Behind a tight top seven finishers, the 19th-ranked Case Western Reserve University men's cross country team placed first out of three teams at the 2019 Sudeck Classic Stampede on Saturday at the Squire Valleevue Farm in Hunting Valley, Ohio.
The Spartans claimed the season-opening victory with a score of 25, with the team's top-five finishers placing consecutively from third through seventh. John Carroll University finished second with 36 points, followed by Allegheny College in third with 85 points. It was the second-straight year that Case Western Reserve has come away with a first-place finish at the meet.
The top-eight finishers for Case Western Reserve each finished within 30 seconds of each other, led by sophomore Spencer Weigand, who placed third overall in a time of 19:34.0 in the 6K race. It marked the first time in his career that he has been the Spartans' top finisher.
Making his collegiate debut, freshman Robert St. Clair was CWRU's second finisher with a time of 19:35.2 for a fourth-place finish, and junior Eric Rachita followed in fifth place with a time of 19:36.2. Freshman Jack Begley claimed sixth with a time of 19:36.8, and senior David Hall was CWRU's fifth scorer, placing seventh overall in a time of 19:38.3. Rounding out the Spartans' top-seven were sophomore Logan Singer in eighth place with a time of 19:44.0 and Yoshmar Pinal-Alfaro in ninth place with a mark of 19:52.8, while freshman Joe Jaster notched an 11th-place finish with a time of 19:59.1.
Additional finishers for the Spartans in the field of 52 runners on Saturday included junior Dmytro Blundell (16th, 20:07.7), sophomore Alex Loeper (17th, 20:24.4), senior Tim Andrews (18th, 20:28.9), senior Michael Hradesky (24th, 20:50.3), freshman Parker Straight (26th, 20:53.8), junior Thomas Patton (30th, 20:56.9), junior Daniel Grasing (32nd, 21:01.2), sophomore Maxwell Griesheimer (35th, 21:06.0), sophomore Rahul Mikkilineni (37th, 21:22.0), sophomore Bryden Moxley (39th, 21:29.4), sophomore Ben Browngardt (41st, 21:37.5), graduate student Andrew Gold (45th, 21:56.2) and junior Ryan Tatton (46th, 22:00.5).
John Carroll sophomore Ian Pierson won the race with a time of 19:19.9, followed by his freshman teammate, Alex Phillip, in second with a time of 19:22.2.
The Sudeck Sunset Classic Stampede is run in the honor of the legendary late former CWRU head cross country and track & field coach Bill Sudeck. During his 46-year career at the Case Institute of Technology and Case Western Reserve University, he led his cross country teams to 12 conference titles, leaving behind a legacy of success for the program.
The Spartans will be back in action next Saturday, September 7th at the Calvin Invitational in Grand Rapids, Michigan, as the team will get an early look at the course for the 2019 NCAA Great Lakes Regional meet.