In the first week of the season, the South Siders have already claimed both UAA and national weekly honors. The Maroons plan to keep up the success this weekend in Kenosha, WI at the Private School Championships.
“At the meet this weekend, we’d like to build on our positive momentum from our previous meet,” second-year Michael Frasco said. “Most of all, our goal is to bond as a complete team. We have over 120 athletes across the men’s and women’s team, so it’s important to get to know everyone.”
Frasco started his season quite well, as he won the mile last weekend at the Phoenix Invitational.
This will be the first time in recent history for the Maroons to compete in the Private School Championships. Even though victory is the goal this weekend, the main focus is preparing for UAAs.
“We have a very talented track and field team this season,” Frasco said. “The biggest challenge for our team is to make sure that all of our talent is able to perform at its highest level at the conference championships. Finding the balance between training hard enough to increase fitness and not training so hard that athletes break down is crucial to any season. Track and field is an interesting sport because the only day that matters all season is the conference championships. Everything we do is building toward that one weekend.”
An example of one such issue for the Maroons would be injury. First-year pole-vaulter Michael Bennett, who was awarded both UAA conference athlete and USTFCA national athlete of the week, will not participate this weekend in hopes of preventing a stress fracture from forming.
The Maroons will still field a competitive squad this weekend. First-year Michelle Dobbs, who was also named UAA athlete of the week, will likely run again in the 800-meter run. She ranks third in DIII. First-year Gareth Jones will also be interesting to watch as he adjusts from cross country to track, a transition that has already earned him a first-place finish last meet. Other top athletes include second-years Rachel Jackson, Alison Pildner, and Brianna Hickey. Additionally, look for established athletes second-year Catt Young, fourth-year Dan Povitsky, and fourth-year Sarah Peluse to make big pushes this weekend to get into the national rankings.
“We [want] to qualify as many individuals to the national championship meet [as we can],” Frasco said.
Frasco will likely run the mile again with hopes of lowering his time and breaking into the national rankings himself.
“I want to run faster than 4:15 for the mile,” Frasco said. “My fitness is fairly high after the cross country season, and I’ve been getting stronger through speed work on the track and time in the weight room.”
Only time (and heights) will tell the results of this upcoming season for Maroon track and field. For now, Chicago will look to keep up a strong start in Kenosha, WI. The meet begins at 11 a.m.