Both the men’s and women’s track and field teams will be competing in the University Athletic Association (UAA) Outdoor Championships this weekend. The meet will be hosted by Carnegie Mellon University, and is set to take place on April 28 and 29.
Head Coach John Curtin said that he expected women’s competition to be a very close one between Washington University in St. Louis and Emory. The Eagles have won the UAA Outdoor Championships two years in a row, but Wash. U won this year’s indoor title.
“Wash. U caught us earlier this year and has shown they are willing to load up their distance kids to go for the title,” Curtin wrote in an email to the Wheel. “We simply need to match them and do a little more in the sprints, hurdles and jumps to make it a horse race.”
Curtin also explained that the men’s squad will be entering the meet without two key players, making the road to a championship tougher. Senior thrower Ben Euwer and sophomore sprinter and jumper Mike Moserowitz will both be unable to compete due to injuries.
“Ben [was] the conference’s best all-around thrower and Mike [was] among the top horizontal jumpers,” he wrote. “Their loss has definitely set us back, but our guys are resilient and I will never count them out.”
Strong showings in the high jump and distance events will be especially critical to the success of the women’s team, according to senior captain Alix Dyer.
“Wash. U is the national cross country reigning champion, so they are obviously very strong in the longer events,” Dyer wrote in an email to the Wheel. “At last year’s indoor conference [championships], [the] high jump swung things our way. This event can really be a hit or miss, so it is important that our athletes perform at their best.”
Senior captain Geraint Davies explained that, for the men, the jumping events would be crucial to a successful meet.
“The triple jump and long jump are events that we are traditionally strong in and are looking good in,” Davies said. “If the distance guys can come up with some points as well, we will be looking really good.”
Davies went on to add that a few members of the team have really been stepping up lately, and he looks forward to seeing quality efforts from them.
“Stephen Ellwood ran a great 1500 last week, Edward Mulder has the fourth fastest 5k time in the UAA and the other captains are really getting the sprint guys ready to go,” he said. We should see some good performances — a lot of guys are peaking at the right time.”
The meet will take place outdoors in Pittsburgh. The forecast on Saturday calls for a high of 47 degrees and a chance of snow. Curtin said that the weather will be a major factor for the team to deal with.
“Conditions we are looking at for this weekend will be tough,” he wrote. “The weather will be a factor and the teams that rise above [it are] the teams that are going to win.”
However, Davies is trying to keep the issue out of his mind.
“Everybody is in the same conditions,” he said. “If you don’t worry about it you are ahead of everybody who is.”
A particular strength of the Emory team is its spirit and energy.
“We come together as a team and cheer each other on” Dyer wrote. “We have heard other teams complain that, when they are racing, all they hear is the Emory crowd cheering on its own athletes. It is really a great atmosphere.”
— Contact Bennett Ostdiek.