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 Seventh-Annual CWRU Spartan Holiday Classic on Saturday, December 7th 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, five teams are slated to participate at the meet, including John Carroll, Oberlin, Ursuline and Allegheny.
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.
"This has been one of the most productive pre-seasons in my time here," said Head Coach Eric Schmuhl. "People have really committed to the grind and are putting themselves in a position to do some great things as a team."
Beginning his eighth 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 Spartan Nate Wahner will join Schmuhl's coaching staff during the 2019-20 season.
The Spartan men and women return incredible leadership from last season, and that has provided energy during the preseason in preparation for the indoor season.
"We're looking for leadership from all program members," said Schmuhl. "Everybody is a role model to somebody."
Senior Dominic Oddo and junior Trey Razanauskas return this season after each qualifying for the 2019 NCAA Division III Indoor Track and Field Championships. Razanauskas earned a 15th-place finish in the 5,000-meter run with a time of 15:49.88 at the NCAA Indoor Championships, while Oddo placed 18th overall in the men's heptathlon with a score of 4,106.
Razanauskas achieved his qualifying time in the 5,000-meter run when he set a school-record and placed third in the event at 2019 UAA Indoor Championships, hosted by Brandeis University. Razanauskas earned the All-UAA honor in the 5,000-meter run with a new school-record time of 14:40.40, which bested the previous school record of 14:44.18 set by Aaron Johnston Peck in 2006.
Oddo achieved his qualifying score in the heptathlon when he set a school-record and placed second in the event at the 2019 Ohio Northern Polar Bear Last Chance Meet. Oddo set the new school-record with a score of 4,709 points. His 4,709 points broke his previous school record of 4,615 points set at the 2018 All-Ohio Division III Multi-Events Championships.
Nine Spartan men also earned All-Great Lakes Region Honors from the USTFCCCA in their respective events, including Razanauskas (5,000m run), Oddo (heptathlon, long jump), senior Jonathan Haling (4x400m relay), senior Michael Hradesky (4x400m relay, 800m run), junior Thomas Patton (DMR), sophomore Juan Perez (4x400m relay), sophomore Bryden Moxley (4x400m relay, DMR), sophomore Logan Singer (DMR) and sophomore Spencer Weigand (DMR).
During the 2018-19 indoor season, three program records were broken on the men's side and three on the women's side. Of the six records, three individuals are returning in hopes of continuing to make marks on the record books.
"Our goals are as what they have always been; win the Dual, be top 3 in the UAA, Ohio, and in the region," said Schmuhl. "We try to reinforce the philosophy daily that every day starts at zero. We know it's fun to predict things, but we need to stay in that mindset of winning each day in training. If we are to achieve any goals we set this year it will because of our fighting the track, the implement, and the barbell each day."
Senior Madeline Lindemann and junior Taylor Jackson return on the women's side after each claiming All-UAA honor during the indoor conference championships last year. Lindemann finished second in the 5,000-meter run with a time of 17:43.88, while Jackson finished third in the weight throw with a mark of 14.46 meters.
Also setting school records for the Spartans during the indoor season was senior Abbey Waltz, junior Julie Hines and sophomore Ana Scherf. Waltz added points for the Spartan women at the UAA Indoor Championships, as she finished fourth in the pole vault with a new school-record mark of 3.63 meters. That mark bests Christen Saccucci's mark of 3.50 meters set back in 2016. In addition, Hines and Scherf were members of the CWRU women's 4x200-meter relay team that broke the school record in event with a time of 1:49.22, finishing fifth in the event at the All-Ohio Indoor Championships.
Last season, the men's and women's track and field programs totaled 17 All-UAA honors at the outdoor championships and now the culture has carried over into this season.
After this meet on Saturday, the Spartans will be off from competition until they resume their season at the Dave Lehmen Invite in Westerville, Ohio on Saturday, January 18th. CWRU will return to Cleveland to host the 12th-Annual Battle for the Obelisk on Saturday, January 25th. 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 and begins the month of March as they travel to New Nork, New York for the UAA Indoor Championships from Saturday, February 29th through Sunday, March 1st.
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 6-7. Team members who qualify will then travel to Winston-Salem, North Carolina for the NCAA Division III Indoor Championships on March 13-14.