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University of Chicago Department of Athletics & Recreation

VacaGuzman, Downey Shine on Final Day of Qualifiers

Nicole VacaGuzman and Nate Downey
Nicole VacaGuzman and Nate Downey

NAPERVILLE, Ill. – Nicole VacaGuzman's first-place finish in the women's 400 meters led the way for the University of Chicago track and field teams on the final day of the North Central College Gregory Invitational, held Thursday.

VacaGuzman ran a field-best – and rebroke her own school record –  with a time of 55.92 seconds to claim the Maroons' lone title of the day. That time proved to be her best of the season, too – giving VacaGuzman a likely qualifying time for the upcoming NCAA Division III Track & Field Championships as she currently stands 10th in the nation.

In total, the Maroon women captured eight Top 10 finishes Thursday, as sophomore Mary Martin was third in both the 200 (25.61 seconds) and long jump, where she leapt a lifetime-best (5.49 meters). Also claiming a third-place finish was sophomore Laura Darcey in the heptathlon (4,398 points), followed closely by fourth-place teammate Olivia Cattau (4,322 points).

On the men's side, senior Obinnaya Wamuo ran his season-best in the 400 hurdles to place third with a time of 54.48 seconds. He joined 12 other events that featured Maroons in the Top 10 for the men. Jonathan Dobie took fourth in the shot put (13.82 meters), sophomore Joe Previdi was fourth in the 800 (1:52.25) and Tyson Miller crossed the line fifth in the 400, running a time of 49.61.

Traveling to the Augustana Twilight Meet for one last shot at possibly qualifying for the NCAA Championships, senior Nate Downey made his effort count in the men's pole vault in Rock Island, Ill., winning the event with a season-best mark of 4.91 meters. That number places him 12th nationally and likely guarantees him a spot in the national field, to be released later this week.



  • May 24-26: UChicago at NCAA Division III Track & Field Championships (at LaCrosse, Wis.)


Men's Top Finishers
400 – 5, Tyson Miller, 49.61
800 – 4, Joe Previdi, 1:52.25; 9, Jacob Amiri, 1:54.62
1,500 – 6, Owen Melia, 3:58.67
110 hurdles – 4, Patrick LeFevre, 15.20; 7, Will Ackerman, 15.27
400 hurdles – 3, Obinnaya Wamuo, 54.48; 9, Elliott Paintsil, 56.31
4x400 – 6, Obinnaya Wamuo, Elliott Paintsil, Ben Chaimberg, Tyson Miller, 3:18.02
Shot put – 4, Jonathon Dobie, 13.82m; 6, Alexander Scott, 12.25m
Javelin – 7, Cristen Bublitz, 53.00m; 10, Will Ackerman, 47.38m
*Pole vault – 1, Nathan Downey, 4.91 meters
*at Augustana Midwest Twilight Meet

Women's Top Finishers
200 – 3, Mary Martin, 25.61
400 – 1, Nicole VacaGuzman, 55.92
1,500 – 9, Emma Dyer, 4:48.88
3,000 steeplechase – 4, Cassidy McPherson, 11:14.61
Long jump – 3, Mary Martin, 5.49m
Shot put – 8, Hallie Parten, 11.20m
Heptathlon – 3, Laura Darcey, 4398 points; 4, Olivia Cattau, 4322 points