The JCU track and field program competed and excelled at the All-Ohio Championships at Ohio Wesleyan University on April 17. The Blue Streaks were paced by several top performances and All-Ohio showings on the day.
The men’s team finished sixth overall in the 19-team field, while the women’s team placed 11th out of 19 teams. In placing sixth, the men showed a marked improvement over the indoor All-Ohio championships where the team placed 11th overall of 18 teams.
Junior David Hickey led the way for the Blue Streaks, placing first in the 400 meter hurdles. Not to be outdone, freshmen Mike Minjock (second in long jump, 6.63 meters) and Maureen Creighton (third in 200 meter dash, 26.05) also achieved All-Ohio status in their respective events.
Hickey was the top-seeded entrant in his event and didn’t disappoint, running a season-best time of 54.32 to win his first All-Ohio championship and second career All-Ohio honor. In doing so, he came ever closer to setting a qualifying mark for the Division III national championship meet, missing the provisional qualifying time by two-hundredths of a second.
“It feels good to win,” Hickey said following the race. “It’s the first time I’ve managed to pull out the first place finish. At a championship meet like this one, some people do well, and some don’t do as well as they had hoped, and we managed to get a lot of good performances today.”
Minjock had his highest finish of his brief career as a Blue Streak in the long jump, as he earned his first All-Ohio accolade. He also finished eighth in the triple jump (12.90 meters).
“Coming in as a freshman, one of my long term goals was to get All-Ohio [honors],” Minjock said, “I came up one spot short indoors, and I was just able to come through with a better performance outdoors.”
Coming up just short of winning All-Ohio honors for the men were senior RK Glover and sophomore Mike Hlatky. Glover was fifth in the triple jump at 13.2 meters, and sixth in the long jump at 6.44 meters. Hlatky was fifth in the high jump at 1.90 meters, and just missed qualifying for the finals in the 110 meter hurdles with a preliminary time of 16.13 seconds.
On the women’s side, Maureen Creighton led the way with her third place finish in the 200 meter dash. Her strong finish was a pleasant surprise to the freshman sprinter.
“I didn’t go into it thinking I would get third,” she said, “I’m only a freshman, but the coaches and everyone of the team was really supportive, got me really excited, and it all paid off.” Creighton also scored team points in the 100 meters, finishing sixth in 12.91 seconds.
Also performing well for the women was junior Alicia Giannell, who just missed gaining All-Ohio status in the triple jump. She finished fourth in the event at 10.39 meters, and also was fifth in the long jump at 5.02 meters.
Creighton summed up the day for the Blue Streaks; “The team we have here is great,” she said. “We’re all really supportive of each other, and it definitely shows when we do well. We really push each other to perform better.”
The team will attempt to continue their improvement at the Sparky Adams Invitational at Baldwin-Wallace on Saturday. The meet will be a tune-up for the OAC Championship meet at Mount Union on Saturday, May 1.