Cross country teams do well at regionals

Merriman qualifies for national meet

On Nov. 11, the Case Western Reserve University men’s and women’s cross country teams headed to Powell, Ohio for the 2017 NCAA Division III Great Lakes Regional meet at Liberty Park. The race highlighted the Spartans’ well-rounded team effort. The men’s team placed seventh out of 35 teams in the eight-kilometer race, while the women’s team was a spot behind the men’s, finishing eighth in the six-kilometer race. Only the top seven runners from each squad participated in the meet.

Fourth-year veteran runner Sam Merriman led the team with a fourth place finish out of 242 runners. This is his third year to be placed individually in the NCAA Division III National Championships and earn All-Region honors, which are awarded to the top 35 finishers in the race. Merriman finished with a time of 25:22.1, only eleven seconds behind the first place finisher and six seconds behind the third place finisher.

“Last year, I made All-American, so it really took the pressure off for me [this year] so I can go out and leave it all on the course,” said Merriman.

Fourth-year veteran runner Zach Roshon barely missed All-Region honors, finishing with a time of 26:34.2 in 42nd place. He was seven seconds behind the 35th place finisher. Not far behind Roshon were fourth-year veteran runner Aidan DeSanto (55th place) and fourth-year veteran runner Ben Whitman (58th place).

While running, Merriman hadn’t yet grasped the fact that it was his last meet with his teammates. However, he said that the best part of the season is racing with them.

Merriman will participate in the NCAA Division III National Championships in Elsah, Illinois on Saturday, Nov. 18.

Leading the women’s team, fourth-year veteran runner Danielle Kulpins finished 17th, earning All-Region honors with a time of 22:57.2. Continuing with her improving trend, second-year returning runner Madeline Lindemann finished with a time of 23:23.6 in 36th place, which was 79 places above her finish from last year’s meet. Lindemann was just one second away from earning all-regional honors.

“I was actually in 30th place heading to the finish line … a bunch of girls outkicked me … You can’t let [that fact] mess with you … I’m going to use it to power through [for next year],” Lindemann said.

Following behind was third-year veteran runner Jennifer Hoffman with a 44th place finish and third-year veteran runner Isa Torres-Padin with a 63rd place finish.

Lindemann acknowledged the leadership the graduating runners provided.

“It’s going to be very different next year,” she said.