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University of Chicago Department of Athletics & Recreation

Maroon Track & Field Teams Capture Six Event Titles at Augustana Viking Olympics

Cassidy McPherson, Nathan Downey, Khia Kurtenbach, Ryan Cutter, Maddie DeVoe and Ade Ayoola
Cassidy McPherson, Nathan Downey, Khia Kurtenbach, Ryan Cutter, Maddie DeVoe and Ade Ayoola

ROCK ISLAND, Ill.  – The University of Chicago men's and women's track and field teams kicked off the 2018 outdoor season with six individual event titles at Augustana College's Viking Olympics, held Thursday.

The UChicago men had two champions – first-year Ryan Cutter in the 1,500 meters and senior Nathan Downey in the pole vault – to lead the Maroons to a solid runner-up finish in the team standings behind host Augustana.

Cutter ran a time of 4:00.04 to edge out runner-up Tanner Osing of Augustana by a mere 0.43 seconds in a tight finish. His time stands as the best so far in the University Athletic Association standings.

Downey, coming off his All-American performance at the NCAA indoor national meet, captured top honors with a mark of 4.60 meters despite the lack of his usual poles – lost by the team's airline on the trip back from Birmingham, Ala., the site of the NCAA Division III national championships in early March. Forced to use different poles, Downey had to shorten his approach and still came out on top Thursday to earn the top mark so far in the UAA.

In the men's 5,000, it was a 2-3 finish for the Maroons, as senior Peter Kreuch took runner-up honors with a time of 15:11.00 and sophomore teammate Andrew Kates wasn't far behind in third with a time of 15:15.09.

Three other Maroon men finished in the top three in their respective events – senior Cristen Bublitz in the javelin (2nd, 48.88 meters), sophomore Alexander Scott in the shot put (3rd, 14.60 meters) and sophomore Tyson Miller in the 200 meters (3rd, 22.04 seconds).

On the women's side, senior Khia Kurtenbach highlighted the fifth-place Maroons with a new meet-record in her win in the 5,000 meters. She beat the field by 14 seconds with a time of 17:29.55, which stands as the third best time in NCAA Division III and the top mark in the UAA. She was joined in the Top 6 by teammates Abigail Shoemaker (third, 18:16.31) and Taylor Campos (sixth, 18:34.70).

In total, the UChicago women won four event titles, with first-year Maddie DeVoe in the 800 meters (2:19.58), senior Cassidy McPherson in the 1,500 meters (4:49.18), and senior Ade Ayoola in the high jump (1.60 meters) joining Kurtenbach as champs.

Two others earned Top 3 finishes, as first-year Katie Jasminski was close behind DeVoe in the 800 in third (2:21.60) and classmate Emma Dyer took second in the 1,500 with a time of 4:54.06).



  • Saturday, April 7: UChicago at Wheaton Invitational, 11 AM CT


  • Men's Team Finish: 2nd, 108 points.

Men's Top Finishers
4x400 relay – Marwan Lloyd, Jason Chao, Anthony Kies, Elliott Paintsil (4th, 44.79)
1500 – Ryan Cutter (1st, 4:00.04)
100 – Tyson Miller (4th, 11.24)
400 – Ben Chaimberg (7th, 51.24)
200 – Tyson Miller (3rd, 22.04)
5,000 – Peter Kreuch (2nd, 15:11.00); Andrew Kates (3rd, 15:15.09)
Pole vault – Nathan Downey (1st, 4.60m)
Shot put – Alexander Scott (3rd, 14.60m)
Hammer throw – Alexander Scott (4th, 43.15); Christopher Dann (6th, 40.26m)
Javelin – Cristen Bublitz (2nd, 48.88m); Will Ackerman (5th, 45.74m)


  • Women's Team Finish: 5th, 92.33 points

Women's Top Finishers
1500 – Cassidy McPherson (1st, 4:49.18); Emma Dyer (2nd, 4:54.06); Sophia Smith (5th, 5:02.73)
100 hurdles – Olivia Cattau (5th, 16.04)
800 – Maddie DeVoe (1st, 2:19.58); Katie Jasminski (3rd, 2:21.60)
400 hurdles – Rachel Gagnon (6th, 1:13.15); Ella Parker (7th, 1:13.71)
5,000 – Khia Kurtenbach (1st, 17:29.55); Abigail Shoemaker (3rd, 18:16.31); Taylor Campos (6th, 18:34.70)
High jump – Ade Ayoola (1st, 1.60m)
Triple jump – Jasmine Guerrier (7th, 9.51m)
Shot put – Ade Ayoola (7th, 10.89m)
Hammer throw – Merisa Middlestadt (6th, 36.33m)