UChicago’s men’s and women’s cross country teams are looking beyond their road runs on the path to the NCAA Division III Championships. Hoping to qualify for the championships, the teams will compete at the NCAA DIII Midwest Regionals in Colfax, Wisconsin, this Saturday. Runners who qualify will take part in the NCAA DIII Championships next Saturday in Winneconne, Wisconsin.
The men’s team has had a victorious season and hopes to continue their success at this weekend’s meet. Only one of their top seven runners graduated last year, leaving the team with plenty of energy and mental preparation for this season. With the addition of several talented and hardworking first-years to the strong leadership of fourth-year captains Owen Melia and Jake Gosselin, the team has gone above and beyond in races. This year the men’s team ranked No. 3 in their conference, compared to last year’s No. 5 position. Moreover, they outscored NYU and Emory, two teams that have narrowly scored higher than them in the past two seasons. Fourth-year Ansel Richards said, “I'm very impressed by the resiliency we’ve shown this whole year. We’ve managed to improve over last year despite a lot of our top guys getting hit with pretty tough injuries.” This triumphant victory leaves them with a strong résumé heading into their regional and national meets.
Third-year Andy Kates said, “Personally, I just want to leave nothing in the tank. I don’t want to finish the races and feel like I could have given more. In the past there’s some races where you feel like you didn’t give it your all or could have gotten [past] a few extra people. I just want to run with my teammates, leave everything out there, and have fun with it.”
The women’s team has also had a successful season, placing second in their conference championship. With several returning runners, the team started the season with high intensity and mental toughness. The dynamic between these seasoned runners and the promising first-years created a competitive atmosphere in practice as well as competition. Last weekend, Maggie Boudreau, Claire Brockway, and Sophie Elgamal received all-league honors at the UAA meet. Two first-years, Lucy Jeffs and Kaitlyn Van Baalen, got spots on the conference’s All-Rookie team. Jeffs says, “The championship season has been great so far. We got second at the UAA Championship, but I think out team still feels we can do even better, so we’re hoping to put lots of good performances together this weekend.”
Both teams have been in maintenance phases since early October. For the first two months of season, they trained with vigorous workouts to test their bodies and build endurance. Now, they work on maintaining their strength and stamina for the more competitive meets of the season. This past week they’ve done moderate workouts and practiced running in groups. Both teams hope to avoid injuries and stay in peak shape for their upcoming meets and the following winter track season.
With eyes set towards personal bests and team success, UChicago’s cross country teams plan to leave everything out there for their last two meets of the season.
Both the men and women’s teams will compete in 6K races starting at 11 a.m. this Saturday.