Men's track takes UAA Championship

The Carnegie Mellon men’s and women’s track teams competed in the University Athletic Association (UAA) championships in Cleveland last weekend at Case Western Reserve University. The men placed first, winning the indoor UAA title for the first time in school history, while the women had an impressive fourth-place finish. “[We had] good performances on both the men’s and women’s sides. Our relays did really well, and we had some people on the podium, which is always good,” senior Carissa Iannone said.

On the women’s side, junior Samantha Oleson led the Tartans in the throwing events with a second-place finish and career-best toss of 13.43 meters in the weight toss, earning All-UAA honors.

In the same event, junior Jane Kim also had her best career toss, 12.53 meters; and this effort earned her third place along with All-UAA distinction. The next day, Kim also recorded her career-best throw in the shot put, a distance of 10.44 meters. This finish gave her fifth place.

One Tartan, senior Emily Wobb, ran in the 5,000-meter event. She sped along to a time of 17:36.23, the best time in her career. Wobb also ran in the 3,000-meter event, earning sixth place with a time of 10:30.92.

Sasha Spalding, a sophomore, made the final round of the 200-meter race by beating her own school record with a new and improved time of 26.74; this score was then bested by Spalding herself in the final round. Her time of 26.61 gave her a fourth-place finish in the event.

On Saturday during the preliminary round of the 55-meter hurdles, junior Jacqueline Guevel sprinted to her season-best time, 8.44. In Sunday’s competition, Guevel had even more achievements: a second-place finish with a time of 8.47 and All-UAA honors. Guevel’s success also continued into the 400-meter race where she raced to her career-best time of 1:00.17, which earned her fifth place.

Finally, four Tartans — first-year Alexandra Lewis, sophomore Erin Kiekhaefer, Spalding, and Guevel — represented Carnegie Mellon in the 1,600-meter relay team event, finishing third with a time of 4:05.25. All four women were awarded All-UAA status.
On the men’s side, the team of juniors Kenneth Murphy and Josh Newby and sophomores Thomas Vandenberg and Douglas O’Connell collectively worked together to give Carnegie Mellon a UAA title with a season-best time of 10:16.08. All four men were awarded All-UAA honors, as Newby and Vandenberg are second-time honorees after leading their team to a third-place finish last year.

Sunday’s weight toss event had three Carnegie Mellon athletes finish in top positions. Junior Zachary Erra-Hernandez was a huge asset for Carnegie Mellon’s throwing team, winning the shot put with a total of 15.48 meters.

Junior Nathan Cheek and sophomore Gino Pilato also represented Carnegie Mellon well in this event — both earned All-UAA honors — and Cheek had his best career toss of 14.73 meters. Cheek earned All-UAA honors after throwing his weight 16.38 meters and earning second place in the event.

Vandenberg earned yet another UAA title for the Tartans with his performance in the 800-meter run with a time of 1:57.89. Teammate O’Connell finished right behind him with a 1:59.10 time with UAA honors.

Newby’s third-place finish in the mile run also helped the Tartans’ success. Newby ran the mile in 4:21.88, his career best.
The meet was highlighted by several career bests, especially on the distance side. Sophomore George Degen’s time of 14:54.78 in the 5,000-meter run was his career best and a time that placed him second in the event.

Distance runner Murphy competed in the 3,000-meter run and ran a personal record time of 8:39.89 to finish in third.

Sophomore Mike McDermott earned All-UAA honors in not one, but three events, receiving second place in the long jump and third place in the high jump.

McDermott had a career-best event in the long jump, jumping a total of 6.44 meters.

He also cleared an impressive 1.89 meters in the high jump, earning All-UAA honors the second year in a row for this event.
On Sunday’s event, the pole vault, he cleared 4.33 meters and finished in third place as a result.

Senior Noel Titus competed well enough in the preliminaries in order to compete in the 55-meter dash on Sunday. His preliminary time of 6.53 seconds, his career-best time, allowed him to run in Sunday’s event and sprint to a time of 6.62 seconds, which earned him fourth place.

Finally, junior Mike Standish, O’Connell, Vandenberg, and Titus won the 4x400-meter relay with a blazing 3:23.68 time to give Carnegie Mellon its fourth UAA title of the day and finish off a successful meet.

Senior Ben Nealy said, “Everyone really peaked at the championships, and it was great to see everyone cheering for each other.”