Case Western Reserve University graduate student Cassandra Laios joined elite company on Saturday by the winning the 2019 NCAA Division III Women's Outdoor Track and Field Hammer Throw Championship at the SPIRE Institute in Geneva, Ohio. Laios becomes the 15th NCAA Champion in the 48-year history of CWRU Spartans athletics, and the first since former Spartan men's tennis players Eric Klawitter and C.J. Krimbill claimed the 2014 NCAA Doubles Championship.
Competing her final collegiate event of her career, Laios was seeded second in the hammer with a then school-record mark of 55.96 meters. She finished first in the event on Saturday with a new school-record toss of 56.34 meters.
Laios becomes the first Spartan track and field athlete to earn a national title during the outdoor season since former Spartan Obinna Nwanna won the decathlon in 2010. In addition, she becomes the first Spartan woman to win a national title during the outdoor season since former Spartan Esther Erb won the 10,000-meter run in 2008.
With the national title and also a seventh place finish in the discus, Laios has totaled 12 team points for the Spartan women, who placed 21st overall at the NCAA Championships.
Laios will end her CWRU career as the program-record holder in the hammer throw, shot put and discus, while also collecting three All-American honors and a national title throughout her spectacular career.
Sophomore Trey Razanauskas came close to adding the Spartans' third All-America honor of the meet, but fell just short, placing ninth in the 5,000-meter run with a time of 15:06.97.
The conclusion of the meet marked the official end of the 2018-19 season for CWRU Athletics.