The Case Western Reserve cross country team split up this past weekend to take on two separate competitions in the region. All four squads performed well, earning top spots in both the Knight Invitational and the Behrend Invitational.
The varsity teams travelled to Calvin, Michigan to compete in the Knight Invitational. The Calvin course will be used as the regional competition course this year, so the Spartans took this opportunity to recognize the challenges present both in the environment and in the competition.
The men’s team excelled, taking the fifth spot among the 27 teams competing with the top five finishers all running the 8,000 meter race in a total time of 2:10.15. The top finishers among the squad were senior David Dixon, who led the way in 12th place, followed by sophomore Timothy Travitz in 27th place, senior Wyatt Hoch in 34th place, sophomore Ben Davis in 67th place and freshman Lou Takahashi in 82nd place out of a total of 336 runners. Coach Kathy Lanese is very excited about the talent present in the men’s team this year. “When one person is down, someone else steps in,” Lanese said, “which means that the talent on the team is really deep and I can depend on the top 10 runners to perform well.”
The women’s team also showed strength, taking third place overall out of 26 competing schools with the top five runners coming in with a total time of 1:34.18. Five Spartan women finished the 5,000 meter race in the top 50 out of 316 runners with sophomore Kelsey Aamoth leading the way with a sixth place finish and a time of 18:13.20.
The race earned Aamoth honors as the University Athletic Association Women’s Cross Country athlete of the week. The second CWRU finisher was junior Kristen Ruckstuhl in 24th place, followed by sophomore Dana Jeter in 41st place, junior Erica Bauerbach in 43rd place and sophomore Lydia Greene in 47th place.
Lanese was very excited by the women’s demonstration at the competition with several top schools in the competition along with regional competitor, Kenyon College. “I was happy to see us up front and being able to compete with other teams in our region,” Lanese said, “It was a good beginning, but I know we can be better.”
The junior varsity squads travelled to Penn State Behrend where they competed in the Behrend Invitational. The men’s team ran well together, with all five top scorers finishing in the top 40 of 137 runners for a 5th place finish.
Sophomore Chippy Kennedy led the CWRU squad, finishing in 18th place with a time of 26:57.6. He was followed by sophomore Abdallah Soliman in 31st place, senior Eric Dong in 32nd, freshman Patrick Leo in 37th and sophomore Chris Everett in 39th. The women’s team also posted some excellent times on their way to a ninth-place finish.
Junior Anna Duewiger was the first finisher in 37th out of 123 with a time of 21:05.6, followed by freshman Abby Casalnova in 41st, junior Mackenzie Michalk in 52nd, senior Emilie Dunham in 58th and sophomore Veronica Cole in 63rd. Lanese was very pleased the top performers this week, who both delivered personal best times in the competition.
The whole team will get a break before heading into the All-Ohio Intercollegiate Championships in October.