BEREA, Ohio — The Wilmington College men’s track and field team tallied 111 points at the 2022 Ohio Athletic Conference Outdoor Track and Field Championship to earn a third-place finish on Friday. The placement is the program’s highest finish since 2013.
On the women’s side, Wilmington was fifth, the highest team finish since 2015.
Both of the Wilmington relay teams earned All-OAC honors and were compromised of the same four individuals. Emma Burke, Haley Cook, Madison Dietz and Kyle Schafer ran the 4×100-meter relay in 49.49 seconds to finish runner-up and crossed the finish line in 4:13.33 in the 4×400-meter relay to place third.
Burke and Schafer also competed in a pair of individual finals on the day. Burke, a fifth-year senior, placed fourth in both the 100-meter hurdles (15.57 seconds) and the 400-meter hurdles while Schafer was seventh in the 200-meter dash (26.77 seconds) and the 400-meter dash (1:02.63).
Milena Wahl rounded out the Quakers’ day on the track by competing in a difficult double — the 1,500-meter and 5,000-meter runs. Wahl broke her own school record in the 1,500-meter run by more than five seconds, crossing the finish line in 4:46.31 for a sixth-place finish while placing eighth (18:09.98) in the 5,000-meter run.
In field events, Kayli Sullivan earned two All-OAC honors with a runner-up throw of 154-5.5 in the hammer throw and a third-place heave of 37-11 in the shot put. Teammate Lexi Grice also placed in the hammer throw, earning her team points with a sixth-place throw of 136-4.25. Madison Dietz placed fifth in the triple jump with a leap of 33-7.5.
The Fightin’ Quaker coaching staff, led by head coach Ron Combs, earned Co-OAC Men’s Track and Field Coaching Staff of the Year, sharing the honor with the John Carroll University.
“I’m so proud of both teams and the effort they gave over the last two days as we set the goal of a top-four finish in the OAC at the start of the season,” Combs said. “To be honest, a top-three finish seemed unrealistic. We just had an amazing meet.”
Shortly after 1 p.m., it was indeed “Hammer Time” for the WC throws squad and they delivered. The Quakers had six of the top seven placer including OAC champion JJ Durr with a heave of 176-2.25 on his final throw. Teammate Joe Shuga earned All-OAC honors with a runner-up throw of 174-5.75. Andrew Pacifico (169-5.75), Nate Marcum (168-8.5), Nathan Borgan (164-3.75) and Justin Shuga (161-5.5) were fourth through seventh respectively.
Blake Jamison contributed his second All-OAC performance in the shot put, taking second with a heave of 47-5. The Shuga brothers also competed with Justin’s throw of 45-7.25 placing him fifth and Joe’s eighth-place mark of 44-5.5. Brady Vilvens rounded out the field events with an All-OAC leap of 6-5.25 in the high jump for a third-place finish and a sixth-place jump of 41-8.75 in the triple jump.
Simon Heys finished runner-up in the 5,000-meter run by crossing the finish line in 14:30.44. Dane Klosterman picked up an All-OAC performance with a third-place finish of 56.26 seconds in the 400-meter hurdles. Klosterman, alongside Anthony Gilmore and Jalaun Covington, also participated in both relays. The trio was joined by Quentin Davis to take sixth in the 4×100-meter relay (44.83 seconds) and with Aidan Henson in the 4×400-meter relay for a fourth-place finish (3:27.84).
“It seemed like everyone one of our athletes had a phenomenal performance in whatever event we were doing at that time, despite the difficult conditions,” said Combs. “There is nothing I would change about what we did on either side. I won’t stop smiling for the rest of the weekend.”
Wilmington will send individuals to the Carius/Gregory Invitational hosted at North Central College (Illinois) next weekend.