Jordan chasing PAC-6 track title at Hillside Thursday

Apr. 30, 2014 @ 07:20 PM

East Chapel Hill’s track team spanked Jordan during a dual meet a couple of seasons ago, and that really did a number on Falcons distance runners Daniel Beamer and Nikolaus Kreiling.

“It was bad. It was embarrassing,” Beamer said. “We got our butts kicked.”

ECH dusted Jordan in the conference championships back then, too.

Kreiling and Beamer were sophomores at the time, and they made up their minds that things had to change.

“That was really the spark that got us going,” Beamer said. “That summer, we trained really hard.”

“We realized that we could be really good,” Kreiling said.

Over time, there was more buy-in from the entire Jordan team, which would include distance runner Matthew Blivin.

“They started it, and I jumped onto the bandwagon,” Blivin said.

“The culture has really changed,” Kreiling said. “We’ve done well in the regular season, but we have yet to bring home a tournament championship.”

Blivin, Kreiling and Beamer, seniors, will run in their final PAC-6 championship meet at Hillside High School Thursday.

The event's schedule has changed twice for weather and venue-availability reasons, most recently on Wednesday when it was announced the usual two-day event will take place in a single day, Thursday, May 1 at Hillside. Field events get under way at 3:30 p.m., relays at 4 p.m. and other track/running event finals at 6 p.m.

Jordan was in the hunt for the tournament championship last season, but Beamer said the Falcons came up short because he’d come down with mononucleosis and had to miss the meet.

“I take it kind of personally,” Beamer said. “I feel that I could have made an impact.”

Kreiling and Blivin agreed with that.

“We’ve already gotten the regular-season this year, but we really want to bring home the tournament, and this is probably the most balanced team that we’ve had, because we have a freshman, Isaiah Southerland, who can run a 10.9 100(-meter dash).”

Jordan’s Noah Drew recently set a school with a 49.7 in the 400, Beamer said.

The Falcons are due for a tournament title, particularly the seniors, said Jordan coach Mike Mulligan, who works with the distance runners.

“In the 11 years that I’ve been here, they’ve definitely raised the bar, and I think they raised it to a standard that it hadn’t been to in maybe 20, 25 years,” Mulligan said. “These guys have taken their lumps. They’ve taken some lumps.”

The hard work has paid off. Blivin said he’d run track as a walk-on at Belmont University in Nashville, Tennessee. Beamer is headed to the track at UNC-Charlotte, and Kreiling is set to lace up his spikes at Columbia University in New York.

Those three collectively hold several individual records at Jordan. This season, they and junior Michael Bone set a school record in the distance-medley relay with a time of 10:42.

But Blivin, Beamer and Kreiling said something would be missing if they don’t emerge as PAC-6 track kings during the championship meet.

ECH’s distance runners are traditionally strong, and Hillside tends to show up with some bona fide sprinters.