IIT Track and Field competes at UW-Parkside Invitational

Sun, 2016/02/07

The Illinois Tech Track and Field team had their first meet on Saturday January 16. At that time, the team was very small and the coaches were new to Illinois Tech. Since then, the team has grown significantly in number and has competed in two more meets. The second meet was the UW-Parkside Green and White Invitational on Saturday, January 30, where the women's track and field team placed fifth and the men's track and field team placed seventh. On the women's team, Taylor Schaub won the high jump with a mark of 1.47m, Vanessa Arraiz placed seventh in the weight throw with a mark of 7.70m, and two athletes finished the 55m dash with times under 9.00s: Kristen Robinson with 8.82s and Marina Eraas with 8.96s. On the Men's team, Cole Dammeier won the 3000m event with a time of 9:32.48, Demis Thomas placed fifth in the 300m at 39.02s and eighth in the 55m at 6.93s. John Xavier placed seventh in the 55m with a time of 6.91s. Quentin Shipley-Mellon placed seventh in the mile with a time of 5:08.34, and Joseph Yassim placed sixth in the shot put with a throw of 12.87m.

The men's and women's track and field teams had a very late start to the season. However, things are really improving and the team is coming together and growing. Coaches Keith Burke and Nick Schneigert have been working with the team for less than a month, but both are very excited about the future of the track and field teams here at Illinois Tech. Coach Keith Burke said, taking over this program mid-year has been a very challenging blessing for us as a team. The hard work and dedication the athletes are putting forth every morning in practice is translating into some great success on the track. I am really looking forward to our program's continued growth.” Both coaches are very encouraged by the continued progress of individual athletes as well as the progress of the team as a whole. Coach Nick Schneigert noted, “our program is experiencing a bit of a culture change right now. The coaching staff hired here has a background of winning and an extensive background. We want our athletes to be champions in the classroom, champions on the track and the cross country course, and champions in life. We expect our athletes to be successful, but we understand student first and athlete second so we need to work with them as much as possible.” He continued to say, “we are the Stanfords, the Dukes, and the Northwesterns of small schools since we are a top tier academic institution just like them. And those same academic focused schools have excelled in sports. I believe with good recruiting and the development of our current athletes, in particular the off season training which is vital to collegiate track and field, we can be very successful. The current coaching staff are local Chicagoland coaches and we plan to stick around for a long time to develop this program to better heights. We are familiar with the Chicagoland XC/track and field community and we believe we have something special growing here.” The coaches, as well as every member of the team, are excited to see where this team goes as everyone continues to work hard to improve their marks and excel in their events.