Ahead of the conference championships next weekend, the Maroons look to finish their regular season strong at home this weekend, which will be their last home indoor meet of the year. Speaking from experience, fourth-year Alisha Ho sees the meet as an experiment that allows the team to make adjustments for the crucial race next week.
“Next week is the conference meet, so this weekend is great for helping the team tune up before heading to New York. With such talented teams, winning the meet is a strong possibility—even with people running events other than the primary ones they will complete in at conference,” Ho said.
Last weekend, the women’s team posted 10 first place finishes, led by third-year Eleanor Kang, first-year Emma Koether, third-year Michelle Dobbs, and fourth-year Mikaela Hammel. Hammel broke the school record for the 4x400-meter race with a time of 3:53.97 and won the race by almost 11 seconds. With performances like that, it may appear as though the women don’t have
many adjustments to make, but they want to keep improving and keep their momentum going.
“We’ve had strong and consistent performances over the last few weeks, with many teammatessetting new personal bests. We’ve also seen incredible national-caliber races by a couple members of the team, including fourth-year Brianna Hickey in the mile and second-year Khia Kurtenbach in the 5K. Looking forward, we’re looking for everyone to stay healthy and focused as the postseason meets approach,” Ho said.
On the men’s side, first-year Markus Diehl echoed similar sentiments, especially since most of the men have now recovered from an injury-riddled start to the season.
“As the season winds down, I think this invite will show us definitively where our strengths lie. So far this season, we started out well, and have only grown better as some of our top athletes have returned from injuries and posted some great times. I think we are in a great position to succeed at both this invite and at the UAA Conference Championships next week in New York,”
Last weekend, the men posted five top-five finishes, with third-year Nicholas Nielsen placing third in the one mile and first-year Owen Melia, fourth-year Ben Clark, third-year Jeremy Ferguson, and first-year Mitchell Booth placing third in the Distance Medley Relay. Third-year Gareth Jones placed fourth in the 5,000 meters. Clark, Diehl, fourth-year Ryan Manzuk, and second-year Nathan Downey placed fourth in the 4x400-meter relay, and Downey again placed fifth in the pole vault.
“Both the men’s and women’s teams are in contention to win the conference meet, and we’re excited to see some great performances into the next few weeks,” Ho said. Both the men’s and women’s team look to send off the fourth-years with a win in their last home meet as the end of the season nears.
The Margaret Bradley Invitational will begin at 11:30 a.m. on Saturday. The event will be held at the Henry Crown Field House.