The fall season is transitioning into the winter for John Carroll University Athletics, bringing with it an exciting time.
The postseason has arrived for all but one of JCU’s fall squads, and two teams have already secured Ohio Athletic Conference Championships.
Here’s what happened this past weekend with JCU Sports.
Men’s Cross Country
History was made by the Blue Streaks on Saturday. On a rainy course in Wilmington, Ohio, the Blue Streaks captured the first OAC Championship in program history. JCU Men’s Cross Country did it in convincing fashion, too, placing six runners in the top 10.
Alex Phillip conquered the field with an exceptional day, becoming the first JCU male runner to be an individual OAC Cross Country champ. The Akron native soared to first with a course-record time of 24:07.8 in the 8k. His efforts earned him his third USTFCCCA Division III Male Runner of the Week award of the season. Phillip and the Blue Streaks now set their sights on national ambitions, with the Great Lakes Regional race in a couple weeks.
Women’s Cross Country
The 2019 season was a historic one for JCU Women’s Cross Country, as Kyle Basista’s squad earned the program’s first OAC cross country crown. After the 2020 season was scratched due to COVID-19, a repeat happened 728 days later on Saturday.
The Blue Streaks bested the field with 35 points, 31 points better than the second-place finisher, more than enough to win the 2021 OAC Championship. Sydney Jenko returned with force with a fourth-place finish, aided by several other top-10 finishes, including a sixth-place mark by Erica Esper. The full team effort in the championship 6k gives the Blue Streaks a full head of steam heading into Regionals in a couple weeks.
From the get go, Saturday’s Senior Day was a success for the Blue Streaks. John Carroll took an early 2-0 lead on a safety and never looked back in a 50-7 win over Wilmington. Jake Floriea threw for a career-high 366 yards to lead the JCU effort on offense, while a career day by Tyler Thimons on defense (including a blocked punt return for a touchdown) highlighted a strong all-around effort. With the victory, John Carroll advances to 6-2 overall, 6-1 in OAC play, heading into the final two games of the season. Both games will be on the road.
With a huge senior class, the Blue Streaks were very motivated on Senior Night. In the final game of the regular season, John Carroll shutout Wilmington, 2-0. With the conquest, Dejan Mladenovic’s squad secured a share of the OAC Regular Season Championship, along with the No. 1 seed in this week’s OAC Tournament. Benjamin Hryszko and James Hoover scored the goals to ensure the victory. JCU will host an opponent TBD on Thursday evening at Don Shula Stadium in the semifinal.
With a win in the OAC regular season finale, John Carroll wrapped up a spot in this week’s OAC Tournament. The Blue Streaks defeated Wilmington on the road, 3-0, and then bettered Olivet, 3-1, on Saturday to complete the regular season with a 14-15 record (4-5 in OAC play). The Blue & Gold will head to Muskingum on Tuesday evening for the OAC Quarterfinal.
The 2021 campaign came to a close for the Blue Streaks this weekend. Wilmington dealt John Carroll a 2-1 defeat, as the Blue Streaks ended the season with the road defeat. A pair of penalty kick goals sank JCU despite a 17-5 advantage in shots. Brittany Dufalla scored her team-high ninth goal of the season in the loss.
Men’s Swimming & Diving
The 2021-22 season opened for the Blue Streaks in Ada on Saturday. Despite some strong swims, John Carroll fell to Ohio Northern, 157-139. The Blue Streaks had some excellent efforts, such as a winning effort in the 1000 Free by Erik Sriubas, but the Polar Bears proved too strong. JCU will look to bounce back on Saturday, as the team hosts Mount Union.
Women’s Swimming & Diving
Ohio Northern hosted John Carroll on Saturday to open the 2021-22 campaign for the Blue Streaks. The Blue Streaks saw encouraging signs, including a 1-2 finish in the 200 Fly and a 50 Free win, but Ohio Northern upended JCU, 156-137. John Carroll will look to get back on track on Saturday, as the team hosts Mount Union.