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The John Carroll Men’s Cross Country ran their way into the record books with a tenacious performance at the Division III National Championships in Louisville, Kentucky over the weekend. Junior Alex Phillip led the way, winning the race and becoming the first national champion in Ohio Athletic Conference history. He also set the Sawyer State Park course record for a Division III National Championship.


“I’m still processing it. I was sitting in my marketing class Monday morning and it kind of hit me, but it still feels surreal,” Phillip says of the accomplishment. 


Alex Phillip

Alex Phillip nearing the finish line

In addition to the individual accolade, the JCU Men’s Cross Country team earned its way onto the podium by finishing fourth overall. It was the team's highest finish ever at the national meet, a big jump from their previous program-best of 19th place back in 2019. 


Head Coach Kyle Basista is in his 8th year with the team and is proud of how they both prepared and performed at nationals. 


“I knew Alex had a chance to win, but our team coming together to earn fourth place was huge,” says Basista of the teamwork displayed at the meet. JCU and MIT were the only schools that had all eight runners finish the course in under 25 minutes. 


JCU soccer

On the pitch, the JCU Men’s Soccer team will have to wait until next year to make a run for a national championship. The Blue Streaks were knocked out of the NCAA Division III Tournament by Middlebury College over the weekend. 


JCU took the lead in the waning seconds of the first half. On a free kick, Will Turrittin '21 put the ball into the box, it ended up ricocheting off of an opposing player into the back of the net. 

Middlebury came out fired up in the second half of the game. They scored the equalizer less than ten minutes in, and hit the eventual game winner in the 72nd minute.


The Blue Streaks applied pressure late in the game, creating some opportunities, but in the end it wasn’t enough. Middlebury earned the 2-1 victory and put an end to John Carroll’s season.


JCU soccer

Despite the loss, head coach Dejan Mladenovic '06 says his team should put the season in perspective. "These guys have a lot to be proud of. At the end of the day, they still etched their name in JCU Men's Soccer history as the second team to reach the NCAA Sweet 16." The only other John Carroll squad to make it to the third round of the tournament was the 2003 team, which Mladenovic played for.


The first-year head coach credits some of the success of the team to massive support from both students and alumni. "The outpouring of messages through our title run in the past month has been tremendous. Our strength in numbers is getting bigger and better every year. I can't thank the entire JCU soccer community enough for what they do for me, our program, and all of our guys."