Demos places second in high jump to lead ’Hawks

The women’s track and field team tied for 24th in the NCAA Division III Women’s Indoor Track and Field championship in Columbus, Ohio, last weekend.

The ’Hawks total of nine points and their 24th place finish are the highest achievements by the team since 2001.


The ’Hawks sent sophomore high jumper Shelby Demos, sophomore high jumper and pentathlon participant JoLyn Owen and senior weight thrower Jessa Luebke.

Preparing for Friday, Owen injured her hamstring and could not return.

“It was pretty sad because I had worked so hard to get there and I wasn’t able to compete,” Owen said. “In a way, it could have been a lot worse. I’m only a sophomore so I have two more years and I also still have outdoor.”

Head coach Josh Ireland noted Owen’s injury was a disappointment to both Owen and the team.

“Unfortunately [Owen] suffered a hamstring injury,” Ireland said, “She’s a great athlete and probably would have gotten points in high jump too.”

Despite Owen’s setback, the injury is not expected to hold her out of the upcoming outdoor season.

Luebke had an excellent first day, placing eighth in the weight throw with a 56-2, enough to earn All-American status. As the school record holder in the event, Luebke is the first ’Hawk to achieve All-American status for weight throw since 2004.

Luebke said she was pleased to achieve one of her biggest goals.

“It felt really good,” Luebke said. “It was awesome to have a bunch of goals set before this season, and I achieved over half of them.”

Demos went head-to-head with top ranked Elizabeth Evans of Rose Hulman Institute of Technology, both successfully completed the height of 5-7.75, but failed at the next.

Evans had fewer misses, giving her the win over Demos. Demos’ second-place finish in the high jump is the highest in any event for a ’Hawk since 2001.

“I was content with how I had jumped overall on the day, so I was happy,” Demos said.

Moving into the outdoor season, Ireland knows this team has the potential to do special things.

“A lot of people really didn’t know what to expect in the regular season. Then we had conference, and had the most points ever in our 34-year history,” Ireland said. “Now those people who didn’t go to nationals think, ‘wow we can do some special things here.”