Cross country teams bring in 5th place finishes at UAA Championships

Jack Begley, Trey Razanauskas and Jana Fisher earn All-UAA First Team honors


Chris Heermann/The Observer

Fourth-year Trey Razanauskas (pictured) and third-year Jack Begley led the Spartans to a fifth place finish at the 2021 UAA Championships this past Saturday

Puneet Bansal, Sports Editor

With three total athletes finishing in the top five, both the Case Western Reserve University men’s and women’s cross-country teams earned fifth place at the 2021 UAA Championships hosted by the University of Rochester at Genesee Valley Park in Rochester, New York this past Saturday.

For the men’s team, third-year Jack Begley and fourth-year Trey Razanauskas led the 27th ranked Spartans with a fifth place and a seventh-place overall finish, respectively. Begley remained in the front pack for the entire race and led for some time as well, finishing fifth out of 78 total runners with a time of 25:46.5. Razanauskas came in just seven seconds later at 25:53.9 and placed seventh. Henry Myers from the University of Chicago won the championship with a time of 25:39.0.

These top-seven performances earned Begley and Razanauskas All-UAA First Team honors, and the duo became the first Spartan pair since Brian Casselberry and Steve Cullen in 1994 to accomplish this shared achievement. The honor marked Razanauskas’s second straight season earning the award. He placed fifth in 2019 at the championships. Begley earned the first All-UAA honor of his career and was also named the Spartan Club Athlete of the Week.

Third-year Robert St. Clair came in third for the Spartans, finishing 34th at 26:50.5 as fourth-year Logan Singer came in 36th only three seconds later, completing the 8K race in 26:53.9. First-year Aidan Nathan rounded out the team’s final scoring finish and placed 40th with a time of 27:02.7.

First-year Nate Gilbert and third-year Liam O’Reilly came in sixth and seventh for the Spartans, respectively. Gilbert completed the distance in 27:08.6, good for 43rd place overall while O’Reilly came in 45th with a time of 27:13.6. Other finishers included fourth-year Alex Loeper (27:42.9 for 54th), third-year Jacob Conrad (27:47.2 for 57th) and third-year Parker Straight (27:51.9 for 59th).

The culmination of these strong finishes gave the Spartans a score of 110, good for fifth place out of the eight UAA teams that competed at the event. Carnegie Mellon University won the UAA Championship with a score of 47. Washington University in St. Louis came in second with 59 points while the University of Chicago took the third position with 63 points. Emory University finished just ahead of CWRU with 94 points. The University of Rochester came in sixth with 166 points, followed by New York University (204) and Brandeis University (252).

Fourth-year Jana Fisher led the women’s team to a fifth-place finish and placed third overall out of 71 finishing athletes. Fisher completed the 6K race in 22:44.4, just 16 seconds shy of the first-place finisher, Claudia Harnett of the University of Chicago. Her finish earned her the All-UAA First Team honors, the first in almost eight years since former Spartan Kesley Aamoth in 2013. Additionally, Fisher’s third-place finish was the highest by a member of the women’s team since Elaine Simpson took second place in 2009. Her fantastic accomplishments also earned her the Spartan Club Athlete of the Week honor.

Fourth-year Susanna Henry was the second Spartan finisher at the championships, coming in with a time of 23:44.7 for the 17th spot. Fellow fourth-year Julia Kocherzat came in next with a time of 24:07.2 and was followed by third-year Catherine Phillips, who crossed the line for the 39th position in 24:26.9. Second-year Jessica Kwansy sealed the top five finishers for the Spartans, earning the 43rd position after completing the distance in 24:45.4.

First-year Medha Patria came in 52nd with a time of 25:09.8 while graduate student Grace Kermerer took the 59th spot in 25:29.7. Other CWRU finishers included second-year Grace Jackson (25:30.0 for 60th), third-year Melissa Phung (25:36.8 for 64th) and graduate student Olivia Battistoni (26:19.8 for 68th).

The Spartans’ 121 points were good for fifth place. Washington University in St. Louis won the meet with 32 points and was followed by University of Chicago with 64 points and Carnegie Mellon University with 79 points. Emory University barely edged out CWRU for the fourth position with 119 points. Brandeis University came in sixth with 122 points while the University of Rochester came in last with 163 points.        

The upcoming meet will certainly be the most important competition thus far in the season as the men’s and women’s cross-country teams will travel to Shelbyville, Indiana for the 2021 NCAA Great Lakes Regional Championships on Saturday, Nov. 13. The athletes will be running with the hopes of potentially qualifying for the NCAA Championships for a third-straight year.