Men’s Track and Field
[Written by Haley Turner]
The first meet of the outdoor season proved to be a great starting point for the men’s track and field team. The men traveled to sunny Charlotte, N.C. for the UNC-Charlotte 49ers Classic. Despite being a Divison III school, the Blue Streaks held their own against some very talented Division I and II universities from across the country. Senior Mike Minjock competed in the long jump, placing 10th with a distance of seven meters. Throwers Anthony Chizmadia, junior, and Rocky Mitolo, sophomore, contributed by placing eighth (47-08.00) and ninth (47-05.25), respectively, in the shot put. Assisant Coach Kyle Basista said, “Mitolo had a very promising start, setting personal bests in shot, discus and hammer.”
Senior Will Rial earned the highest individual place, getting third in his first 3,000-meter steeplechase of the season, with a time of 9:38.74. Sophomore John Cameron also ran a great race, achieving a personal best of 4:03.98 in the 1,500-meter run, which is 5.5 seconds faster than his previous time. The standout race of the meet was the men’s 5,000-meter run, where the distance men worked together as a pack.
Senior Pat Burns ran a personal best of 15:11.04. Following shortly after was a large group of Blue Streaks, led by sophomore Johnny Honkala who dropped over 20 seconds off his personal best with a time of 15:19.25. Freshman Pat O’Brien (15:20.37) was next, followed by freshman Matt Chojnacki (15:21.49), senior Nick Wojtasik (15:23.20) and sophomore Tadhg Karski (15:24.60). In the heat directly after, freshman Andrew Snyder ran the race of his life, dropping over a minute off his personal best with a time of 15:56.32.
“For the first competition in three weeks, the guys came out looking very strong. They are motivated and fired up after finishing a program best second-place finish at indoor OACs,” said Basista.
JCU sprinters also had a successful weekend, as sophomore Nick Williams fared well in both hurdle events.
Williams was 10th in the prelims of the 110-meter hurdles, with a time of 15.36. In the 400-meter hurdles, Williams missed making finals by only one spot, placing ninth, with a time of 56.09. Basista said,“If [Williams] can stay healthy, then he is a national contender in both races.”
The men’s 4×100-meter relay team, comprised of Minjock, senior Bill Zaccardelli, Williams and sophomore Nick D’Amico, were eighth overall with a time of 43.06. Finishing ninth with a time of 3:22.94 was the 4×400-meter relay team made up of freshman Mike Hydzik, D’Amico, senior Anthony Colbert and Williams. D’Amico made his mark by running an incredible split of 48.9 in the relay.
The men will travel to New Concord, Ohio on Saturday to compete in the Muskingum University invite.
Women’s Track and Field
[Written by Zach Mentz]
After an indoor track and field season that consisted of three separate top-three finishes, the JCU women’s outdoor track and field team had momentum under their feet to begin the spring season.
The Blue Streaks traveled to Charlotte, N.C. this past weekend to compete in the annual 49er Classic, hosted by UNC-Charlotte. While the event was unscored, the Blue and Gold used the meet as preparation for the upcoming outdoor season.
Sophomore Emily Mapes led the way for the Blue Streaks, as she finished in second place in the 3,000-meter steeplechase, with a final time of 10:53.15. Teammate and sophomore Jenny Vrobel also claimed 10th in the same event, finishing with a time of 12:05.13.
Junior Nicki Bohrer competed in the 1,500-meter run, finishing 45th in the event versus competitors from the likes of Clemson University and the University of Pittsburgh.
In the 5,000-meter run, four individual Blue Streaks took home top 50 finishes. Senior Katherine Spillman led the way for JCU, finishing 26th with a time of 18:32.62. Juniors Taylor Whisler (30th), Caroline Kapela (41st) and Alyssa Singer (45th) also fared well in the event for the Blue Streaks.
With the 49er Classic now behind them, the Blue Streaks will look ahead to this coming weekend. The Blue and Gold travel to New Concord, Ohio on Saturday, March 23 to compete in the Muskingum Invite, hosted by Muskingum University.