By Caleb Scott
ADA — The Ohio Northern men's track and field team excelled and competed on a national level during the 2017 track and field seasons, under eighth-year head coach Jason Maus.
Northern concluded the indoor season with a 47-16 record, and posted a 67-16 record during the outdoor season.
The Polar Bears also claimed second place at both the indoor and outdoor Ohio Athletic Conference Championship meets.
At the indoor conference championships, six athletes claimed OAC titles to lead Northern.
Senior Andrew Harden (Dayton/Vandalia-Butler), juniors Matt Molinaro (Sterling Heights, Mich./DeLaSalle) and Alec Lunney (Middleburg Heights/Berea-Midpark) and sophomore Corey Briggs (Lima/Bath) were OAC Champions in the distance medley relay.
Molinaro also claimed titles in the 800-meter and 1-mile runs.
Senior distance standout Kase Schalois (Van Wert) was named OAC Men's Indoor Distance Runner of the Year after he claimed the 3,000-meter and 5,000-meter run titles at the championships.
Senior Lucas Shumate (Wapakoneta/Spencerville) was named OAC Champion in the weight throw.
Joining the conference champions and earning All-OAC honors during the indoor meet were juniors Bobby Borger (Perrysburg) and Conner Karg (West Liberty/Salem), sophomore Ian McVey (Stow/Munroe Falls) and freshman Jared Butcher (Mechanicsburg).
Shumate, Harden, Molinaro, Lunney, McVey, and Briggs also garnered All-Great Lakes Region honors during the 2017 indoor campaign.
Molinaro capped off an impressive indoor season as he finished as the National Runner Up in the 800-meter run at the 2017 NCAA III Indoor National Championships to claim All-American status.
The Polar Bears also took second place at the 2017 Outdoor OAC Championships, as five athletes claimed OAC Championship titles and eight athletes were dubbed All-Conference for their efforts.
Harden, Schalois, Molinaro, Lunney and McVey all claimed conference titles during the outdoor conference championships.
Molinaro was named the 2017 OAC Men's Outdoor Distance Runner of the Year after claiming OAC Championship titles in the 800 and 1,500-meter runs and as a part of the 4x800-meter relay championship team.
Boyd, Shumate, Schalois and Molinaro were all also named All-Great Lakes Region for the outdoor season, while Molinaro garnered Outdoor All-Great Lakes Region Male Track Athlete of the Year.
Molinaro and Schalois concluded the outdoor season with solid performances at the NCAA Div. III Outdoor Championships, where they each earned All-America honors for their efforts.
Eight Polar Bears were named to the Academic All-OAC teams at the conclusion of the 2017 campaigns.
Seniors Cully Gordon (Holmesville/West Holmes), Evan Murtha (Pickerington/North), A.J. Cody (Findlay/Liberty-Benton), Adam Smith (Rocky River), Matthew Hommer (Swartz Creek, Mich./Lake Fenton) and Zane Augustine (Cranberry Township, Pa./Seneca Valley) and juniors Alexander Sibila (Zionsville, Ind.) and Luke Bogdanovich (Akron/Coventry) all earned the honor.
During the indoor season, Northern climbed as high as No. 24 in the USTFCCCA power rankings, and climbed as high as No. 29 during the outdoor season.
After opening the 2017 indoor campaign with a second place finish at the OAC North Split Meet, Northern would finish 10th of 20 teams at the Grand Valley State (Mich.) Invitational.
Northern also hosted the annual Joe Banks Invitational and the Polar Bear Last Chance Invitational.
The Polar Bears posted top-5 finishes at the All-Ohio Championships and the OAC Championships as they finished fifth at the All-Ohio meet and finished second at the OAC Championships.
Molinaro and Shumate both represented Ohio Northern at the 2017 NCAA III Indoor National Championships as Molinaro competed in the 800-meter run and Shumate competed in the weight throw.
ONU opened the outdoor season in New Concord as they competed in the Muskie Duals where they posted a 6-1 record.
In the six invitational style meets that the Polar Bears competed in during the outdoor campaign, Northern finished within the top-6 at each invitational.
During the indoor season, Northern saw two school records fall as Shumate broke the school record in the weight throw and McVey set a school record in the 3,000-meter run.
During the course of the outdoor season, two school records also fell as Schalois set a school record in the 3,000-meter steeplechase and Molinaro broke 3-time National Champion Jimmy O'Brien's 800-meter run school record.
Northern claimed second place at the outdoor OAC Championships and tied for 23rd place at the 2017 Outdoor NCAA III National Championships with 12 points.