Although both the men’s and women’s varsity track teams had their first meet in December, they officially kicked off their seasons on Jan. 23, at the Baldwin-Wallace Mid-January Meet.
The women’s team pulled off the victory at this meet, finishing 36.5 points ahead of second-place Baldwin-Wallace University, while the men’s team finished second to Baldwin-Wallace.
Senior and all-UAA honoree, Rachel Tan, led the Spartans to victory, recording two career-bests in the high jump and 555-meter hurdles, and finishing first and second, respectively, in those events. She was also fourth in the long jump.
The women also swept the triple jump, with junior Asante Brown and freshmen Skylar Braga and Rachel Willard taking the top three spots in the event, and two other Spartans rounding out the top five. Brown’s winning jump measured 10.37 meters, and all three women recorded 10-meter jumps.
Senior Sophia Herzog, another all-UAA performer, earned a victory in the pole vault, with a maximum height of 3.05 meters.
Junior runners Taylor O’Neil and Juliana Ross secured the top two positions in the 200-meter dash, with respective times of 2:27.37 and 2:28.04.
The Spartan women have high expectations for this season, after recording a fifth-place finish at the University Athletic Association (UAA) championship last year. They have brought back several upperclassmen predicted to break school records and score points, and have a large group of freshmen also shooting for top spots.
On the men’s side, Case Western Reserve University finished second in the overall points standings, despite a crucial sweep in the 400-meter dash.
Junior Devon Belew finished first in the event with a time of 52.31 seconds, with junior Jonathan Freeman and sophomore Nico Ericksen-Deris taking second and third.
Another event winner for the Spartans came in the 800-meter run, with sophomore Joe Ledger winning in 2:01.23. His nearest competitor finished almost three seconds behind.
CWRU secured its final victory in the 4×400-meter relay, crossing the line in 3:29.85. Sadly, this was not enough to put the team into the lead, Case finished 33 points behind winner Baldwin-Wallace.
The Spartan men placed fourth last year at the UAA Indoor Conference Championship. However, they are now lacking thrower Harry Weintraub, who graduated last year after a sixth-place finish in the hammer throw. The team must rely more on depth this year if they expect the same result in the championship.
The track and field team’s next meet is Saturday, Jan. 31, against Carnegie Mellon for the annual Battle of the Obelisk. This is one of the most anticipated meets of the indoor season.
The women seek a repeat on their win last year, while the men aim to snatch the trophy back from the Tartans after an 82-45 loss in 2014. The meet begins at the Veale Center at 1 p.m.