The Maroons went undefeated last Saturday at the Windy City Rumble. The home meet for Chicago included a few DI teams along with a multitude of DIII teams. The meet allowed the Maroons to see some better athletes in their races while still competing at the DIII level since the DI squads were not scored against other teams. For most South Siders, the Rumble served more as preparation for future meets than an all-out go for nationals.
“It’s always more comfortable racing at home in our own facility,” second-year Jake Romeo said. “Crown is a fast track, and looking forward, this was a great opportunity for us to make some qualifying times for Chicagoland and move up in the UAAs.”
The Chicagoland Championships is a highly competitive meet that requires competitors to meet certain qualifying standards in their respective events, though the team may enter up to four competitors in each event regardless of whether or not they meet the standards. Romeo’s time of 6.78s in the 55-meter dash this past Saturday cleared the mark but missed his best for the year by .02s.
“I try to keep it simple,” Romeo said. “My main goal race-by-race is to just continue to improve upon my previous times over the course of the season.”
First-years Timofey Karginov and Nicholas Nielsen took first in the mile and 800-meter run with their times of 4:27.16 and 2:00.20, respectively. Fourth-year Michael Frasco won the 3,000-meter run with his time of 8:44.74.
“I raced the 3k this weekend instead of my primary race, which is the mile,” Frasco said. “I focused on running smooth and closing the last lap hard. I accomplished those goals and look forward to returning to the mile next week. One of the things [we] need to work on is turning left more efficiently. A couple of guys have a tendency to drift into the outer lanes during the race.”
Second-year pole vaulters Michael Bennett, Nick Lyon, and Chase Wilson all attempted personal bests at the meet but missed. Bennett still took first in the event. For throws, first-year Andrew Maneval took second in the weight throw with 12.63m and second-year Richard Painter took third in the shot put with 12.9m.
The meet was an overall solid performance for the Maroons, but the conference has gotten better since last year, and the Maroons will need to make improvements if they want to claim the title.
“Our goal every season is to compete for a UAA Championship,” Romeo said. “As much as each meet is an opportunity to show what we can do as a team, we understand that everything up until [UAAs] is just another workout. The plan is to be able to peak at the end of the month when we head over to Boston and really be at the top of our game for when it counts.”
The Maroons will compete in two more meets this season before they will make the trip to Brandeis for the conference championship.
Frasco put it simply: “Our goal is to dominate the UAA,” he said.