Eagle track and field thrives in 2022-23 outdoor season

The Eagles have built upon indoor season success in the outdoor campaign


Mike Hopkins

Hurdler T.J. Skinner competes in the Akron Quad meet, jumping over a hurdle.

Cade Cracas, Sports & Digital Editor

Ashland University has been at the top of the Division II track and field scene for quite some time now and in the 2022-23 season, the team has continued to find a solid level of success.

Since the start of the outdoor season, the Eagles have competed in three meets, where the team has seen multiple top finishes and provisional marks being made.

“We’ve had some really hard training to put us in a position to succeed so far this season,” said sophomore sprinter Noah Wood. “We have a good amount of athletes across the board with some national marks we plan to keep improving.”

While Wood praised the team for the consistent marks and finishes, he has contributed a large part to that.

At the Northeast Ohio Quad meet on April 7, the men’s 4×400 meter relay team that Wood is a part of placed in first. The team consisting of Colin Roberts, Derrick Amapps, Jacob Pielach and Wood, recorded a top time of 3:15.95.

Alongside the men’s relay team, the women’s 4×400 meter team has been impressive as well. To start the outdoor season on March 24 and 25 at the Don McGarey Invitational at Kennesaw State, the team consisting of Cheyanne Davis, Macy Creamer, Jade Avance and Mia Gardner finished second with a time of 3:45.82.

Davis, who is in fifth-year season, is not only a part of the 4×400 team, but also competes in the women’s 400-meter dash. At the Northeast Ohio quad, she earned an NCAA Division II provision mark for the National Championships occuring in Pueblo, Colo. from May 25-27. Her mark came at a time of 55.66 seconds which was good for first place at the meet.

Another sprinter who has made their mark this season has been T.J. Skinner, who finished in first and second place in the 110 hurdles in the outdoor season, with his best time sitting at 14.56 to this point.

“It’s been a great season so far. I got to run at indoor nationals not too long ago and that was an amazing experience,” he said. “Now, the outdoors is in full swing and it feels great. My times are getting better every week and I couldn’t ask for more. The goal is outdoor nationals and we are working every single day to make it happen.”

Although some members of the team have clinched opportunities to compete in the NCAA championships, the team as a whole is gearing up for the Great Midwest Athletic Conference championships occurring from May 3-5.

“We have a lot of young talent across the board performing at an extremely high level. We expect them to have a huge swing in points for the GMAC meet that we weren’t able to have during the indoor season,” said Wood. “Everyone is locked in and really focused on giving their individual efforts to bring home a Championship for the women and the men.”

While the track runners are having success, so are the field competitors as they’ve seen multiple players shine.

At the indoor GMAC championships fifth-year Storm Elsesser Men’s Field Athlete of the Meet honors after securing a conference title in the men’s high jump while also placing third in the men’s triple jump. Other notable field competitors are Kelsey Kinsley who has been phenomenal in the women’s hammer throw this season with a top distance of 56.03 meters.

Another hammer thrower, Brock Janowicz, earned a new provisional mark (pr) recently with a top mark of 57.72 meters on the season.

With both track runners and field competitors showing out this season, the team is projected to make great strides in the conference tournament. The tournament occurs from May 3-5 in Ashland, Ohio.

“Expectations are high for the conference meet. We want to be able to defend our home track and we’re excited to show everyone what we can do,” said Skinner. “We’ve got a ton of people on the guys and girls side who are ready to show out, at the conference meet and even beyond at the national level.”