JJC Track and Field Concludes Inaugural Season in Top 10 at Nationals

The Joliet Junior College men’s and women’s track and field teams concluded their first season of competition in historic fashion with two top-10 team finishes, 16 All-Americans and one national champion at the 2023 NJCAA Division III National Championships. 

The women placed third as a team, scoring 77 points. All 10 team members who competed scored and achieved All-American status as they had six top-three finishes.  

“To place in the top three as a team in our first season of competition was incredible,” Wolves track and field head coach Jeff DeGraw said. “The best part was that everyone who competed for us scored and contributed to our third-place finish. That is something you don’t see very often.”  

Women’s individual second place finishers included: 

  • Katelyn McCann – long jump 

  • Lexi Clarke – 800 meters 

  • Kjersten Friestad – shot put 

  • 4x100 relay team – Larissa Eick, Lindsey Hatteberg, Lexi Clarke and Katelyn McCann 

  • 4x400 relay team – Meg Sukley, Kayla Williams, Bailey Harris and Lexi Clarke 

JJC’s women’s bronze medalists were: 

  • Emma Cecich – 3,000-meter steeplechase 

  • Katelynn McCann – 100 meters 

The other top-10 finishers on the women’s side were: 

  • Katelyn Ceska – javelin (seventh place), shot put (fifth place)

  • Lexi Clarke – 400 meters (fourth place) 

  • Meg Sukley – 100-meter hurdles and 400-meter hurdles (seventh place) 

  • Katelyn McCann – 200 meters (sixth place) 

  • 4x800 relay team – Lexi Clarke, Emma Cecich, Bailey Harris and Kayla Williams (fourth place) 

  • Lindsey Hatteberg - high jump (seventh place)

On the men’s side, the Wolves finished ninth as a team and had their first national champion in school history as Joel Anyan won the high jump title. 

The 4x800 relay team of Matt Clark, Julian Rosenbach, Collin Lippe and Daniel Zavala finished on the medal stand in third. Clark also placed fourth in the 1,500 meters. Andrew Ciarlette earned All-American status in the 3,000-meter steeplechase with a fourth-place finish and the 10,000 meters with a fifth-place finish.  

“Joel winning a national title is the ultimate goal, and to have a champion in the first year was great,” DeGraw said. “He only had one miss during the competition and was focused on every jump. 

“We had so many great performances in the biggest meet of the season, and this goes back to our athletes’ preparation and focus. They were having fun and enjoying the entire experience. This is something they will remember for the rest of their lives, and it builds the foundation for our track and field program to build off and continue to improve each year.” 

The 2022-2023 school year is the first for women’s track and field at Joliet Junior College. Men’s track and field returned to JJC this school year for the first time since 1981.


*This article was updated on May 18, 2023.

For media inquiries, please contact Media and Communications Manager, Katherine Smith, at katherine.smith@jjc.edu or 815-280-2844.