Seattle University Track and Field wrapped up its indoor season last weekend by competing in the Western Athletic Conference Indoor Track and Field Championships. Over two days both the men’s and women’s teams enjoyed tremendous success and came back to Seattle having enjoyed the program’s best performance at the event in recent memory.
Several Redhawk athletes earned All-WAC honors in Colorado’s Cadet Field House on the campus of the U.S. Air Force Academy. Most impressive were, senior Sophie Curatilo and junior Shaddye Melu each of whom took home Seattle University’s first indoor track and field conference title since the Redhawks joined the Western Athletic Conference.
Curatilo won the one-mile run with a time of 5:09.52 to take home All WAC honors in that event, before collecting second in the 3000 meter run with a time of 10:41.67, thus earning her All-WAC honors in that category as well. Melu clinched the title by clearing 2.05 meters for the high jump. He then continued to raise the bar to 2.11 meters by clearing that height on his third attempt, thus setting for himself a new personal record, as well as a new Seattle U school record and earning for himself All-WAC honors. The success of both athletes adds to the increasingly storied nature of the Seattle U track and field program.
“It seemed to me that [Curatilo and Melu] were very composed and focused. They knew what was possible to achieve, what they wanted to achieve and they had a pretty good outlook on how to make that happen,” said head coach Trisha Steidl. “I’m sure they were nervous, but they were pretty relaxed because they knew what they needed to do, what they were capable of and… They went in, executed and were ready for whatever came their way, and that’s a mark of successful people.”
Senior Madison Davis also earned All-WAC honors, placing second in the 800 meter run with a time of 2:19.09.
Junior Mandie Maddux posted personal and university bests at the Conference championships, finishing second in the indoor pentathlon and third in the high jump to take home All WAC honors in those categories. Maddux would also tie the school record in the shot put with a top throw of 11.54 meters.
“Mandie competed really well in everything she did,” Steidl said. “She did a really great job and demonstrated a lot of growth from last year to
A number of Redhawks also earned Second Team All-WAC honors over the weekend including sophomore Lila Rice, who finished fourth in the one mile with a time of 5:17.42. Junior Alisa Poplawski finished sixth in the 800 meter with a time of 2:21.95 to earn Second Team honors.
Sophomore Mariah Gibbs also crushed a school record in the triple jump by over half a meter, finishing fourth for Second-Team All-WAC honors with a mark of 11.96 meters.
Austin Thummel-Gravitt posted a time of 50.07 seconds in the 40 meter dash to collect sixth place and Second Team All-WAC honors, while senior Devon Walker placed fourth in the weight throw, with a top mark of 14.12 meters, also earning him the Second Team All-WAC title.
Also collecting Second Team All WAC titles were freshman Matthew Seidel and sophomore Joe Charbonneau, who finished in fifth and sixth place respectively with times of 16:11.48 and 16:11.62 (you could say that’s kind of close).
A number of freshman level athletes also enjoyed mild success in Colorado, and their success could be indicative of good things to come from the program in coming years. “[The freshmen] have really been doing a killer job since they joined the team back in August,” Steidl said. “The future is really bright for these guys.”
Both the men’s and women’s teams collected fifth place after the second day of the championships, with the men collecting 37 points and the women 64 points.
“We’ve been working a long time to get the program here,” Steidl said. “Everybody who has been a part of it and impacted the program has helped usher this success in and… I hope this success can be used as a springboard for confidence and even improvement for the upcoming outdoor season.”
Will McQuilkin is a senior Communication major, hailing from a small California farm town in the San Geronimo Valley, often described as a hamlet. He has survived not one, but two surgeries on his right hand (pinky finger and thumb) due to baseball related injuries. His favorite candy is Sugar Babies.