The Maroons had a successful meet this past Saturday at the Illinois Wesleyan University Indoor I–55 Triangular, competing in seven different events and taking home first on the women’s side with a total of 90.5 points and second on the men’s side with a sum of 90 points.
These first– and second– place finishes could not have been possible without the success of a number of individual performers.
“[Third-year] Nelly Trotter and [first-year] Ade Ayoola both had exceptional days in high jump. They P.R.’d and attempted the school record—I wouldn’t be surprised if they got it sometime soon. Ayoola also P.R.’d in shot put, which moved her up to third in the conference,” said fourth-year thrower Reecie Dern.
Fourth-year thrower Kelly Wood seemed to agree with this assessment of the team’s success, adding a few more names to the list of standouts in the Triangular.
“We had a ton of great performances this weekend. [Third-year] Ben Clark, on the men’s side, had a lifetime P.R. in both the 60 and the 200, and hadn’t P.R.’d in a couple years so it’s obvious he’s at a really great point competitively right now,” Wood said.
Third-year Nkemdilim Nwaokolo took first in both the shot put with a distance of 12.56m, and in weight throw with a distance of 14.68m. Nwaokolo, while happy with her finish, felt there was room for improvement.
“I’m always satisfied when I’m able to contribute points for the team, even though I strongly dislike throwing shot put,” Nwaokolo said. “I was surprised in my shot-put performance seeing as though I’ve only practiced it once this entire year. As for weight throw, I’m disappointed in my ability to achieve consistent marks, but I’m hopeful for the remainder of the season!”
Nwaokolo was also quick to acknowledge the role the team has in her performance and determination.
“I think keeping the mentality that it is important to score for the team rather than focusing on individual success was the key to winning this meet,” Nwaokolo said.
Wood added to the discussion, speaking to where the team seems to be in the current season.
“This time of the season is always kind of both good and bad because conference is pretty far away so it’s hard to keep in mind that we’re working towards that. It’s also kind of rough because now we’re all bogged down with school and people are getting sick or not feeling 100 percent physically,” Wood said.
Chicago seems hopeful that it will find itself sitting in a prime place and will be able to carry some momentum into the rest of the coming reason.
“I think we need to just keep doing what we’re doing, trust the system and put in the work,” Dern said. “As long as we keep working towards becoming a stronger team, we have big things ahead of us.”
The Maroons take to the track once again this Friday when they travel to Whitewater, WI to take part in the Warhawk Invite hosted by the University of Wisconsin–Whitewater. The meet will begin at 5 p.m. with individual competition times being confirmed at a later date.