John Carroll men's track and field places second in NCAA Division III meet at SPIRE

·5 min read

May 28—In the biggest day of John Carroll men's track and field history, Jamie Dailey provided the exclamation point.

A fifth-year performer, Dailey kicked in the final 150 meters to win the 5,000-meter run to clinch John Carroll's national runner-up finish in the NCAA Division III track meet at SPIRE Institute on May 28.

With a handful of All-American finishes on Day 3 of the meet, John Carroll finished second nationally to Wisconsin Eau-Claire, 73-48. The program's previous best finish at the NCAA Division III track meet was fifth.

"It's a great day to be a John Carroll student-athlete," said Dailey, a Bay alum.

It was already a great day heading into the 5,000-meter race. With Cormac Peppard-Kramer and Ethan Domitrovich placing third and fourth in the 3,000 steeplechase, the Blue Streaks' 4×100 placing fifth and Garrett Clark placing fifth in the 200, John Carroll found itself in third place in the team standings behind Eau Claire and MIT.

Thanks to Dailey, the Blue Streaks were only in third place for about 15 minutes.

Hovering around third and sixth place for much of the race, Dailey made his move in the final 400. He passed Williams College's Grahm Tuohy Gaydos in the final 50 and won with a time of 14:28.

"My last race in a Carroll uniform, I just wanted to perform my best," Dailey said. "It worked out well.

"I'm going to be honest with you, no," he continued when asked if he knew he had enough in the tank to win. "I didn't think I was going to win to be honest. I just wanted to shoot for second and get major points for my team. It turned out I had enough to win."

Dailey's mic-drop moment, which was supplemented by Alex Phillip's eighth-place finish in the 5,000, capped a marvelous and memorable day (and weekend) for the John Carroll program.

"It's great. We have the best coaching staff in the NCAA," Domitrovich said. "We're blessed to be here."

John Carroll entered the day third in the team standings, with Eau Claire (39) and Rowan (19) ahead of the Blue Streaks 18. But JCU wasted no time piling up All-American honors over the next handful of hours.

Peppard-Kramer and Domitrovich — a pair of high-ceiling freshman — got things going by finishing third and fourth in the steeplechase. Peppard-Kramer hung with the top group until he tripped slightly over a water barrier, while Domitrovich made a nice kick over the final 300 meters to finish just behind his teammate.

"It was a hot pace early. We expected that to happen," Peppard-Kramer said. "It broke up right at the end. I tripped over a water barrier and kind of fell back. I saw Ethan behind me and we just finished it up together."

Domitrovich confirmed the faster-than-anticipated start and said he employed a race plan of not over-extending early, but rather making his move late.

It worked.

"I didn't want to fatigue myself early," he said. "So I sat back and waited to make my move. I got myself with Cormac and we ran the last 100 together. We needed to get points for our team."

JCU's quartet of Mick Doyle, Garrett Clark, Mark Zahren and Jimmy Kartsonas also had a strong day, finishing fifth in the 4×100 with a 40.84. Barely more than a second separated the top five teams, with Benedictine (Ill.) and Wisconsin LaCrosse both running a 40.59, with Benedictine earning the national title on the lean at the line.

"I just knew I had to hold onto that lead the other three got for me and get this guy his first All-American," said anchor Jimmy Kartsonas, a sophomore, tapping senior Zahren on his chest. "I'm glad we were able to pull it off this year. We overcame a lot to get this far."

Doyle said he was nervous all week heading into the national meet, but "once I got my head down and in the blocks, I toned everything out."

The exchange between Doyle and Clark was smooth. All of the exchanges were smooth. That's the key to a successful relay.

"Once the gun goes off, it's just you and your teammates," Zahren said. "It was my last race. My first time being an all-American feels good."

Buoyed by the momentum from the 4×100, Clark then went out and finished fifth in the 200 with a 21.13. He tumbled across the finish line, giving his last ounce of energy, but clapped his hands while seated on the track in approval.

He had road rash on his shoulder and hip as he headed to the awards podium, not that he cared — he was an All-American in two events.

"The last 20, my legs started to give," he said. "I kept pushing and swinging my arms. By the time I got to the finish line, my legs couldn't do anymore. I rolled into the finish, but I'll take it."

As the final events finished up — and with John Carroll having already clinched the national runner-up finish — the chants of "Jamie Dailey" echoed throughout the SPIRE facility.

"It's all about family at John Carroll," Dailey said. "That's something I'll never forget."