Spartan Club Athletes of the Week for Nov. 19: Nathan Ekberg and Hillary Hellmann

Spartan Club Athletes of the Week for Nov. 19: Nathan Ekberg and Hillary Hellmann

The Spartan Club, comprised of Case Institute of Technology (CIT), Western Reserve University (WRU) and Case Western Reserve University (CWRU) alumni, parents of current students, faculty and staff, and friends of the University, is aimed at helping foster and honor the proud tradition of athletics at the University, while also supporting the current student-athletes.  For more information on the Spartan Club, and to help support its purpose by becoming a member, CLICK HERE.

Case Western Reserve University sophomore Nathan Ekberg, a defender on the men’s soccer team, and senior Hillary Hellmann, a guard/forward on the women’s basketball team, have been named the Spartan Club Athletes of the Week for their performances this past weekend.

Ekberg helped the 19th-ranked Spartans reach the 2018 NCAA Division III Men’s Soccer Quarterfinals as he scored one goal and played outstanding defense during the Sectional Rounds this past weekend. In Friday’s match against #10 Kenyon College, Ekberg scored the game-tying goal in the 42nd minute when he headed in a free kick by sophomore midfielder Connor Weber for his fifth goal of the season. For the season, Ekberg scored five goals for 10 points and led a tough CWRU defense that only allowed 23 goals in 22 games. In addition, Ekberg and senior captain Christian Lytle anchored a backline that held opponents to 10.9 shots per contest and 4.4 shots on goal per game. The Spartans’ quarterfinal finish was the best in the history of the CWRU men's soccer program, which ended its 2018 campaign with a 16-4-2 overall record.

Hellmann averaged a team-high 20.5 points and added 8.0 rebounds per game during a pair of season-opening wins for the Spartans at the Greg Richards Memorial Tournament in Meadville, Pennsylvania.  Hellmann averaged 29.0 minutes per game, shooting 43.3% from the floor (13-for-30), 53.8% (seven-for-13) on three point attempts, and 75.0% (eight-of-12) from the free throw line.  She also added a block and three steals over the two games.  Hellmann recorded a double-double during the Spartans’ season-opening 69-60 win over Allegheny, leading the team with 19 points, 13 rebounds and three steals.  She followed that performance with a game-high 22 points and three rebounds in a 74-69 win over Chatham the next day.  Her seven made three pointers during the weekend moved her within one of the program record for career made three-point shots.  Hellmann and the Spartans have opened their 2018-19 season with a 2-0 record, marking the program’s first 2-0 start since the 2013-14 campaign.

The Spartan Club Athletes of the Week are selected by the CWRU Department of Athletics each Monday, based on their performance during the previous week of competition.

Honorable Mention: Michael Hollis (men’s basketball) was named the Most Valuable Player of the Bill Sudeck Tournament.  Hollis averaged 9.0 points and 9.5 rebounds over the two games, shooting five-of-eight from the floor, including one-for-one on three point tries, and seven-of-10 from the free throw line.  He also added five assists and a block over the two games.  In the team’s 78-48 win over Franciscan on Friday, he scored nine points with six rebounds and added three assists on a two-for-three shooting effort.  He followed that with a nine-point, 13-rebound game in a 70-66 win over Washington College on Saturday to help clinch the tournament championship.  For the year, Hollis is shooting 80.0% from the floor (12-for-15) and 84.2% (16-of-19) from the free throw line, while averaging 13.7 points and 9.3 rebounds per game.  The Spartans have opened the year with a 3-0 record for the first time since the 2014-15 campaign.

Trey Razanauskas (men’s cross country) helped lead the Spartans to a 21st-place finish at the 2018 NCAA Division III Men’s Cross Country Championships on Saturday.  Razanauskas was the team’s top finisher for the third-straight week and the third-time overall this season, placing 64th out of 280 total competitors.  He crossed the finish line of the 8,000-meter race with a time of 25:21.1.  The Spartans’ finished with an aggregate score of 516 points, as their 21st-place finish was the team’s highest at the meet in the last 15 years.

Madeline Lindemann (women’s cross country) placed 98th out of 280 runners at the 2018 NCAA Division III Women’s Cross Country Championships on Saturday.  Making her first career appearance at the meet and competing individually, Lindemann crossed the finish line of the 6,000-meter course in a time of 22:32.6.

Alec Hoover (wrestling) led the Spartans at the BW Invitational this past weekend, as he scored 15.0 team points to finish second in his weight class. Alec Hoover opened with a pin in 2:14 over Mercyhurst Northeast's William Frederick and then followed that with a 6-0 decision over CWRU freshman Duncan Clayon in the semifinals. In the championship match, Alec Hoover lost a 14-6 major decision to Baldwin Wallace's Dante Ginnetti. CWRU combined to score 90.0 points during the tournament to finish second in the team standings.

Suhan Mestha (women’s swimming and diving) led the Spartans to wins against Gannon University, Grove City College and the University of Rochester this past weekend. Mestha won the 50-yard freestyle with a time of 24.09. She was also a member of the 200-yard medley relay team that finished first with a time of 1:48.91 and the 200-yard freestyle relay team that claimed the title with a time of 1:39.01. In addition, Mestha’s time of 23.89 in the 50 Free to leadoff of the 200-yard freestyle relay currently ranks first among all University Athletic Association swimmers this season.

Calvin Tecson (men’s swimming and diving) led the Spartan men to a sweep of Gannon University, Grove City College and the University of Rochester this past weekend. Tecson won the 50-yard freestyle with a time of 21.29, which currently ranks 11th among all University Athletic Association swimmers.

2018-19 Spartan Club Athletes of the Week:

September 4th: Andrew Green (men's cross country) & Karley King (volleyball)

September 10th: Garrett Winter (men's soccer) & Brianna Lemon (volleyball)

September 17th: Drew Saxton (football) & Christina Hickson (women's soccer)

September 24th: Ian Henderson (football) & Jessica Liu and Madeleine Paolucci (women’s tennis)

October 1st: Charlie Fink (men’s soccer) & Madeline Lindemann (women’s cross country)

October 8th: Colt Morgan (football) & Kimberly Chen (women’s soccer)

October 15th: Nathan Ekberg (men’s soccer) & Madeline Lindemann (women’s cross country)

October 22nd: Cameron Brown (football) & Kimberly Chen (women’s soccer)

October 29th: Alex Besl (men’s soccer) & Caitlyn VonFeldt (women’s swimming and diving)

November 5th: Drew Saxton (football) & Suhan Mestha (women’s swimming and diving)

November 12th: Zachary Senft (men’s soccer) & Madeline Lindemann (women’s cross country)

November 19th: Nathan Ekberg (men’s soccer) & Hillary Hellmann (women’s basketball)