Individual victories prevail at I-55 Triangular meet

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Jeff Neukom, Managing Editor

On Saturday, Jan. 24, the Illinois Wesleyan University women’s track and field team finished second and the men’s team finished third at the I-55 Triangular Meet.

As its name suggests, the Triangular Meet is a three-way competition. On the women’s side, University of Chicago finished first with 90.50 points, with Wesleyan at 73.50 and Washington University with 69.

On the men’s side, Washington U. took first place with 111 points; Chicago scored 90 points and IWU a disappointing 24 points. Teams earn five points for individual first-place finishes, and IWU senior Brenden Wall was the lone ranger on that front.

While the IWU teams might not have gotten the numerical results they wanted, they were able to secure a few individual victories that have promise in future competition.

Sophomore Maddison Zimmer was named the College Conference of Illinois and Wisconsin’s Track Athlete of the Week for the second time in her career.

Zimmer, who was part of the women’s 4×400 relay that won first place, defeated eight other runners to secure first place in the 400m dash. She clocked a time of 58.03, topping the second-place runner by 1.81 seconds.

Her 57.7 second 400m on the lead leg of the 4×400 relay helped her team ascend to the number-one ranking in the conference and in the nation.

One of Zimmer’s teammates on the 4x400m relay, senior Angela Herrmann, said, “We have been working so hard in the off season and we are hoping to fulfill our goal of winning conference. Let me tell you, we are hungry this year.”

Another of those individual victories was Brenden Wall’s first place finish in the men’s triple jump. He logged a jump of 42 feet, 9 inches, beating out University of Chicago jumper Liam Ward by .25” to lay claim to first place.

The IWU team had one last victory to celebrate for the day, welcoming back sophomore Steven Gualandri, who has fought through numerous injuries in his short IWU career. Having received the okay from the training staff, Gualandri laced up and won his individual heat with a time of 54.7 seconds.

He finished seventh overall, earning a point for his team’s cause. More importantly, he took a big step forward towards being healthy and competitive.

So while it may not have been the best statistical weekend for the IWU team, track and field is different than most other sports – individual victories go a long way towards team success.