By Gary Budzak
It’s exciting enough that the NCAA Division III Outdoor Track & Field Championships will take place May 22-24 at Ohio Wesleyan University, but Delaware residents have more reasons to cheer during the championships.
“Ten Ohio Wesleyan athletes will be competing,” OWU spokesman Cole Hatcher told The Gazette.
The Battling Bishops – five women and five men – will join hundreds of competitors from around the country in the three-day meet at Selby Stadium and George Gauthier Track, 45 S. Henry St.
According to information provided by the university, the OWU athletes are:
Senior Sarah Bechtel, seeded eighth in the pole vault with an effort of 12-4. The pole vault competition is scheduled for 4:30 p.m. May 22.
Senior Cara DeAngelis, top seed in the 5000-meter run with a time of 16:25.30. The finals of the 5000-meter run are scheduled for 4:45 p.m. May 24.
Junior Matt Hunter, seeded 16th in the decathlon with a score of 6,449 points. The decathlon competition is scheduled to begin at noon May 22.
Sophomore Sara Johnson, who went to Dublin Coffman High School, is seeded 11th in the 100-meter hurdles with a time of 14.35. The preliminaries of the 100-meter hurdles are scheduled for 6:30 p.m. May 23.
Junior Karli Sturgill, seeded 16th in the javelin with a throw of 138-4. The javelin competition is scheduled for noon May 24.
Sophomore Adam Turner, seeded 15th in the 400-meter dash with a time of 47.98. The preliminaries of the 400-meter dash are scheduled for 7:15 p.m. May 23.
Turner, junior Jonathan Overstreet, freshman Colin McShane, and junior Brian Cook, are seeded 10th in the 1600-meter relay with a time of 3:14.29. The preliminaries of the 1600-meter relay are scheduled for 9:10 p.m. May 22.
Sophomore Abbey Warth, seeded eighth in the 1500-meter run with a time of 4:33.38. The preliminaries of the 1500-meter run are scheduled for 6 p.m. May 22.
The meet will include the following events: 100-meter, 200-meter, and 400-meter dash; 800-meter, 1500-meter, 5000-meter, and 10,000-meter runs; 3000-meter steeplechase; 100-meter, 110-meter, and 400-meter hurdles; 4×100-meter and 4×400-meter relays; high jump; long jump; triple jump; pole vault; javelin; shot put; discus; hammer; heptathlon; decathlon.
The championships will be held from noon to 9 p.m. May 22; 1 to 8 p.m. May 23; noon to 6 p.m. May 24. Admission is $8 per day, $20 for a three-day wristband; or $5 per day for students and senior citizens, $12 for a three-day wristband; children 4 and under free. Tickets go on sale at 10:30 a.m. each day.
The meet will include a kids’ zone, and food and beverages from Selby’s Bishop Grille.
OWU last hosted the event in 2011.
“It’s an honor to be selected by the NCAA to host this national event,” Kris Boey, OWU head track & field coach said in a statement. “We are proud to serve as the host of the outdoor track and field championships for the second time in four years. It’s an excellent way to showcase all the outstanding attributes of the Ohio Wesleyan campus and the City of Delaware.”
That weekend in the city, several downtown Delaware restaurants will stay open late for the event, and some will offer discounts to those wearing their admission wristbands.
“Over the course of the three days, we’re expecting up to 15,000 people, including coaches and athletes,” Hatcher said. “We’ve been talking to the restaurants about the desire for evening hours and ensuring that there’s enough food to feed folks.”
Main Street Delaware is coordinating a “Fourth Friday” event from 6 to 9 p.m. on May 23 to help commemorate the championships; and holding its first Farmer’s Market of the season from 9:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. May 24.
“We usually start that last Saturday in May, but with the track and field folks being here, we thought it would be nice to have the Farmers Market going on,” Main Street Delaware Executive Director Frances Jo Hamilton told The Gazette.
Vendors will sell fresh produce, flowers and plants, baked goods, and crafts from downtown sidewalks.
The Farmers Markets will continue through October 25. In addition to the Saturday markets, there will be Wednesday markets starting June 4 from 3 to 6 p.m.
Gary Budzak may be reached at 740-413-0904 or on Twitter @GaryBudzak.