Case Western Reserve University junior Suhan Mestha and freshman Caitlyn VonFeldt recorded NCAA Division III 'B' cut times and the women's 400-yard medley relay team broke the school record in the event during the first day of competition at the Wooster Invitational, as both the men's and women's squads sit in first place at the meet.
The Spartan women led the field of 11 teams after the first day with 502.5 points, taking a 115.5 lead over second-place Edinboro. The men totaled 486 first day points to pace the nine-team field and lead second-place Gannon by 111 points.
Mestha paced the squad in the 50-yard freestyle, placing second in the event with a 'B' cut time of 23.63. It marked her first 'B' cut of the meet. She was one of two Spartans to qualify for the 'A' final of the event, along with senior Inez Moore (eighth, 24.80).
The Spartans also had top-three finishes in both women's relays during the first day of the meet, with Mestha, VonFeldt, junior Alli Drohosky and sophomore Monica Khare finishing first in the 400-yard medley relay with a school-record time of 3:52.89, besting the previous school record of 3:54.28 set back in 2012. VonFeldt also notched her 'B' cut time of 57.18 leading off the relay in the 100-yard backstroke. The 200-yard freestyle relay of Moore, senior Jennifer Eurich, junior Bhavya Kumaran and VonFeldt added a third place finish with a time of 1:38.32.
Other 'A' final finishes for the Spartan women on Thursday included freshman Sophia Vaccaro (sixth, 5:17.83 in the prelims) and junior Kelsey Holmberg (seventh, 5:18.14 in the prelims) in the 500-yard freestyle, sophomore Olivia Picchione (fifth, 2:12.46) in the 200-yard individual medley, sophomore Aleah Hixenbaugh (seventh, 2:14.17 in the prelims) in the 200-yard individual medley and sophomore Julia Ver Voort (eighth, 2:13.73 in the prelims) in the 200-yard individual medley.
CWRU senior Drew Hamilton earned a win in the men's 500-yard freestyle with a time of 4:36.93. He was one of four Spartans to qualify for the 'A' final of the event, along with junior Keith Erichsen (thirdm 4:42.33), senior David Merriman (fifth 4:43.64) and junior Brody Schmidt (seventh 4:45.22).
Other 'A' final finishers for the Spartan men on Thursday included senior Aaron Pang (third, 1:56.81), freshman Will McDonald (fourth, 1:57.17) and freshman Sean Twomey (seventh, 1:57.38 in the prelims) in the 200-yard individual medley. Senior Oliver Hudgins placed sixth in the 50-yard freestyle (21.55 in the prelims).
In addition, the men's 400-yard medley relay team of McDonald, Hamilton, Hudgins and freshman Darren Lau finished first in the event with a time of 3:27.24.
Action at the meet will resume on Friday at the Ellen Shapiro Natatorium, with the preliminaries starting at 10:00 a.m., with finals slated to follow at 6:00 p.m.