Women’s Track and Field finishes in first for first-time ever

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The John Carroll University Women’s Track and Field Team after the Indoor OAC Championships on March 4.

Ashley McCall, Staff Reporter

On an incredible day of competition, the John Carroll University Women’s Track and Field team was crowned the 2021 Indoor Ohio Athletic Conference Champions on March 5 at Otterbein University.

In addition to the overall team success, three Blue Streaks broke school records. 

Junior Olivia Hurtt broke her own school record in the weight throw with a distance of 16.85 meters. Hurtt placed first in the weight throw and sixth in the shot put at the meet. 

Senior Maria DeLuca finished first in the long jump with a final mark of 5.62 meters, passing Gen Kahn’s 15-year record. DeLuca built onto this accolade with her second-place finish in the triple jump and her contributions to the 4 x 200-meter relay team, which took second behind Mount Union

Junior Lucia Cannata set an OAC record in the 60-meter dash in the preliminaries and went on to win the finals, beating her own personal record and school record that she set last year. Cannata won the 200-meter for the Blue Streaks and assisted the 4 x 400-meter relay in their third-place finish. For her performance, Cannata was awarded Sprinter of the Meet. 

Although she didn’t break any school records, senior Courtney Phoennik registered a noteworthy performance in every event she participated in. 

Phoennik placed third in the long jump and high jump with distances of 5.64 meters and 1.58 meters, respectively. She was the victor of the triple jump (11.68 meters) and the 500-meter dash (1:18.91), also finishing in the top 10 in the 60-meter dash. 

Phoennik earned Field Athlete of the Meet honors.

Throughout every event, Blue Streaks were present within the top 10. 

Adding to the sweep in the triple jump event, freshman Genevieve Arnold came in third with a jump of 10.70 meters. 

Sophomore Sydney Jenko won the 5,000-meter race, also earning fourth place in the 3,000-meter race

The JCU distance medley, consisting of sophomore Katy Fellenstein, junior Rory Vigrass, freshmen Katelyn Testa and Amanda Keim, finished second for the day. 

Sophomore Taylor Anthony, junior Cameron Bujaucius and freshman Claire Eberhadrt finished second in their individual events, while seniors Madelyn Brindza and Morgan Kelly placed third

Totaling the team points from the 19 events, the Blue Streaks found themselves at the top of the leaderboard with 216 points. They were followed by Mount Union with 194.50 points and Ohio Northern with 85

“It’s hard to put into words what winning this first indoor OAC Championship in program history means,” said JCU Track and Field Head Coach Kyle Basista. “It is a culmination of a lot of feelings, emotions, hard work and overcoming adversity. In a way, it was also a relief. We have been grateful to compete every week and have a conference championship.”

Basista and his staff were tabbed as Coaching Staff of the Year.

Closing out their indoor track and field season as OAC Champions, the Blue and Gold look to the future and their outdoor season starting on March 20 at Marietta College.