Senior Spotlight: Dominic Oddo, Track & Field

Dominic Oddo clears a hurdle during the Battle for the Obelisk

by Eddie Kerekes, Sports Information Assistant

For Dominic Oddo, every day is about getting better. And it seemed that every year at Case Western Reserve University the senior multi-event track and field athlete from Mentor, Ohio improved, whether it was by setting and then breaking school records or by earning bids to the NCAA Championship Meet.

Oddo has excelled across his four years at CWRU, earning three national championship appearances, six All-University Athletic Association selections, and six All-Great Lakes Region honors. In just his first year on the team, he captured the 2017 Outdoor UAA Championship in the long jump. He will leave campus with two school records, both set this season: 7.04 meters in the indoor long jump and 4,768 points in the indoor heptathlon.

"The reason why I do what I do is because I want to prove to myself that I can get better every day," Oddo said. "I'm always fighting myself to get better, so to see those marks and to get named to the NCAA field is special to me because it proves to myself that I can do those things."

While he has competed at the NCAA Championships, Oddo can best remember the Battle for the Obelisk against Carnegie Mellon each year, saying that he can relive every minute of all four of the meets. In his final matchup against the Tartans, Oddo won three individual events—the long jump, high jump, and 60-meter hurdles—and was part of the winning 4x400-meter relay team.

However, his most memorable moment was the 2020 Indoor UAA Championships, held at The Armory in New York City. Many regard the historic track as one of the best in the United States, and Oddo claimed All-UAA honors with a school-record long jump. It also turned out to be the last meet he would compete with the full Spartan squad, making the meet even more memorable.

"That track has history on it; it's got world records on it. An atmosphere like that is always going to be special no matter what the performances are, so that meet, in particular, was just so much fun," Oddo said. "That marks a special time, and I think that's a meet that I'll remember forever." 

Away from the track, the physics and astronomy double major excels in the classroom and around campus. In 2019, he earned United States Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association All-Academic honors by recording a GPA of 3.33 and competing in the NCAA Indoor and Outdoor Championships. After graduating, he plans on going to graduate school and joining a Ph.D. program. While he plans to continue running after graduating, whether he uses his last year of eligibility depends on his school.

Outside of the classroom, Oddo is involved in a variety of other activities on campus, including working as a Resident Assistant, being secretary of the Feminist Collective, and co-founding the Women in Physics and Astronomy Club.

"I believe in empowering the voices of women, especially in STEM fields," he said. "Working with women and trying to move past the barriers that they face on a daily basis is something that I'm passionate about and something that I would like to continue doing in grad school and for the rest of my life."

When you look at all of his accomplishments, Oddo stands out as one of the best examples of a complete CWRU student-athlete. However, competing in track and field is not just one of Oddo's many pursuits; to him, it is the most valuable. 

"It's my sanctuary, being in the sport," he said. "I enjoy everything about the sport. I love my teammates, and I don't know where I'd be without it."

To view all of our Spartan Stories, go to https://athletics.case.edu/general/2019-20/releases/20200330fk1oeq.