2019 CWRU Women’s Cross Country Season Recap

2019 CWRU Women’s Cross Country Season Recap

The Case Western Reserve University women's cross country team completed another successful campaign in 2019, with a mix of young, talented runners and veteran leaders comprising the lineup for the Spartans during the season.

The Spartans were ranked nationally by the United States Track and Field and Cross Country Coaches Association through most of the season, including checking in at a season-high 22nd in the third week of the poll. The ranking was the highest for the team since the sixth week of the 2014 campaign, when the squad was ranked 17th. Case Western Reserve was also regionally ranked throughout the year, including a season-high third-place ranking in the third week of the campaign, and ended the year as the Great Lakes Region's ninth-ranked squad.

Case Western Reserve was led by senior Madeline Lindemann, who was an individual qualifier for the NCAA Division III Championships for the second-straight season in 2019. Lindemann placed 87th in the field of 280 runners at the meet, completing the 6K course in a time of 22:47.9. The finish was an 11-place improvement from her performance at the 2018 NCAA Championships.

Lindemann qualified for the NCAA Championships based on her strong performance at the NCAA Great Lakes Regional Championships, where she placed seventh out of 233 runners in a season-best time of 21:35.0 to earn All-Region honors for the second-straight season. Buoyed by Lindemann's finish, the Spartans placed ninth out of 34 teams at the meet with a team score of 239.

Jana Fisher, who had a breakout sophomore campaign for the Spartans in 2019, was the team's second finisher at the regional championships, placing 40th overall with a time of 22:32.8.  First-year Melissa Phung followed in 60th-place with a time of 22:59.2, while first-year Danielle Sarno (62nd, 23:00.6) and junior Kiera Olson (70th, 23:05.3) rounded out the team's scoring five. Other competitors at the meet included junior Grace Kemerer, who was 74th in a time of 23:09.4, and sophomore Susanna Henry, who was 86th with a time of 23:21.5.

CWRU also placed sixth as a team at the 2019 University Athletic Association Championships, the squad's best finish since the 2016 campaign.  Lindemann once again paced the team with a 14th-place finish to earn all-conference second team honors for the second time over her career. Other scoring finishers for the team were Fisher (29th overall), Olson (42nd), Henry (45th) and Phung (48th).

The Spartans were second among Division III teams and ninth out of 36 total squads at the All-Ohio Championships.  Lindemann (fourth), Olson (ninth), and Fisher (15th) were each among the top-15 Division III finishers at the competition.  CWRU opened its 2019 campaign with a first-place finish at the Sudeck Classic Stampede, while also placing fifth at the Knight Invite, third at the Allegheny Classic, seventh at the Live in Lou Classic and seventh at the Inter-Regional Rumble.

Overall, Lindemann was the team's top finisher in all six races she competed in during the year, while Fisher paced the squad in the first two races of the campaign, including a third-place finish at the Sudeck Classic Stampede and a 14th-place finish at the Knight Invite. Junior Cara Giannuzzi led the team at the Allegheny Cross Country Classic, finishing 23rd in the three-mile race.

In addition to the team's athletic success, 12 Spartans received UAA Fall All-Academic recognition, including junior Olivia Battistoni, junior Elise Epstein, Giannuzzi, Henry, sophomore Claire Keanna, sophomore Julia Kocherzat, Lindemann, senior Mallorie Mitchem, sophomore Maddy Nacci, Olson, senior Vanessa Pasadyn and junior Madison Vargo.

The following Spartans earned individual honors during the 2019 season:

NCAA Championship Participant

Madeline Lindemann

Senior

Memphis, Tenn. (Houston)

87th Place

 

NCAA All-Region

Madeline Lindemann

Senior

Memphis, Tenn. (Houston)

Seventh Place

 

All-UAA

Madeline Lindemann

Senior

Memphis, Tenn. (Houston)

Second Team (14th Place)