Track star clocks winning run, becomes national champ

Kaelia Neal, Staff Writer

It’s no surprise Jake Mihelich, a sophomore from Surprise, Ariz., met his goal of being a national track champion and All-American.

“I was nervous, but as soon as I hit the track it went away,” Mihelich said.

Mihelich’s time of 47.07 seconds in the 400-meter dash earned him a first-place finish in the NCAA Division III 2015 Outdoor Track and Field Championships in Canton, New York, which was held May 21-23 at St. Lawrence University.

The runner-up was Ross Denman, a sophomore from the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse, in a time of 47.18.

“My strategy worked out perfectly,” Mihelich said.

Ninety minutes later, Mihelich had to step on the track for the 200-meter finals, his last race of the season.

He ran 21.47 in the 200, earning fifth-place and the title of an All-American. First place went to Jordan Crockett, a senior from the University of Wisconsin-River Falls, in a time of 21.06.

“I knew I was going to be tired,” Mihelich said. “I wasn’t expecting a lot because of the 400, but I beat people I wasn’t expected to beat.”

Mihelich’s goals for next season include breaking the school record in the 200 and 400 and a national title in both events.

Head coach Travis Olson said, “I felt very good about everyone.”

“Jake was obviously the highlight of the meet since it is so difficult to become a national champion. The icing on the cake was for him to come back 90 minutes later and place fifth in the 200. He is such a great competitor,” Olson said.

“I was not surprised he was able to come out on top as well as be an All-American in his other race. I am really looking forward to watching him defend his title next year,” he said.

Kate Shear, a senior from Knappa, Oregon, met her goal of becoming an All-American by placing seventh in the javelin.

Shear threw 144 feet 5 inches, just a few feet off of her own school record. The first place finisher was Kerry Wright, a junior from Whitworth University, with a mark of 155-4.

“It was pretty awesome for Kate to finally get her All-American award. It has been eluding her these past few years and is well deserved,” Olson said.

“She will be sorely missed next year,” he said.

Morgunn Ewing, a junior from Bothell, Washington, threw 195-6 to place ninth in the javelin, just one place short of becoming an All-American. First place was Travon Godette of Westfield State, who threw 221-5.

Dallas Edge, a sophomore from Gig Harbor, Washington, ran the 100-meter hurdles in a time of 15.29 and did not qualify for the finals. The national champion, Adrianna Wright of Lehman College, ran 13.62.

“I know the goals Dallas and Morgunn set for themselves were not met but I still am so proud of what they accomplished this year. They are already looking forward to next year and I expect them to be better than ever,” Olson said.