Kurtenbach leads UChicago track and field at day one of NCAA Indoor Championships

Khia Kurtenbach
Khia Kurtenbach

NAPERVILLE, Ill. – The University of Chicago track and field teams participated in three finals and two prelims at day one of the NCAA Division III Indoor Track & Field Championships on Friday.

The day's best performance came courtesy of junior Khia Kurtenbach, who repeated as an All-American in the women's 5,000 meters for the second year in-a-row. In a finals field of 17 racers, Kurtenbach captured fifth place in a blazing time of 16:54.75. That mark came within less than a second of breaking the school record of 16:54.02 set by Rhaina Echols in 2000. It also shaved almost 14 seconds off Kurtenbach's seasonal best in the event.

In the second-to-last race of the day, the women's distance medley relay finished in ninth place in a time of 12:01.46. The relay was composed of junior Cassidy McPherson, senior Michelle Dobbs, sophomore Jenna McKinney and junior Megan Verner-Crist.

UChicago started the morning with the men's pole vault. Junior Nathan Downey was one of 15 participants in the final. Downey cleared three-straight attempts, topping out at 4.80 meters. That height helped him finish 10th overall.

Freshman Robin Peter advanced to Saturday's final in the women's 60-meter hurdles after finishing sixth out of 17 in the prelims. She crossed the line in 8.883. The top-eight finish guarantees her an All-American accolade – the first of her career.

The 4x400-meter relay prelims took place on Friday afternoon, with the relay quartet of junior Olivia Cattau, senior Eleanor Kang, freshman Alisha Harris and sophomore Emma Koether. The Maroons placed ninth in a seasonal-best time of 3:54.81, narrowly missing out on Saturday's final by one place.

NEXT MEET:

  • Saturday, Mar. 11 @ 10:00 AM – UChicago at NCAA Division III Championships (Naperville, Ill.)