JCU women run, jump and hurdle over competition in first track meet

Zachary Horvath, Staff Reporter

John Carroll University’s Women’s Track and Field team traveled to Otterbein University Sunday, Jan. 24, and dominated the top finishes in nearly every category. 

“For our first competition in well over 10 months, I think everyone was just grateful and excited to be back out there, doing what they love,” head coach Kyle Basista said. “For me personally, I literally had no expectations going into the Otterbein meet. How could we?
“We hadn’t seen many of our student-athletes since last February-March. We were fortunate to have a few weeks of practice going into Sunday, but still had no indication of where they were at. I think as a coaching staff we were all pleasantly surprised at how the team performed. We were thankful to get that first meet in and we took advantage of the opportunity.”

In the mile run, Blue Streak sophomore Sydney Jenko had an astonishing finish, coming in first place with a 5:09 time. John Carroll had four of the top six finishers in the mile.

For the field group, junior Olivia Hurtt had a lights-out performance in the weight throw. Hurtt won by a landslide, throwing for 15.72 meters, while Wilmington’s Kayli Sullivan was a whole meter behind. 

“We already return some quality individuals who have competed at the National Championships and have more that are hungry to get back there,” Basista said. “Sophomore Taylor Anthony in the sprints, freshman Claire Eberhardt in the long sprints-mid distance, Jenko and Esper in the Distance and Kelsey Dunn in the throws.”

The high jump saw a unique outcome. Freshman Emma Klosterman from Otterbein and John Carroll newcomer Elizabeth Clemente tied for first place with 1.59 meters

In another dominant run for the lady Blue Streaks, senior Morgan Kelley, junior Cameron Bujaucius and sophomores Erica Esper and Jennifer Massucci owned the top four final times for the 5K. Bujaucius had a run of 18:20, which was just enough to hold the top spot in that event. 

Though some of the athletes have been unable to train for almost a year, the women’s track and field team put on a highly impressive showing in their first meet of the 2021 season.

Coach Basista’s squad was showcased in a grand total of 15 different events, with 10 in track and five in the field categories, respectively. Out of all 15 events they competed in, the Blue Streaks triumphed in 12.

“We are overly goal-driven. We simply want to be the best in all that we do and that means maximizing each day,” he said. “We have high achievers who simply want to strive to be their best and the best in the country. That equates to focusing on the process and taking things as they come each day.”

JCU’s next meet is Saturday, Jan. 30, at Ohio Northern University.