September 26, 2013 · General

This month, my hubby, John, was inducted into the Poland Seminary High School Athletic Hall of Fame for his running accomplishments.  Being the proud wife that I am, I packed up my camera gear to capture this big event for my better half.  Minutes before kick-off for a Friday night football game, he was called out onto the field.  A list of his accomplishments as an athlete were read aloud, and the family and friends there to support him were beaming from ear to ear.  All so proud of the humble, yet talented athlete he was and continues to be.  

This was such an honor, and truly a moment to celebrate in the midst of a difficult year.  It was kind of cool to reflect on the fact that we were in this exact spot seven years ago watching his older sisters get inducted as well.  What an honor to be back again for John.  Those Jerens have good genes!  

Here’s a little bit of background on my hubby’s accomplishments and what they read aloud on the field.  I happen to think he’s pretty awesome.  An amazing man both on and off the track.  What can I say?!  I married up, people…

John Jeren was an outstanding track and field athlete from 1998-2000.  John was a 3 year letter winner, 3 years first team All-Conference, a State Qualifier as a junior and senior,  and All-Ohio in 3 events as a senior.  During his years as a Bulldog, he broke school records in the 4×800 meter relay (7:57.2), the 4×400 meter relay (3:20.43) and the 800 meter run (1:55.86).

As a Sophomore, John joined the track team and in his first season was All-Conference, and ran in the regional finals on the 4×100 meter relay.

As a Junior, John was All-Conference and qualified for the state meet in the 4×800 meter relay, which set the school record, placed third at the Division 1 NEO Regional Track and Field Meet and twelfth at the Division 1 Ohio State Track and Field Championships that year.

John’s Senior year was the culmination of years of hard work and dedication.  He helped lead a Track team in 2000 that would make Poland sports history.  His team won the Conference Championship, won the District Championship, placed second at the Regional and went on the win the Division 2 State Track and Field Championship.  John was All-Conference again as a senior.  At the Northeast Ohio Division 2 District Meet, John won three events, the 4×800 meter relay (which set a district record), the 800 meter run ( which set a school record), and the 4×400 meter relay (which set a school record).  At that meet, he broke the 27 year old 800 meter run school record that was formerly set by Poland Hall of Famer, Ed Ciszewski in 1973.  John continued to improve that school record throughout the 2000 season by placing second at the Regional meet, and placing sixth at the State Championship Meet and setting the record at 1:55.86.  John’s 4×800 meter relay school record still stands.  

 At the State Meet with Poland trailing 38½ to 34 going into the final event, John along with team members Pete Modelski, Jeff Wiery and Tony Villenueva won the 4 x 400 meter relay to not only become champions in that event but also win the overall State Championship as a team.  It was a fitting end to a great Track and Field career at Poland Seminary.  John received the track and field team’s Iron Man award for the 2000 season.    

 John was also a member of the Poland Seminary Cross Country teams for 2 years, and was a lettermen both years.

 John went on to run track and cross country for Malone College (now Malone University).  He was selected to the All-AMC (American Mideast Conference) team as a sophomore, junior and senior.  He was an NAIA National Track & Field Championships qualifier as a sophomore and as a senior.  As a senior he qualified for the NAIA National Track & Field Championships as a member of the 4 x 400 meter relay team, which placed 12th at the national meet.

He is honored to be part of the PSHS Athletic Hall of Fame and would like to thank his supportive family, and Coach Don Smaltz, Coach Dave Direnzo and Coach Mike Simington who helped him achieve the success that he accomplished on the track.  John joins his twin sisters Chrissie and Suzi in the Poland Athletic Hall of Fame.


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