By Blake Moore
WESTERVILLE — Freshmen pole vaulters Andrew Buderer (Oak Harbor) and Luke Shellhaas (Greenville/Versailles) recorded career-best efforts and the 4x800-meter relay squad finished third en route to All-Ohio Athletic Conference honors Friday afternoon, leading the Ohio Northern men's track and field team on day one at the OAC Outdoor Championships held at Otterbein.
With seven event finals contested at Memorial Stadium, the Polar Bears are fourth with 29 team points. Meanwhile, John Carroll leads the meet with 71 points; Otterbein sits second with 61 points; and defending OAC Champion Mount Union is third with 47 points.
The top-three individuals and relay teams in each event earn All-OAC honors.
Buderer and Shellhaas ended second and third in the men's pole vault competition with career-best clearances at 4.66 meters (15' 3.5") and 4.56 meters (14' 11.5"), respectively. Buderer nearly dethroned 2019 OAC indoor champion James Kovatch from Marietta, who also cleared 4.66 meters, but lost the first tiebreaker on missed jumps.
Shellhaas is now a two-time All-OAC honoree after he finished second at the 2019 OAC Indoor Championships in the same event.
To end the evening, junior Andrew Shelton (Williamsville, N.Y./South), sophomores Sam Krabacher (Hamilton/Badin) and Alessandro Tramontano (Mayfield), and senior All-American Ian McVey (Stow/Munroe Falls) finished third in the 4x800-meter relay to earn All-OAC honors. The quartet clocked the fastest time this season for Ohio Northern, crossing the line in 8:00.22.
Senior Spencer Schulze (St. Henry) recorded the best individual effort on the track Friday evening with a fourth-place mark in the 10,000-meter run. He crossed the tape in 32:08.84, setting a new season-best for the St. Henry product.
In addition, sophomore Travis Sutter (Fort Recovery) placed sixth in the 3,000-meter steeplechase with a career-best 9:47.02 clocking.
Five preliminary rounds in the sprint and hurdle disciplines were also contested Friday in Westerville.
In the 110-meter hurdle prelims, sophomore Owen Lloyd (Colfax, Ind./Clinton Prairie) posted a career-best :14.96 and earned a spot in the event finals Saturday with the eighth-fastest time.
Additionally, sophomore Jared Fox (Fremont/Ross) secured a spot in the 400 finals with a :50.37 clocking, which was the eighth-fastest time in the preliminary rounds.
The two-day OAC Championships will conclude tomorrow with field events beginning at 9:30 a.m. inside Memorial Stadium in Westerville.
Team Scores (Thru Day 1):
1.) John Carroll 71, 2.) Otterbein 61, 3.) Mount Union 47, 4.) Ohio Northern 29, 5.) Baldwin Wallace 21, 6.) Heidelberg 11, 7.) Marietta 10, 8.) Capital 8, 9.) Wilmington 8, 10.) Muskingum 7