JCU men’s track and field finish second but still shine bright

Anna Meyer, Staff Reporter

On Saturday, Jan. 30, the John Carroll University Men’s Indoor Track and Field team traveled to Ada, Ohio for an Ohio Athletic Conference meet against Ohio Northern University and Baldwin Wallace University. 

John Carroll notched 107 points, resulting in a second-place finish at the three-team OAC meet. 

Regardless of their place on the podium, the Blue Streaks proved their dominance with six event wins, 10 top-three finishes and 13 new personal records. 

Another strong point of the meet was the monumental performances put on by first-year members for the second straight week. 

Freshman Caleb Correia continued his strong start to his rookie season with a victory in the 500-meter race. Correia finished with a time of 1:08.04, resulting in his second individual victory of the season.

Freshman James Kartsonas locked his first collegiate gold finish with his solid performance in the long jump. The gold medal victory was courtesy of his 6.32-meter mark in the event. 

Junior Garrett Clark had an impressive showing for the Blue Streaks with two first-place finishes. Clark finished the 200-meter dash in 22.33 seconds, the best time of the 12 competitors. Clark came up victorious in the 400-meter race as well, with a time of 49.9 seconds. 

In the 3,000-meter distance race, sophomore Joe Backus clutched a first-place victory with a personal record of 8:52.15 minutes.

John Carroll’s distance medley relay A-team composed of juniors Ian Pierson and Mark Zahren, sophomore Alex Phillip and Correia took home the No. 1 spot on the podium. John Carroll’s B-team snagged second place. Junior Pat White, senior Connor McIntyre, junior Gabe Ernest and senior Jamie Dailey made up the B-team. 

The Blue Streaks also had a plethora of second-place finishes in Saturday’s meet. 

Senior Deven Ward followed closely behind Clark in the 200-meter dash, finishing second with a time of 22.78 seconds. 

Ward’s 7.09-second performance in the 60-meter dash pushed him into second place. Ward also grabbed another silver spot on the podium with his 22.78-second finish in the 200-meter dash. 

Gerber followed in Ward’s footsteps, tabbing a second-place finish in the 60-meter hurdles with a time of 8.83 seconds. 

Ernest paved the way for JCU in the 800-meter race with a second-place finish with a time of 2:00.26.

In the one mile event, freshman John Shoemaker put up a time of 4:59.93 minutes, resulting in a third-place finish. Senior Keller Dittoe finished directly behind Shoemaker with a time of 5:00.56 for fourth place. 

In the field events, sophomore Zach Szafarski broke his record and notched a third-place finish in the shot put and weight throw. 

The Blue and Gold will hit the indoor track again next weekend on Saturday, Feb. 6, in Alliance, Ohio for an OAC Meet against Heidelberg University, Mount Union University and Ohio Northern University.