Senior Annika Urban competes at the UAA Indoor Championships on Feb. 25-26. Urban broke the UAA 5000-meter and one-mile records at the meet. (Courtesy of Annika Urban)

The Emory University men’s and women’s track and field teams competed at the University Athletic Association (UAA) Indoor Championships in Waltham, Mass. on Feb. 25-26. The men’s team scored 136 points while the women’s team scored 190.14, both finishing the meet in third place. The Eagles hoped to build off of strong performances at the University of South Carolina Open on Feb. 17 as the men’s and women’s teams entered the championship ranked 22 and 14, respectively.

Men place third, bring home four individual UAA titles 

For the men’s team, this season has been defined by record-breaking runs. Earlier in the season, senior Spencer Moore broke Emory’s one-mile record on Jan. 21 with a time of 4:09.86, surpassing junior Spencer Watry’s record of 4:11.51 set in 2022. Moore beat his own record on Feb. 3, running a time of 4:09.07 for the third fastest mile in Eagles’ history. Likewise, junior Scott Masterson, freshman Bryce Wurster, sophomore Marcus Cheema and Watry broke the record for the fastest distance medley relay racing a time of 9:53.00. Sophomore Jackson Price also broke the school record for the 200-meter dash earlier in the season recording a time of 21.99 seconds. These performances gave the team momentum leading up to the UAA Championships.  

Sophomore Dawit Dean said the team focused on getting the nerves out in training leading up to the UAA Championships. 

“The week leading up to [UAA Indoor Championships] is one of those weeks where we were still training but it’s not like we’re trying to push our fitness,” Dean said. “It’s more like keeping our legs fresh and making sure we’re still able to access those fast twitch muscles. So, it was nothing tense … I would say mostly relaxed, but enough so that your body’s not shocked when you’re on race day.”

For Moore, his main goal was to get “as many points he could for the team,” while runners like Dean were focused on staying composed.

“I was trying to stay relaxed and not make myself too nervous because sometimes if you overthink things, you cannot execute as you would have liked,” Dean said. “ I didn’t really concern myself with exactly what I was going to do, and I didn’t constantly replay the perfect race in my mind. I stayed relaxed and chill leading up to the race.”

The Eagles came in third place on the first day of the Championships, trailing Washington University in St. Louis (WashU) and Carnegie Mellon University (CMU) (Pa.)  by 13 and 8.33 points, respectively. 

In the field events, freshman Henry Brandstadter won the long jump title with a distance of 7.15 meters. On the same day, Brandstadter captured the high jump crown with a 1.98-meter jump. His jumps helped propel Emory to two more all-UAA performances and keep the team in range of WashU and CMU. 

Junior Kenya Sei also broke the Emory weight throw record, placed third and won an All-UAA performance for the Eagles with a distance of 16.16 meters. 


The preliminary running events saw strong performances from runners like sophomore Sam Ryba who recorded a time of 6.97 seconds in the 60-meter dash and Price who won the 200-meter dash in 22.55 seconds. Building off the energy from the preliminaries, sophomore Dawit Dean won the 400-meter dash final with a time of 49.83 seconds and freshman Bryce Wurster secured third place with a time of 50.74 seconds. 

Despite winning the 400-meter dash final and placing third as a team, Dean said the team felt slightly discouraged with their finish on Feb. 26. 

“We really wanted to win it, and we believed that we could, and I think that is an accurate assessment,” Dean said. “We just had a few events that we didn’t do as well as we had anticipated. So I think overall, the atmosphere was a little bit of disappointment, but I think as a team … we’ve come a long way.”

Senior Thomas Davis helped lead the 4×400-meter relay along with Dean, Wurster and sophomore Tristan Moore. They won the event with a time of 3:21.09. Senior Brett Lucas also placed third in the 3000-meter race with a time of 8:22.70, the second fastest in program history. The men’s team placed third with 136 points. WashU came in first scoring 144 points with CMU placing second with 140.33 points. 

Moore was proud of his team for improving on their fourth place finish at the 2022 UAA Indoor Championship.

“We’re very encouraged with the result,” Moore said. “So, we finished fourth last year and this year we finished third. But we nearly doubled our point total. That was a very encouraging step forward.”

Senior Spencer Moore runs at the UAA Indoor Championships on Feb. 25-26. Both the men’s and women’s teams placed third. (Courtesy of Spencer Moore)

Women place third, Urban smashes 5000-meter and one-mile UAA record 

The women’s team entered the championships ranked No. 14 in the nation and No. 3 in the UAA conference. Senior Annika Urban looked to continue her dominant year, breaking the Emory mile record, posting a time of 4:50.74 on Feb. 3, and winning the 3000-meter race with a time of 9:28.14 on Feb. 10. 

Hoping to improve on their fourth place finish last season, the Eagles garnered 28.66 points on the first day of the meet, trailing the University of Chicago (UChicago) and WashU by 71 and 41 points, respectively.

Urban set a new UAA indoor championship record in the 5000-meter race with a time of 16:55.37, followed by sophomore Liesl Scherrer (17:57.67) and junior Julia Danko (18:00.24). This marked the first All-UAA honor of the championship. The preliminaries also saw strong performances from junior Clementine Bodus who ran the 60-meter hurdles in 8.96 seconds, the sixth-fastest time in program history.  

In the finals, Urban continued her hot streak and broke another UAA record in the one-mile with a time of 4:53.43. Emory’s second individual UAA title was awarded to sophomore Audrey Johnson who won the 60-meter dash with a time of 7.70. 

Urban said that heading into the Indoor Championships, breaking records was not her primary goal. 

“Going to the races, I didn’t realize what the record was,” Urban said. “I wanted to get the title [in] both of those races and I’ve been obviously training and preparing for a while, but in the end I just did what I knew that I could do.”

The women’s team placed third with a combined team score of 90.16  in 16 events. Graduate student Nyjah Willis won the final UAA title of the meet for the Eagles, breaking the weight throw record with a distance of 16.27 meters. 

WashU came in first with 194 points with UChicago placing second with 190 points. Urban said the women’s team felt proud of their accomplishments. 

“I’m overall really impressed with how the whole team did and also individually,  I went through everything I wanted to do this weekend,” Urban said. “I’m really happy about it.”

Johnson said that the team will use the gap between UChicago and Emory as motivation for future meets. 

“[There were] huge jumps from last year but I think there’s still room for more,” Johnson said. “[For] the girls, there’s still a pretty big gap between the top two teams in the way, but it definitely gives us something to work off of.”

The Eagles will compete in the Tufts Final Qualifiers on March 4 in Boston before heading to Birmingham, Ala. to compete in the NCAA Division III National Championship on Mar. 10-11.

+ posts

Clement Lee (he/him) (24Ox) is from Virginia Beach, Virginia, majoring in economics. Outside the Wheel, Clement can be found reading new books or going on long runs in the woods.