This past weekend, the men and women of Chicago traveled to Brandeis University in Boston to compete in the UAA Indoor Track and Field Championships. The women’s team placed second and the men took third.
What has remained most important for the team this entire season has been the focus on unity and support throughout. Head coach Chris Hall and the rest of the coaching staff have continually emphasized the importance of teamwork for overall strength. This constant support has allowed for motivated practices and performances as the team has worked to always keep positivity and focus on its goals. These values were reflected in quotes from a few of the captains.
Fourth-year captain Charissa Newkirk said, “Across the board we had a lot of personal bests and first place finishers. Most of all, I’m proud to see that everyone truly supported all of their teammates regardless of how they performed personally, and that was really cool to see.” It was clear that this unity was reflected in performances, as classmate and fellow captain Eleanor Kang said, “We saw some great competition at our conference meet and it was great seeing our team really come together and elevate.”
Conference championships are what the team works for during both the indoor and outdoor season. “In such high pressure competition, the expectations we set for ourselves are often met with unexpected results: the elation of new personal records and hard-won points can clash with the unanticipated disappointments and chaotic nature of facing some of the best competition in the country,” said fourth-year captain Nick Nielsen. “Having personally experienced both extremes this weekend, I’m incredibly proud of my teammates and their incredible efforts—both in training and competition. Every point was fought for until the end, and I can’t wait to keep fighting for another season.”
Top performers include third-year Patrick LeFevre taking first and classmate Will Ackerman taking third in the 55-meter hurdles, fourth-year Temisan Osowa taking first in the 55-meter dash, third-year Nathan Downey taking first in the 200-meter dash, and first-year Alexander Scott taking first in the shot put, while the distance medley relay snatched third, and the 4x400-meter relay took second. For the women, second-year Alexandra Thompson took first and third-year Ade Ayoola took second in the high jump, third-year Khia Kurtenbach took second in the 3,000-meter run and first in the 5,000-meter run, and classmate Megan Verner-Crist took third in the one mile. Furthermore, first-year Robin Peter took third in the 55-meter hurdles, classmate Alisha Harris took third in the 55-meter dash and first in the long jump, while first-year Mary Martin took third in the long jump, and the distance medley relay took third.
Some team members are continuing on to qualify for the NCAA Championships in a few weeks while the rest of the team is working toward their outdoor season goals. “Looking ahead, there are many of us who will be continuing the season to try to compete at Nationals. I’m excited to see what we can do there and I’m also looking forward to our outdoor season where I’m sure our team will excel and also perform at a high level at our outdoor conference meet,” Kang said.