The Case Western Reserve University track and field competed for the final time before the 2018 NCAA Division III NCAA Championships this week, with a pair of athletes taking part in the multi-events for the first time in their collegiate careers at the Gregory Invitational in Naperville, Ohio on Wednesday and Thursday, while six others headed to Delaware, Ohio for the Great Lakes Elite Meet on Thursday.
Competing in the heptathlon for the first time in her career at the Gregory Invitational, junior Shannon Carroll set career bests in all three events on the second day of competition to propel into sixth place in the standings with a final score of 4,186 points. On Thursday, Carroll placed second in the javelin throw with a mark of 37.73 meters (624 points), third in the 800-meter run with a time of 2:30.17 (691 points) and fifth in the long jump with a distance of 5.07 meters (578 points). She moved up in the event after finishing the first day in 12th place in the heptathlon standings with 2,293 points, which included a third-place finish in the shot put with a throw of 11.08 meters (600 points), a 12th-place finish in the 100-meter hurdles with a time of 16.53 seconds (651 points), a 13th-place finish in the high jump, clearing the bar at a career-best high of 1.38 meters (491 points) and a 16th-place finish in the 200-meter dash with a time of 29.04 seconds (551 points).
Sophomore Dominic Oddo was also competing for the first time in the men's decathlon, placing fifth in the final standings with a score of 5,864. On the first day, he placed third in the 100-meter dash with a career-best time of 11.47 seconds (759 points) and second in the long jump with a mark of 6.35 meters (664) points, while adding a seventh-place finish in the shot put with a throw of 10.10 meters (492 points), a third-place finish in the high jump with a mark of 1.79 meters (619 points) and sixth in the 400-meter dash with a time of 52.97 seconds (683 points). Entering the second day of competition in fifth place with 3,217 points, he placed fourth in the 110-meter hurdles with a time of 16.18 seconds (713 points), sixth in each of the discus throw with a mark of 29.41 meters (453 points), the pole vault with a height of 3.50 meters (482 points) and the javelin throw with a mark of 40.07 meters (443 points), while placing ninth in the 1,500-meter run with a time of 5:00.66 (556 points). Oddo had career-best marks in six of the eight events.
At the Great Lakes Elite Meet in Delaware, Ohio, senior Zak Hurd finished seventh in the long jump with a mark of 6.25 meters and 12th in the 100-meter dash with a time of 11.17 seconds in the final meet of his collegiate career. Also likely competing for the final time as a Spartan were senior Andrew Ibibo, who secured fifth place in the 400-meter dash with a time of 49.73 seconds and senior Nimi Gupta, who placed third in the hammer throw with a distance of 48.76 meters. Junior Tyler Bushman finished 11th in the hammer throw with a distance of 45.22 meters and sophomore Michael Hradesky placed fifth in the 800-meter run with a time of 1:57.07.
The Spartans will now await the announcement of the field for the 2018 NCAA Division III Outdoor Track and Field Championships in La Crosse, Wisconsin, with the top-20 men and top-22 women in each event earning a spot at the meet. With Thursday marking the final day of competition prior to the NCAA Championships across Division III, senior Danielle Kulpins is a likely qualifier for the Spartans, after entering the week ranked fourth in the country in the steeplechase with a time of 10:40.17. Gupta's season-best mark of 50.48 meters in the hammer throw will likely put her just outside the list of qualifiers for the meet, as it entered the weekend ranked 25th in Division III.
The official list qualifiers for the NCAA Division III Championships will be posted to NCAA.com on Saturday, May 19th by 9:00 a.m. A full release on the announcement will be posted to athletics.case.edu shortly thereafter.