After the cancellation of their last meet, the men’s and women’s track and field teams are geared up for the Wisconsin–Whitewater Invitational. Last weekend’s snow storm resulted in the last-minute cancellation of the teams’ annual I-55 Triangular meets. This cancellation has left both teams with a drive to succeed at their upcoming meet. As the season progresses, they seek to prove themselves with qualifying times and high rankings. This weekend, they will compete at the University of Wisconsin–Whitewater against a slew of DIII teams.
Practices have seen an increase in intensity. Previously, the distance and mid-distance teams practiced outdoors, running road runs and doing workouts in the Hyde Park area. However, with the recent snow storms, the distance and mid-distance teams have joined their sprinter and jumper teammates on the Henry Crown Field House’s indoor track. Third-year distance runner Claire Brockway explains, “This week we’ve been adjusting to…the indoor track workouts which includes faster pace intervals and longer tempo runs outside.”
Members of the team have cited the coaching staff as one of the sources of the rise in momentum for this season. Assistant coach Justin McQuality was noted to have a high impact on the jumping team. First-year John McCormick is a long and triple jumper for the team. Despite it being his first season with UChicago’s track and field team, he has greatly improved and shown excellence at meets. McCormick explains, “Coach Q has been really helpful and has been working with me to fix bad tendencies so I won’t mess up in meets. All of the jumpers are improving super well. I would credit it to Coach Q. He prides himself with what he does and doesn’t let us get away with mediocrity and pushes us to be better.”
Expectations are high for this weekend’s meet. As they get closer to the regional and national NCAA meets, members of the teams look to make qualifying times. Furthermore, the Maroons get the chance to compete against some highly ranked teams in their division, getting a feel for the competitiveness of rivals this season. The meet is a two-day meet, providing runners, jumpers and throwers many opportunities to make those qualifying times and place highly. Brockway comments, “I have the expectation that the distance events will be a little more competitive this weekend, but I think our team is in a position to rise to the occasion.”
Despite it being early in the season, members of the team have high expectations for its outcomes. McCormick comments, “I want to break both of the school records. I also want to win the conference title and go to nationals. I have to keep working hard and listening to Coach McQuality. I can’t slack off and regress back to bad habits.”
After the cancellation of last weekend’s meet, the track and field teams are more than ready to prove themselves to their competition and each other. Their competitive season will continue with its second meet this weekend with a two day meet. The men’s and women’s track teams will compete at the Wisconsin–Whitewater Invitational this Friday at 1 p.m.