patrick LeFevre in the 60-meter hurdles.

Second-year Jenna McKinney, a standout member of the women’s soccer team who also competed for the tennis team during her first year at UChicago, joined the track and field team this winter. A member of the winning 4x400-meter relay team and UChicago’s top finisher in the 400-meter dash at the Phoenix Invite, McKinney’s first competition was nothing short of impressive. This all-around athlete spoke highly of the team camaraderie and is looking forward to a bright future on the team. “My first meet was amazing and made me excited for the next one. The team atmosphere even in an individual sport inspired me to push myself to my limits. I’m excited to experience that again this weekend, ” said McKinney. 

The Maroons hope to build upon their strong start when they travel to Bloomington this Saturday to compete in the I-55 Triangular against Illinois Wesleyan University and Washington University-St. Louis. The No. 10 UChicago women will have the opportunity to face off against No. 1 WashU and No. 9 Illinois Wesleyan in their second indoor meet of the season.

Last year at the tri-meet, the women’s team captured three events on the day while the men tallied eight wins. Despite a number of strong performances, the women ended up third in the overall standings, three points shy of second place. The men beat Illinois Wesleyan comfortably, but tallied 81 points to WashU’s 90. The competition this weekend is set to begin at 11:15 a.m.