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May 28, 2022 will go down as one of the best days in John Carroll Men's Track & Field history.

On the third and final day of the 2022 NCAA Division III Outdoor Track & Field Championships at SPIRE Institute in Geneva, the Blue Streaks played the role of the hometown heroes. 

And who played the lead hero? None other than Mr. John Carroll, Jamie Dailey.

In his final race in the Blue & Gold, Dailey sprinted to glory in the last 100m of his JCU career, capturing his first National Championship in the 5k. And with his heroic conquest, Dailey helped John Carroll soar to second place as a team, the program's highest-ever NCAA Championships finish.

Combined with All-American finishes by Alex PhillipGarrett ClarkEthan DomitrovichCormac Peppard-Kramer, and the 4x100 relay of Clark, Mick DoyleMark Zahren, and Jimmy Kartsonas, today was nothing short of a fairytale. 

"This is unprecedented for John Carroll," said Head Coach Kyle Basista. "What these guys accomplished this weekend, to show up on Thursday and Saturday and execute at this level is incredible. Also, these guys accomplished so much during indoor and cross country season, too. Not many have done it in the country. I'm speechless right now, I will remember this for the rest of my life and I know this team will, too."

The NCAA Runner-Up trophy is certainly satisfying for the Blue Streaks. The second place trophy is the best outdoor finish in program history, with this being the program's 17th scoring appearance at the NCAA D-III Outdoor Championships. 

Jamie Daily

Jamie Dailey wins the 5k DIII National Championship

"It feels amazing," said Dailey. "We wanted to take advantage of the opportunity to compete in the national championships in our backyard. Credit to everyone who showed up today and supported us. Credit to the team and everyone who supported us today."

You simply could not have drawn up a better ending to the 2022 NCAA Championships for the Blue Streaks. 

The Distance Duo of Alex Phillip and Jamie Dailey lined up for the Blue Streaks in the 5000m after a grueling 10,000m race on Thursday. Racing 15,000m over the course of 3 days is not an easy feat against the best runners in the country, as it's a test of grit and endurance. 

The 5k started off at a fair pace, with just one pack of runners bunched up at a steady run. Dailey and Phillip stuck with the pack, hanging around the 4-8 range or so. 

As the race evolved, Elias Lindgren of Williams took the lead. He charged out ahead and pushed the pace. Phillip couldn't keep up with the leader, but Dailey hung in there behind Lindgren. And in the last straightaway, Dailey made his move and charged to the finish, winning his first national championship in his last race as a Blue Streak. 

"Elias made a move with about 3-4 laps left to go. I wanted to stay in the pack as much as I could," said Dailey. "My time wasn't up yet, so I stayed patient. I wanted to stay within range for the last 100m. The opportunity came and a bolt of energy soared through me. I wanted to win that race and get as many points on the board as possible for John Carroll and secure second place on the podium."

"It was bunched up there for a while, it was anyone's race. Then, it started to thin out," Basista added. "I thought Jamie and Alex were in a really good position. They both looked good. Going in, when you have a 4-time national champ, you look good. I thought Alex would move up, but then when that break was made with 2-3 laps to go, he didn't respond while Jamie did. Honestly, I was just hoping Jamie would secure second. Coming into the final 100m, Jamie smelled blood and went for it. That was one of the more surprising, special moments of my coaching career because it couldn't happen to a better human, teammate, and representative of the University."

JCU track nationals

Jaime Dailey with JCU Track and Field Head Coach Kyle Basista

Even in securing 8th place, Phillip cements his season as one of the best in Division III history. While he fell short of becoming the first Division III runner to win the cross country title, the indoor 3k and 5k, and the outdoor 5k and 10k, winning four national crowns and five All-American trophies in one season is nothing short of astonishing. 

"Alex fought. He's not invincible, he fought tooth and nail to get a point and All-American," said Basista. "That trophy is not easy to get. That made the whole race special, too."

Garrett Clark also enjoyed a marvelous weekend. The senior soared to a time of 21.13 in the 200m finals for fifth place.

The Aurora native did an outstanding job in a packed field that stands as one of the fastest, if not the fastest, in D-III memory.

"I really tried not to think about my race. Sometimes when I get overhyped, I throw myself off," said Clark. "I knew I hadn't peaked yet, so I just had to trust in myself. I PR'ed by a lot in the 200, and we broke the record in the 4x100."

"Garrett is a veteran. He's cool, calm, and collected," said Basista. "To collect fifth place and another All-American accolade was huge to catapult us going into the 5000m. We still have some years left with him, I'm excited for his future as a grad student with us."

Clark also contributed big-time to the 4x100 relay. Mick Doyle, Clark, Mark Zahren, and Jimmy Kartsonas flew to fifth in the event in a photo finish. The Blue Streak quartet combined for a time of 40.84. 

The All-American finish in the 4x100 relay meant something extra for JCU, as the Blue Streaks fell short last year of All-American honors with a ninth-place result in 2021 in North Carolina.

The All-American trophy was a first for Doyle, Zahren, and Kartsonas. And for Zahren, it was a conclusion to a wonderful John Carroll career. 

"We came in 14th, so to set the school record in the prelims and have their second best time of the year in the finals and collect major points was great," said Basista. "A top 5 finish there is amazing. The 4x100 is difficult to execute. Getting the baton around is so crucial, we know that from last year. Those guys did amazing all weekend." 

"Having good handoffs is a big key," added Clark. "Some schools here have four guys who qualified in the 100m, who on paper should win easily, but in the 4x100 it comes down to who has the most cohesive team. We had great handoffs and trusted each other. We definitely did well. Compared to when we were last here in 2019, we had more fans this year. Every time I heard my name called, I heard a cheer. Last year, taking 8th in the 200, I was super proud, but this year, taking 5th in the fastest Division III year ever feels fantastic. I'm over the moon." 

Ethan Domitrovich and Cormac Peppard-Kramer began the day on a wonderful note in the 3000m Steeplechase. The duo did the job, both snagging podium spots and All-American trophies.

Peppard-Kramer dashed to third with a time of 8:55.74, which stands as the new school record in the event, and will stand for the offseason. The record bounced between the JCU trio all season, but will stay with the Irishman for now. 

Domitrovich finished close behind with a fourth-place time of 8:58.52. He broke onto the scene this season with incredible times. For both Peppard-Kramer and Domitrovich, the future is quite bright after such a great effort in their first outdoor national meet running the steeple.

"That was best case scenario," said Basista. "That set the tone for today. We fed off it. I can't say enough about the growth they've shown in the last year. The future is bright with those two" 

JCU track

For the Blue Streaks, the NCAA Runner-Up trophy will look great in University Heights. But while this trophy reads 2022, it is not just indicative of this season's efforts. 

Rather, this trophy is the culmination of years and years worth of hard work by Basista, the coaching staff, and everyone associated with the program.

"I can't put it into words. What I'll say is this: To have the meet within 45 minutes of the school, to see the support from our current team, alumni, friends, the department and university was great," said Basista. "This was special. We'll take this national runner-up trophy, no doubt. I'm so proud of this group of seniors. You don't just look at this year, you look at the culmination of the last four years. We've been able to build a great culture. It's a good day to be a Blue Streak. I'm so happy with where the program is at and I'm excited for the future."

And as Mr. John Carroll summarized, this is a moment that JCU Men's Track & Field and their fans will remember for a very long time.

"It starts with the people, that's what makes John Carroll special," said Dailey. "That's the #1 thing, and I know Chris [Wenzler] agrees with me on that. We're proud of every single person who competed today and who supported us. The campus, the community, the athletics, the involvement, it's a special thing to be able to compete in a John Carroll uniform. I'm going to miss competing for the Blue Streaks. Credit goes to Kyle Basista and the coaching staff. It's all heart."