The Case Western Reserve University men's and women's cross country teams will start the final stretch of their season this weekend, when the team travels to Garret Mountain Reservation in Woodland Park, New Jersey for the 2017 University Athletic Association Championships, hosted by New York University on Saturday, October 28th.
The day is slated to begin with the women's 6K race at 11:00 a.m., and will be followed by the men's 8K at 12:00 p.m.
The Spartan women will enter the meet ranked 34th in Division III and fourth in the Great Lakes Region. Senior Danielle Kulpins, who placed 10th at last year's meet to earn All-UAA Second Team honors, will look to lead the Spartan pack. Other returning finishers from last year's UAA Championship for CWRU include junior Jennifer Hoffmann (31st), junior Isa Torres-Padin (38th), sophomore Vanessa Pasadyn (40th), senior Rachel Laveson (42nd), and sophomore Madeline Lindemann (52nd) and junior Ellen Sears (78th). Senior Claire Plunkett and freshmen Olivia Battistoni and Cara Giannuzzi will also be competing for CWRU at this year's conference meet.
The women's field at the UAA Championships will feature three additional nationally-ranked teams, including no. 7 Washington (Mo.), no. 15 Chicago and no. 17 Emory. Six of the eight teams competing are regionally ranked, with Carnegie Mellon (fifth in the Mideast) and Brandeis (10th in New England) being featured in the regional polls in addition to the four nationally-ranked squads.
The CWRU women finished sixth at last year's meet, while Washington won it, followed by Chicago in second place and Emory in third.
While just on the outer fringes of the national rankings, the Spartan men will begin the weekend as the fourth-ranked squad in the Great Lakes Region. The team is led by senior Sam Merriman, who will aiming to follow up his third-place finish at last year's meet, as he became the first Spartan to earn All-UAA First Team honors since Dominic Smith in 2008 and the 13th CWRU runner overall. Other returning finishers from last year's meet scheduled to compete for CWRU on Saturday include seniors Aidan DeSanto (47th) and Ben Whitman (76th), and will be joined by senior Zach Roshon, sophomores Tim Andrews, Andrew Green, David Hall and Karthik Ravichandran and freshmen Dmytro Blundell and Nathan Mack.
Nationally-ranked teams in the UAA men's field include no. 9 Washington, no. 12 Carnegie Mellon, no. 23 Chicago, no. 29 NYU and no. 35 Emory. Brandeis is also ranked seventh in the New England Region.
CWRU placed seventh at last year's meet, which was won by Washington. Carnegie Mellon finished second in the team standings, and was followed by Brandeis in third.
Fans can find more information on the meet on the official website of the event at http://gonyuathletics.com/sports/2017/3/17/uaaxc_0223160101.aspx?path=wcross. A full recap of CWRU's performances at the championship, along with complete results, will be posted to athletics.case.edu following the completion of competition.