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The Courier

College of DuPage's Student Newspaper

The Courier

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Men’s and Women’s Track and Field Shine at NJCAA Championships

The Chaparrals made their mark at the NJCAA DIII Track and Field Championships after securing their fourth-straight men’s title and the women’s team earning second place.
Mens+Track+and+Field+secured+its+fourth+consecutive+NJCAA+title+on+May+11.
Via COD Athletics
Men’s Track and Field secured its fourth consecutive NJCAA title on May 11.

The College of DuPage men’s and women’s track and field teams continued their consistent championship success and brought hardware back to Glen Ellyn after competing in the NJCAA Division III Outdoor Track and Field Championships in Utica, N.Y on May 11. 

The men’s track and field team capped their season-long success by earning their fourth consecutive NJCAA title. The women’s track and field team earned second place in the women’s NJCAA championship with the help of its four first-team participants.

The Chaps faced adversity before the start of the outdoor season after eight-year Head Coach Robert Cervenka resigned mid-season due to personal reasons after 12 years with the institution. Cervenka helped lead COD to the top of the NJCAA competition by winning three straight men’s track and field titles, two women’s titles and a men’s cross-country title in 2022. 

“Everyone really came together, and it was a team effort. I think something cool to see was some of our returners’ progression,” said interim track and field co-head coach Mallory Dominguez. “All of the athletes did a great job of overcoming the major obstacles we faced with losing a head coach mid-season. We foster a culture of kids who want to work hard, push and support each other, and be the best they can be. I think the program’s success in previous years helps attract more kids that fit that description.”

Men’s Track and Field

Sprinter Noah Mack shined in New York by placing first in the 100, 200, 4×100, and 4×400 relays. Mack, along with teammates Tim McMiller, Weston White and Elijah Phipps recorded a 41.21 time in the 4×100 competition, which broke a 26-year record of 41.29. Kevin Diederich took first place in the 5,000 and 10,000 meters competitions. Graham McAninch placed first in the 400 hurdles. Gabriel Parker secured first in the pole vault, and the 4×400 relay team of McAninch, Parker, Mack and Chris Ruchaj took first place in the competition.

Ronan Cornelius earned first place in the high jump with 1.94 m (6-4 ¼) and third place in the long jump with 6.84 m (22-5 ¼).

“I was excited that I was able to win the [high jump] event and get more points for the team. In the long jump, I was unseeded so coming in third was very unexpected, but I was proud of how much I was able to improve in a short span,” said Cornelius. “Competing alongside my teammates was incredibly fun and challenging. We were very competitive with other teams, especially the ones in our division, and that only made us better. I am proud of my teammates and myself for all the hard work we all put in to earn and defend the championship title for DuPage. The title proves that the program is dominant and has the desire to earn and defend the title.”

Graham McAninch placed first in the 400 hurdles competition, second in the open 400, and earned first place as a member of the 4×400 relay team.

“I’m obviously very proud and happy to win yet another NJCAA title and to personally contribute to that accomplishment, but I wasn’t just running for myself in New York. I was running for the teammates and friends I had around me, and I know I am not the only guy on the team with that mentality,” said McAninch. “It felt almost as if a weight was lifted off my chest due to myself placing third at Nationals last year when I was ranked first going into the meet, but this year I proved to myself what I knew I was capable of. Our head coach had to step down for personal reasons midway through the season, but I think the coaching staff along with the athletes handled everything very professionally and overall, really well.”

Women’s Track and Field

The women’s track and field team earned second place after an impressive four-title performance by Patty Karpiesiuk and additional high-placement performances by Ellie Logsdon, Molly Morris and Carmen Morris. The Chaps finished with 123 points behind Harper Community College’s 194 points.

Women’s Track and Field earned second place at the NJCAA Division III Championship (Via COD Athletics)

Karpiesiuk secured first place in the open 100, high jump, and pole vault, and she was a member of the first-place 4×400 relay team. Karpiesiuk’s pole vault performance broke both a meet and school record after recording 3.55 m. Karpiesiuk also placed second in the 200 behind teammate Ellie Logsdon.

Logsdon secured first place in the 200 meters, and 400 hurdles, and served as a runner-up in the 100 and 400 competitions. She was also a member of the second-place 4×100 relay team. Morris and Fonida Khamissi made huge contributions to the Chaps earning second at Nationals as members of the first-place 4×100 relay team.

After a variety of impressive performances, the Chaps had four members of the team earn first-team honors, consisting of Karpiesiuk, Logsdon, Morris and Khamissi.

Despite the sudden head coach’s resignation, interim co-head track and field coach Floyd Turner was proud of the team’s efforts to overcome the obstacles outside of the track and continue to display their talents at a high level.

“The All-American awards are a result of a year’s long preparation. The athletes were able to bear the fruits of their labor this season,” said Turner. “I’d like to shout out the sophomore class. They spent most of the last two seasons without their head coach who recruited them. Yet they worked hard, set the tone for a strong team culture, treated the coaching staff with respect, and won two national championships on the men’s side and two national runner-ups on the women’s side.”

For more information about the COD track and field team, visit the men’s and women’s track and field pages on gochapgo.com

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