January 23, 2017

Quick Start Bodes Well for Maroons

Third-year Will Ackermann competes at the meet.

/ The Chicago Maroon

In just the second meet of the indoor season, the Chicago team fared quite well, with a first-place finish for the men and a second-place finish for the women. The Maroons competed at Illinois Wesleyan University’s I-55 Triangular on Saturday alongside host IWU and rival Wash U.

On the men’s side, the South Siders finished on top by a close margin: 125.5 points to Wash U’s 121. The men saw seven individual victories throughout the day before taking the team tally. Fourth-year Temisan Osowa took first in the 60-meter and was nearly edged out in the 200-meter race by fellow Chicago third-year Connor Turkatte. The Maroons also saw victories from first-year Tyson Miller, who won the 400-meter (51.68) and participated in the 4x400-meter with third-year Obinnaya Wamuo, first-year Elliott Paintsil, and third-year Nathan Downey.

On the field side of the event, fourth-year Andrew Maneval decisively took first in shot put with a throw of 14.54 meters, third-year Patrick LeFevre won the 60-meter hurdles (8.51), and fourth-year Nick Nielsen finished first in the 3000-meter race (8:41.04).

Fourth-year Temisan Osowa spoke about the gravity of this weekend’s success. “This weekend was a great one for us. We saw lot of people improve upon their previous performances, a couple people step up, and a few personal records in multiple event groups,” he said. “Our team is feeling great moving forward, as we competed with some of the best athletes in the nation in our NCAA division and won.”

Osowa further emphasized the difference in this team from past Chicago squads. “This was the first time that the men have ever won this tri-meet, a sign of our men's team improving and becoming well-rounded. We'll be looking to make lots of noise at conferences,” he said.

On the women’s side, Chicago (105.1 points) was edged out by Wash U with 132 points. Though they weren’t able to secure a team win, they compiled four individual victories. Three of these victories came in long distance races: third-year Cassidy McPherson topped the 1200 meter (3:46.06) and classmate Kelsey Dunn won the one mile (5:23.11) while fellow third-year Khia Kurtenbach won the 3000-meter (9:58.46). The women also had a top scorer in the high jump at the hands of third-year Ade Ayoola with 1.65 meters.

Both teams have a heavy focus on team culture and unity this season. “As a captain on our team, it makes me very proud to say that our team culture is very strong,” said Osowa. “We work very well together, support each other, and inspire one another, on and off the track. That's a product of a lot of time and effort spent by athletes, freshmen through seniors, to be positive contributors to our team's success.”

The Maroons look to keep up their success as the season progresses and keep building on their hot start. Dunn emphasized that this meet was important for a number of reasons, but that the teams are looking forward to the rest of the season. “This weekend was a great opportunity for our team to compete against another member of our conference. We are looking forward to the next meet at Whitewater. There will be more teams and even more competition,” she said. “It'll be a great time for some of us to really test ourselves as we approach the midway point of the season!”

The next meet for the streaking South Siders is the Windy City Invitational, held at Henry Crown Field House this weekend.