Women Soar, Men Stumble at UAA Indoor Championships

The Emory women’s track and field team finished third with a total of 104 points in the University Athletic Association (UAA) Indoor Track and Field Championships this past weekend (Feb. 24-25), while the men’s team totaled 29 points to land in last place.

In the competition, held at at the Veale Athletic Center at Case Western Reserve University (Ohio), the University of Chicago women’s team took home first place while Washington University in St. Louis (Mo.) won the men’s side.

Head Coach John Curtin said the women’s score of more than 100 points would have been enough to win the UAAs in some of the past years but that the men’s team has never performed this poorly.

“[On the men’s side], we’re obviously very disappointed,” Curtin said. “[After the meet], our guys, we got together, and we took a long look at each other and saw each other’s faces and believe there’s too much talent in that room. We should’ve done better.”

On Saturday, the women’s team logged in a pair of All-UAA and third-place finishes. Junior Paris Wagner recorded a distance of 14.87m in the weight throw and freshman Rebekah Bondi finished with a personal-best mark in the long jump with a distance of 5.35m.

Senior captain Gabrielle Stravach seized a title on Sunday in the mile run. She dominated her opponents, winning the event by more than six seconds with 4:57.42, the second- fastest time ever in the event.

In the pole vault, freshman Andi Breitowich placed fourth, just outside the top three positions. Breitowich slotted in a career-best height of 3.37m.

Junior Dani Bland led the way for the Eagles on the second day of competition with three event titles: the 60m dash, the 200m dash and the 4x400m relay. In the 60m dash, Bland ran a personal best of 7.71, the fifth best women’s time in Emory history. In the 200m, she added a season-best time of 25.52. Her third title was in the 4×400 relay, which she clinched with teammates junior Dilys Osei, sophomore Kaitlyn Leonard and senior Erica Goldman with a time of 3:56.40.

Osei impressed in the 60m hurdles with a personal record of 8.98, the fourth fastest time in the history of the program.

The sixth title for the women’s side came from sophomore Greta Wilker in the shot put, who threw for a distance of 12.32m. Senior Kora Dreffs threw for 11.69m and finished in third place.

The Eagles added a third place effort from Goldman in the 400m dash with a time of 57.79.

On the men’s side, seniors Benjamin Rogin and Max Brown starred throughout the weekend. Rogin ran for second place in the 60m hurdles with a time of 8.30 and tied the Emory record in the process. Brown added hardware with a third-place finish and second straight All-UAA finish with a time of 4:17.26 in the mile run.

Rogin said he was proud of his record tying performance.

“[It’s] something I’ve been going for [since] my freshman year,” Rogin said. “It’s a really cool experience and I’ve got two more meets. Hopefully, I can bring [the time] down and get the record [itself].”

Several Eagles just missed out on the podium. Sophomore Luis Torres placed fourth in the 5000m run with a time of 15:04.62. In the distance medley relay, sophomores Samuel Branson and Alex Rand, senior Robert Wilhelm III and Brown clocked in a time of 10:14.74. The total run is 4000 meters (a 1200-meter leg, a 400-meter leg, an 800-meter leg and a 1600-meter leg, in that order). Another fourth place finish from the Eagles was in 4x400m relay. Led by Rogin, Wilhelm, Rand and sophomore Aria Mohseni, the team rounded out the effort with a time of 3:26.86.

In regards to the team’s seventh-place finish, Rogin said the UAA has become more competitive over the past few years and that most of the team competed as well as they could.

“We had close to 30 records and competed the best they could,” Rogin said. “There’s something to be proud of. We had a lot of younger guys trying to adjust to the conference meet. We all know we can do a little bit better going into the outdoor season soon.”

The impending outdoor season signals a transition period for much of the team. Individual runners on the team will have differing training regimens based on the meets they plan to run, according to Curtin.

“Some of the kids will be running at Tufts [University (Mass.)] in the indoors, [but] a lot of the kids are resting and recovering from UAAs,” Curtin said. “We have one group going back to base work and building up fitness for the [outdoor events].”

The Eagles will have several athletes competing in last-chance meets this week, Mar. 3-4, at Tufts University before the NCAA DIII Indoor Championships at the Birmingham Crossplex Mar. 9-10.