Case Western Reserve University senior Nathaniel Wahner and junior Sam Merriman led the Spartans during the second day of the 2017 University Athletic Association Outdoor Track and Field Championships with a combined three individual conference championships in their respective events, as the squad placed third at the meet, hosted by the University of Chicago in Chicago, Illinois.
The Spartan men finished third out of seven teams at the meet, scoring 133 points during the two days of competition. Carnegie Mellon won the conference title with 186 points, and was followed in the standings by Washington with 180 points.
Wahner ran a time of time 47.64 seconds in the finals of the 400-meter dash to win the UAA title in the event. That time also set a new school-record in the event, besting the previous time of 48.55 set in 1996. It marked just the third time in program history that a Spartan has won the conference title in the event, and first time since James Harris in 1995. Wahner also claimed the title in the 200-meter dash with a time of 21.71 seconds, which marked the first time in the program history that a Spartan has won the conference title in the 200-meter dash.
In addition, Wahner teamed with junior Ben Zelkin, junior Adrian Cannon and junior Zak Hurd in the 4x100-meter relay to claim the title in the event with a time of 42.20. Wahner also teamed with freshman Jonathan Haling, sophomore Joseph Cabral and junior Andrew Ibibo in the 4x400-meter relay to finish first in the event with a time of 3:16.55, which bested the previous school-record of 3:18.95 set in 1991.
Merriman ran a time of 14:36.83 in the 5,000-meter run to the win the UAA title in the event. It marked just the fourth time in program history that a Spartan has won the conference title in the event, and first time since Stephen Hrinda in 2007.
Adding All-UAA finishes on the second day of the meet were junior Grant Mlack, sophomore Ananth Suresh and freshman Brian Holden. Mlack finished second in the 400-meter hurdles with a time of 54.35 and placed third in the 110-meter hurdles with a time of 15.38. Suresh finished third in the triple jump with a distance of 13.75 meters, while Holden placed second in the javelin throw with a mark of 53.73 meters.
Other scoring performances from the Spartans on Saturday came from freshman Dominic Oddo in the 110-meter hurdles (sixth, 16.38), Ibibo (fourth, 48.95) and Haling (eighth, 50.38) in the 400-meter dash, freshman Mitchell Webb in the 400-meter hurdles (eighth, 59.80), Cabral (fourth, 1:55.91) and senior Joe Ledger (sixth, 1:57.14) in the 800-meter run, junior Aidan DeSanto in the 1,500-meter run (fourth, 3:59.10) and junior Jason Lockamy (sixth, 42.36m) and sophomore Tyler Bushman (eighth, 39.40m) in the discus throw.
Altogether, the Spartans accumulated 11 All-UAA honors during the meet, including the UAA Championship from Oddo in the long jump on the first day of competition.
With the UAA Championships now behind them, the Spartans will turn their focus to the home stretch of the season, and members of the squad with a chance to make NCAA Division III Championships in late May will continue to try to improve their qualifying marks. Case Western Reserve is slated to return to action at the GINA Relays, hosted by Hillsdale College, from Thursday, April 27th through Saturday, April 29th.