Spartan Men’s Track and Field Opens Season with Early Bird Heptathlon; Jurcak Sets School 55m Hurdle Record

Matt Jurcak
Matt Jurcak

CLEVELAND, Ohio – The Case Western Reserve University men's track & field team kicked off the 2011-12 season on Saturday and Sunday, December 10 and 11, as its played host to the Case Early Bird Heptathlon with competing teams from West Virginia Wesleyan University (W. Va.) and Marietta College along with some unattached participants.

Leading the way for the Spartans was senior Michael Cohara (Strongsville, Ohio/Strongsville), who compiled 4,523 points. Cohara placed third out of eight competitors and his total is the highest mark thus far in all of NCAA Division III. He took second in the shot put with a toss of 39 feet, 5 inches -- good for 607 points. He also scored a third-place finish in the final event – the 1,000-meter run – stopping the clock in a time of 2:57.72 for 687 points, and tied for third in the pole vault clearing a height of 13 feet, five and one-quarter inches.

Sophomore Andrew Kilroy (Lexington, Mass./Boston University Academy) finished in sixth overall with 3,556 points, while junior Nick Errico (Londonderry, N.H./Londonderry) was eighth with 3,225 points.

Though he didn't complete all seven events, senior Matthew Jurcak (Olmsted Falls, Ohio/Olmsted Falls) did set a school record in the 55-meter hurdle competition. He stopped the clock with a time of 7.53 seconds. Rounding up to the 60-meter hurdle mark for the NCAA Division III indoor qualifying standard, his mark would be 8.11 seconds -- the fastest time in the country in the meets that have taken place during the early portion of the season.

Additionally, senior Eben Via (Evanston, Ill./Taylor Allderdice, Pa.) competed on Friday in the weight throw competition of the Golden Flash Gala hosted by Kent State University in the Kent State Fieldhouse. Competing against individuals from all divisions of the NCAA, Via finished 30th out of 45 competitors with his best toss being 42 feet, three and one-quarter inches on his second attempt.

Case track & field will now have a break in competition until Friday and Saturday, January 27 and 28, when the team will participate in the GaREAT Collegiate Open at the GaREAT Sports Complex in Geneva, Ohio.