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Chicago track and field competed admirably at the UAA Conference Championships in Atlanta over the weekend. The men’s team finished second, while the women’s team finished fourth.
The men’s team featured two conference champions and ten All-Association honorees on their way to a second-place finish overall.
“Day one went fantastically in terms of both qualifying runners for finals on day two and having runners score in the event finals that were contested,” said fourth-year Toby Blattler, who participated in the men’s third-place 1600-meter relay team. “There were some minor stumbles on day two, but there were a number of excellent performances and I think that the team is very happy with the way it competed.”
Fourth-years Andrew Wells-Qu and John Sabacinski finished as conference champions in individual events. Wells-Qu won the 800-meter run, while Sabacinski won the discus. The men’s team also had several second- and third-place finishers.
“We scored much more than we were supposed to, and it seemed like everyone stepped up and did the best they could,” said second-year Dee Brizzolara, who placed second in both the 100- and 200-meter dashes.
Second-years Ray Laws and David Crosse also took home honors for their third-place finishes. Laws placed third in the 800-meter run behind Wells-Qu, and Crosse took third in the high jump.
“My teammate Andrew [Wells-Qu] is one of the best 800-meter runners in Division III and took the deserved win,” Laws said. “But I was able to sneak into third place, and Toby [Blattler] was able to get fifth, which was really just an awesome result.”
The highlight of the meet for the men came in the 3200-meter relay. The team composed of Wells-Qu, Laws, Blattler, and fourth-year Harry Backlund finished in a UAA and school record of 7:43.59, outdistancing the next best team by almost three seconds. The race remained extremely close until 200 meters remained, when Wells-Qu, the team’s anchor, sped away from the chasing Emory and Carnegie runners.