Ready in the blocks

Eddie Kerekes, Sports Editor

Though the forecast for Dec. 3 is cold and possibly rainy, there is going to be a track and field meet held on campus. The frigid temperatures won’t stop any runners, as the event is going to be held inside the Veale Athletic, Convocation and Recreation Center. The Case Western Reserve University track and field teams are hosting the Fourth Annual CWRU Holiday Classic to start their indoor season. After breaking 17 records during the 2015-16 season, the teams are ready to set even more new high marks for the program.  

Leading the charge will be fourth-year students and captains Temi Omilabu and Nathaniel Wahner. During the indoor season, Omilabu will be defending her University Athletics Association (UAA) title in the weight throw. When the season shifts outdoors, she will still be attempting to win her second straight conference title in the hammer throw. Wahner broke the indoor school record in the 200-meter run and was part of the record-breaking 4×400 meter relay team. Outdoors, he also holds the 200-meter school record and competes in the 400-meter run.

Third-year students Marie-Louise Kloster and Grant Mlack also serve as captains. Kloster runs in the 400-meter race and the 400-meter hurdles. Mlack was an All-UAA honoree in the 60-meter hurdles during last year’s indoor season. He got even better when the team moved outside, claiming the UAA title in the 400 meter hurdles.

Third-year student Andrew Ibibo and second-year student Rasheed Ajala both return after solid seasons. Ibibo was part of that record breaking 4×400 meter relay team and broke the 500-meter record last season. Ajala, the third member of the 4×400 meter relay team, is an excellent sprinter who set the school record in the 60-meter run in his first collegiate season.

Returners to watch on the women’s side include third-year student Skylar Braga and second-year student Olivia Newman. Braga broke the 60-meter record last season and competes in other sprinting events. Newman was an All-Great Lakes Region honoree last season in the 400-meter indoor run, was part of the school-record breaking 4×400 relay team and broke the school record in the 400-meter outdoor run.

The one meet Spartans runners look forward to every year is the Battle for the Obelisk, a dual meet against archrival Carnegie Mellon University. This will be the 10th year the two schools battle for the trophy. CWRU has captured the obelisk the past two seasons and hopes to retain it after the meet on Jan. 28. The UAA Championships take place the last weekend in February at Brandeis University with multiple Spartans hoping to retain their titles.