The Case Western Reserve University men's and women's track and field programs are looking forward to beginning the indoor season as they prepare to host the Sixth-Annual CWRU Spartan Holiday Classic on Saturday, December 1st at the Veale Center Indoor Track on the CWRU campus. Action at the meet is scheduled to begin at 11:00 a.m.
Along with Case Western Reserve, seven teams are slated to participate at the meet, including Allegheny, John Carroll, Muskingum, Oberlin, Ohio Wesleyan and Ursuline.
Fans unable to attend Saturday's meet can follow all of the action with a live video webcast at https://athletics.case.edu/sports/mtrack/live. To view a tentative time schedule for Saturday's meet, CLICK HERE.
The teams have been looking forward to this meet since stepping foot on campus in August and beginning with preseason practices.
"The fall semester can be tough," said Head Coach Eric Schmuhl. "We train a great deal, but don't have meets to keep their competitive hunger under control. I feel like our best kids are starving for this weekend. Many of them have been thinking about Saturday since May."
Beginning his seventh season at the helm of the track and field programs at CWRU, Schmuhl welcomes back assistant coaches Kathy Lanese, Rocco Mitolo and Chris Kelly. In addition, former Spartans Sam Guadignino, Sophia Herzog and Ben Zelkin will join Schmuhl's coaching staff during the 2018-19 season.
The six captains, three men and three women, have provided incredible leadership and energy during the preseason in preparation for the indoor season.
"Captains are always an interesting story to watch unfold," said Schmuhl. "I always say they set the tone for all things track and field here at CWRU. If they are excited, the team will be. If they crave competition, so will the team. If they work harder and do the little things right, so will the people around them. What I think is unique with this group is the amount of leadership that exists outside the designated captains. We've got some special leaders in each event group this year."
Oddo, an All-UAA and All-Great Lakes Region honoree, broke the long jump record last season at the 10th-Annual Battle for the Obelisk with a mark of 7.00 meters. Oddo also set the school record in the heptathlon at the All-Ohio Division Multi-Events Championship, as he finished second out of nine competitors with 4,615 points. Hradesky, an All-Great Lakes Region honoree, set a school record in the 1,000-meter run at the Kent State Golden Gala with a time of 2:33.46.
Newman, an All-Great Lakes Region honoree, broke two school records during the indoor season. She finished second in the 500-meter run at the Joe Banks Invitational with a new school record time of 1:19.95, and then placed fourth in the 60-meter hurdles at the 2018 UAA Indoor Championships with a time of 9.17, besting the previous school record of 9.23 set by Nataija Brown in 2012.
During the 2017-18 season indoor season, five program records were broken on the men's side and six on the women's. Of the 11 records, six individuals are returning in hopes of continuing to make marks on the record books.
"Our biggest goal is always to be more competitive in Division 3 Ohio and the UAA," said Schmuhl. "Ohio is one of the toughest states in the country for Division III track and field and the UAA is easily one of the premier leagues in the country. Last season, I think we learned a great deal about how to handle adversity and step-up in championship situations. We lost some key people to injury along our path and all that did was show younger folks just how much they could achieve when they were called up."
Senior Cassandra Laios, an All-Great Lakes Region honoree, returns this season after an injury shortened her campaign last year. Before the injury, Laios set a school record with a mark of 14.09 meters in the shot put at the Kent State Golden Gala, which bested her previous school record of 13.65 meters set at the Fifth-Annual Spartan Holiday Classic. She also broke her previous school record of 17.62 meters in the weight throw, as she finished first in the event at the All-Ohio Indoor Championships with a mark of 17.92 meters.
Also setting a school record for the Spartan women during the indoor season was senior Shannon Carroll and junior Vanessa Pasadyn. Carroll broke the school record in the pentathlon at the 2018 Ohio Northern Polar Bear Last Chance Meet. She totaled 2,900 points in the event, which broke the previous school record of 2,593 points set by Keri Walter in 2012. Pasadyn finished fourth in the 800-meter run at the 2018 All-Ohio Indoor Championships with a time of 2:18.60, besting her previous school record of 2:19.17 set during the 2016-17 indoor season.
Last season, the men's and women's track and field programs totaled 11 All-UAA honors at the outdoor championship and now the culture has carried over into this season.
This culture is something the freshman have walked into and embraced thus far this preseason.
Newcomers to keep your eye on: Juan Perez (sprints), Trey Razanauskas (distance), Spencer Weigand (mid-distance), Logan Singer (mid-distance), Ben Brisman (throws), Kathryn LeMoine (jumps), Ana Scherf (sprints), Jana Fisher (mid-distance) and Kayla Reece (throws).
"All have shown great potential this fall in performance and discipline," said Schmuhl.
After this meet on Saturday, the Spartans will wrap up the fall semester with a meet at Kent State University on Friday, December 7th through Saturday, December 8th.
CWRU will resume its season at the SPIRE Invitational in Geneva, Ohio on Saturday, January 19th, before returning to Cleveland to host the 11th-Annual Battle for the Obelisk on Saturday, January 26th. The Spartans will then go on the road for two meets, before traveling to Westerville, Ohio for the Indoor All-Ohio Championships. CWRU concludes the month of February as they travel to Waltham, Massachusetts for the UAA Indoor Championships from Saturday, February 23rd through Sunday, February 24th.
Following the UAA Championships, the Spartans will have one final opportunity to qualify for the NCAA Championships at the ONU Polar Bear Last Chance Meet on March 2nd. Team members who qualify will then travel to Boston, Massachusetts for the NCAA Division III Indoor Championships on March 8-9.