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Case Western Reserve University junior Brian Holden, a thrower on the men’s track and field team, and graduate student Cassandra Laios, a thrower on the women’s track and field team, have been named the Spartan Club Athletes of the Week for their performances this past weekend.
Holden led the Spartan men to a third-place finish at the 2019 University Athletic Association Outdoor Championships this past weekend as he claimed the UAA title in the men’s javelin throw and also earned an All-UAA honor in the hammer throw. Holden hit a new school-record mark of 59.54 meters in the javelin throw to win the UAA title in the event. That mark broke the previous school record of 57.82 meters set by former Spartan Randy Fresh back in 2000. Holden also earned a third-place finish in the hammer throw on Saturday, as he hit a mark of 48.33 meters. His mark of 59.54 meters in the javelin currently ranks 17th among all NCAA Division III competitors.
Laios helped the Spartan women finish fourth out of seven teams during the two days of competition at the 2019 UAA Outdoor Track and Field Championships. Laios claimed the title in the hammer throw and shot put on Saturday. In the hammer, she hit a mark of 54.69 meters which was a new UAA meet record. She became the fifth Spartan ever to win the event at the UAA Outdoor Championships, joining Amanda Kline (2012), Temi Omilabu (2016), Laios (2017) and Nimi Gupta (2018). Laios also won the conference title in the shot put, becoming just the third Spartan to win the event since 2012. She finished first on Saturday with a new school-record mark of 14.20 meters, which bests her previous school record of 13.48 meters. Her mark was also a new UAA meet record. On Sunday, Laios won the conference title in the discus throw with a mark of 43.78 meters. Laios currently ranks first among all NCAA Division III competitors in the hammer (55.05m), seventh in the shot put (14.20m) and 21st in the discus (43.78m).
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: Nick Denove (baseball) pitched his second complete-game shutout of the season to lead the Spartans to a 6-0 win over Brandeis University on Saturday. He allowed just five hits in the game, all of which were singles, and did not walk a batter in the contest, while striking out six. He did not allow a runner past second base during his 114-pitch effort. Denove improved to 6-2 with the win and lowered his earned run average to 2.12, while recording his fourth complete game and second shutout of the year. Both of his shutouts and three of his complete games have come in UAA affairs, as he went 2-1 with a 1.39 ERA in conference games in 2019. Denove and the Spartans currently stand at 22-13.
Jacob Kucia (baseball) hit .500 (eight-for-16) during the Spartans’ four-game series against Brandeis University last week. Kucia added a stolen base, scored four runs and drove in two, and collected three triples to raise his slugging percentage to .875 for the week. He also walked twice and was hit by a pitch to raise his on base percentage to .579 during the four contests. Kucia hit safely in all four games of the series, including a four-for-five effort during a 17-4 win in the final game, including two triples, two runs scored, an RBI and a stolen base. He also went one-for-four with a run and a triple in the third game of the series, a 7-5 CWRU loss, two-for-five during a 6-0 win in the second game, and one-for-two with a walk in the first contest of the series (a 5-3 loss). Kucia is batting a team-leading .390 this season with one home run, 25 RBIs, and a team-best six triples, and will carry a seven-game hitting streak into the final game of the regular season on Tuesday. The Spartans currently stand at 22-13 overall.
Arisa Cleaveland (softball) batted a team-best .529 (9-for-17) to help the Spartans sweep Washington (Mo.) University in a four-game series this past weekend. Cleaveland hit one home run and drove in two runs and scored six runs, while also stealing three bases throughout the four games. During the Spartans’ 6-4 win in extra innings on Saturday, Cleaveland went three-for-five at the plate with a home run, two runs scored and one RBI. For the season, Cleaveland currently ranks fourth on the team with a .389 batting average (49-for-126), with two home runs, eight doubles, 17 RBI’s and team-high 30 runs scored. Case Western Reserve improved to 23-13 overall on the season with the wins, including a 10-8 mark in the University Athletic Association.
Ilissa Hamilton (softball) went a perfect 3-0 on the mound for the Spartans as they swept a four-game series at Washington (Mo.) this past weekend. Hamilton allowed seven earned runs in 19.0 innings pitched, while striking out a team-high 17 batters. During the Spartans’ 6-2 win on Friday, Hamilton worked seven strong innings, as she allowed only two runs on nine hits and a walk, while striking out nine. In addition to her work on the mound, Hamilton also batted .417 (5-for-12) with one double, one RBI and four runs scored. For the season, Hamilton leads the team with a 12-6 record on the mound. She has posted a 3.18 ERA in 114.1 innings pitched and has struck out a team-best 113 batters. Hamilton’s 113 strikeouts currently rank second in the UAA, while her 12 wins rank tied for third.
Olivia Newman (women’s track and field) earned an individual All-UAA honor and was a member of the 4x100-meter relay team that earned an All-UAA honor this past weekend at the Outdoor Track and Field Championships. Newman placed second in the finals of the 400-meter hurdles with a time of 1:03.22. She also teamed with sophomore Julie Hines, junior Bari Love and freshman Ana Scherf to place third in the 4x100-meter relay with a time of 49.24.
Trey Razanauskas (men’s track and field) claimed the UAA title in the men’s 10,000-meter run and also earned an All-UAA honor in the men’s 5,000-meter run at the 2019 University Athletic Association Outdoor Championships this past weekend. Razanauskas finished first in the 10,000-meter run with a time of 31:14.76. He then placed second in the 5,000-meter run with a time of 15:02.42.
Chaitanya Aduru (men’s tennis) was perfect during the University Athletic Association Championships for the 12th-ranked Spartans, winning all three of his fifth singles matches, and all three of his matches at third doubles with fellow freshman Aaron Umen. He accounted for two of the Spartans’ three victories during the team’s quarterfinal loss to 10th-ranked Brandeis, claiming an 8-3 win at third doubles with Umen and a 6-2, 6-0 victory at fourth singles. He followed that with two more wins on Saturday in the consolation semifinals with an 8-3 victory in doubles and a 6-1, 6-4 singles win against 37th-ranked Rochester. Rounding out the weekend, Aduru added two key victories in the Spartans’ 5-2 win over #14 Carnegie Mellon in the fifth-place match, securing an 8-3 doubles victory and a 6-2, 7-5 singles triumph. Aduru finished his season with six-straight singles wins to improve to 16-4 overall, and ended the campaign with a 28-9 record in doubles matches. The Spartans finished fifth in the UAA for the second-straight season and ended the year with a 21-9 overall record.
Madeleine Paolucci (women’s tennis) helped the Spartans finish seventh at the 2019 University Athletic Association Championships this past weekend in Altamonte Springs, Florida. Paolucci teamed with sophomore Nicole Cardwell at first doubles to defeat Rochester’s Camila Garcia and Cami Ruiz Vega 8-4. Paolucci then defeated Garcia 6-1, 6-4 at first singles as the Spartans claimed a 5-1 over Rochester on Saturday.
2018-19 Spartan Club Athletes of the Week:
September 4th: Andrew Green (men's cross country) & Karley King (volleyball)
April 29th: Brian Holden (men’s track and field) & Cassandra Laios (women’s track and field)