BRADENTON, Fla. — Cedarville University athletes Carsyn Koch, Olivia Esbenshade and Daniel Michalski competed in the NCAA Division II Outdoor Track & Field Championships, May 26-27 at the IMG Academy, and returned as All-Americans.
Koch won her second consecutive 800-meter title.
She made it back-to-back trophies with a time of 2:05.21 which ties the sixth-fastest mark in school history.
The junior from Washburn, Maine has dominated the outdoor 800 meters since coming on the scene with an NCAA runner-up finish in 2015. She possesses four of the top six times in Division II history including the No. 1 effort of 2:02.39.
Koch has won the last two NCAA indoor 800 meter titles plus she was a 2017 indoor All-American in the distance medley relay.
“It was a good race. I just went out there to go right to the front to make sure I got a good split at the 400. It was a little slow, but it was what I needed to get through the next 400 and finish strong.
“It feels good to get one more title and to have my coach hand me the trophy as well as have Olivia (Esbenshade) and Dan (Michalski) there. It’s always a good experience,” Koch said.
Esbenshade ended her Lady Jacket career by earning All-America honors in the 1,500 meters.
The senior from Marietta, Pa. finished third in a career-best time of 4:21.23.
The mark is the second-fastest ever run in CU women’s track history.
Esbenshade entered the meet with the 11th-fastest time among the competitors at 4:26.73. She took 5.50 seconds off of her personal-best time to become the Lady Jackets’ second outdoor All-American.
“I wasn’t sure how my legs would feel after prelims, so I hung out around the back of the pack for half of the race. Then I felt pretty good, so I started to go,” she said. “At the end, there was about four us within a half second of one another and I was able to finish strong.
“It feels good (to be an All-American in an individual event). It’s been something I’ve been aiming for for three years so it was nice to get it finally.”
Esbenshade was the G-MAC Indoor Track Athlete of the Year. She picked up NCAA Indoor All-America honors in March as part of the distance medley relay squad.
On May 26, Cedarville men’s distance runner Daniel Michalski, of Xenia, set a school and IMG Academy record with a national championship winning time of 8:44.49 in the 3,000-meter men’s steeplechase competition, becoming Cedarville’s first men’s NCAA D-II track national champ.
Michalski now owns nine of the top-10 steeplechase times in Cedarville University history, including the top two times. He was an All-American in the steeple last year by finishing eighth. He was an indoor All-American this winter in both the mile and distance medley relay.
Story and photos provided by Cedarville University Sports Information Director Mark Womack.
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