Record breaking performances headline Spartans wins in Defiance

Peter Cooke, Sports Editor

Women set three, men two facility records in first place finishes

The Case Western Reserve University track and field teams showed they didn’t lose a step over winter break, cruising to first place finishes on both the men’s and women’s sides at the Defiance College Invitation. The two teams combined for five facility records at the George M. Smart Center on Saturday, Jan. 26. The women ran away in their first place finish, tallying 170 points in the first meet of 2013 season, 80.5 points for than second-place Wittenberg University’s 89.50. The men also won by a considerable margin as they finished with 172 points as runner-up Wittenberg finished second with 136.50.

Senior distance runner Phil Yeung left his name in the Defiance record books with a time of 4:30.59 in the mile run. The men’s second record came from a team effort in the distance medley relay as the quartet of freshman Ben Brucker, senior Michael Perisa, senior Chris Kelly and junior Dishen Lin crossed the finish line in 11 minutes and 0.28 seconds. The distance medley relay is made up of four legs of differing distances: 1200, 400, 800, and 1600 meter legs. The Spartans also finished second in the medley as juniors David Dixon, Eric Dong, Yeung and junior Dishen Lin were runner-ups in 11 minutes and 5.55 seconds.

The women had three records as senior sprinter Gavriella Pora set a record in one of her two wins on the day as she ran to a time of 26.85 seconds in the 200-meter dash. Pora also won the 60-meter dash with a time of 8.22 seconds. Junior jumper Thenessa Savitsky also won two events on the day, setting a facility record in the triple jump with a total distance of 10.67 meters in the preliminary heat. Savitsky also won the long jump with a distance of 4.81 meters. The women’s final record was set by freshman distance runner Kelsey Aamoth who finished first in the 3000 meter run. Aamoth, a member of the All-UAA cross country team, set the track record with a time of 10 minutes 50.06 seconds in her first official indoor meet.

The women had one other blue ribbon finish as freshman Christen Saccucci had an impressive rookie debut, taking the win in the pole vault with a height of 3.19 meters. Saccucci was followed close behind by sophomore Sophia Herzog who completed the one-two finish with a runner-up height of 3.04 meters.

The Spartans also had a trio of second-place finishes as sophomore Erica Bauerbach was the runner-up in the mile in 5:39.39, freshman CeCelia Hanline was second in the 400 meter dash in 1:04.79 and fellow rookie Taylor O’Neill was second in the 800 meter run in 2:33.40.

The men’s only other win came from junior Andrew Barnhart who finished with a win in the triple jump with a distance of 12.78 meters traveled. Barnhart also finished fourth in 6.09 meters.

The men had five other second-place finishes as Kelly followed up a stellar cross country season with a runner-up time of 8:57.58 in the 3,000 meter run. Junior Wyatt Hoch was second in the 5,000 meter run in 16:06.88. Freshman Abdallah Soliman opened his career as a Spartan with an impressive second-place finish in the 800 meter run in 2:00.87.

Senior Nick Errico and sophomore Mark Kulinski tied for second in the pole vault with a height of 4.25 meters.

The Spartans are back home this weekend for their only regular season indoor meet as they host the Battle for the Obelisk against conference rival Carnegie Mellon University at noon on Saturday, Feb. 2, in the Veale Center.

Case will also host the 2013 University Athletic Association Championship on Feb. 23-24.