Omilabu & Ruckstuhl Claim UAA Championships; CWRU Women Lead After Day 1

Omilabu & Ruckstuhl Claim UAA Championships; CWRU Women Lead After Day 1

Case Western Reserve University junior Temi Omilabu and senior Kristen Ruckstuhl each won conference titles during the first day of competition at the 2016 University Athletic Association Championships, pacing the Spartan women to a lead in the team standing after Saturday's action at the meet, hosted by Washington University (Mo.) in St. Louis, Missouri.

Case Western Reserve finished the first day in first place, accumulating 63.5 points during the day.  Washington finished the day in second place with 61.5 points, followed by Chicago (56), Carnegie Mellon (38.5), Emory (37.5), New York University (13) and Brandeis (2).

Omilabu won the hammer throw, setting a school record with a mark of 49.01 meters.  The distance broke the previous school-record mark of 47.50 meters, set by former Spartan Diana Kovacic during the 2004 season.  She became just the second Spartan ever to win the event at the UAA Outdoor Championships, joining Amanda Kline, who won the conference title in the hammer throw in 2012.  Sophomore Rachael Collins claimed All-UAA honors with a third-place finish in the event with a throw of 43.31 meters, and sophomore Nimi Gupta (40.63m) and junior Monica Hiller (40.44m) finished seventh and eighth, respectively, to add to the Spartans team score.

Ruckstuhl won the conference title in the 10,000-meter run for the second-consecutive year, after becoming the program's first UAA Championship winner in the event last year.  She finished first on Saturday with a time of 36:52.33, over 46 seconds faster than the next closest competitor. 

Sophomore Cassandra Laios added an All-UAA honor with a second-place finish in the discus throw, notching a mark of 38.08 meters. Other scorers in the event for the Spartans included freshman Mikhaylan Price, who placed fourth with a throw of 35.12 meters, and Gupta, who placed seventh with a throw of 33.11 meters.

Senior Christen Saccucci tied for third in the pole vault, clearing the bar at a height of 3.36 meters to earn All-UAA honors in the event.  In the 3,000-meter steeplechase, sophomore Danielle Kulpins claimed an All-UAA finish, placing third with a time of 11:22.67, while senior Evy Hail scored with a fourth-place finish in a time of 11:34.97.  Adding a scoring finish on Saturday was the Spartans' 4x800-meter relay team of senior Taylor O'Neil, freshman Maria DeRenzo, freshman Jennifer Hoffmann and senior Juliana Ross, who finished sixth with a time of 9:45.19.

In addition to Saturday's scorers, two Spartans qualified for finals of events on Sunday, based on their performances in preliminaries during the first day.  Senior Emily Harker earned a spot in the finals of the 100-meter hurdles after placing seventh in the preliminaries with a time of 15.68 seconds.  In the 400-meter hurdles, freshman Olivia Newman clinched her spot in the finals with a time of 1:04.73, a near five-second improvement on her previous career best time entering the meet, and good for a third-place finish in the preliminaries.

The second and final day of the 2016 UAA Outdoor Championships is slated to begin with the field events at 9:00 a.m. on Sunday, followed by events on the track at 11:00 a.m.