The legacy of Trey Razanauskas


Chris Heermann

Fourth-year Trey Razanauskas, second from the right, gives an impassioned speech at the NCAA National Meet on Nov. 20, 2021 in Louisville, Kentucky.

Yoshmar Pinal-Alfaro, Contributing Writer

On Nov. 20, 2021, at E.P. “Tom” Sawyer State Park in Louisville, Kentucky, fourth-year Trey Razanauskas ran for a time of 24:25.7 on the 8K course, the fastest time ever run by a member of the Case Western Reserve University men’s cross country team at the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Division III Cross-Country Championships. He capped off his collegiate career with a 45th-overall performance, having had his friends, family and teammates supporting him every step of the way.

Razanauskas, of Zelienople, Pennsylvania, leaves a legacy at CWRU that is second to none. In addition to holding the school record in the 8K, Razanauskas also set school records in the indoor 5K run with a time of 14:40.40 and in the outdoor 5K run with a time of 14:24.9. His indoor 3K time of 8:35.45, set in spring 2020, is second all-time among CWRU runners. He also holds the second-fastest times in the outdoor 10K, at 30:49.55, and outdoor 1,500m, at 3:54.57, both set in spring 2019.

Though he consistently excelled at running, Razanauskas encountered, and eventually surmounted, numerous challenges along his journey. At the 2019 NCAA National Championships, Razanauskas placed 118th overall. When the pandemic disrupted athletic programs in March 2020, his discipline and work ethic throughout that year and through 2021 prepared him to return to CWRU for one final season in the fall of 2021. Along the way, he overcame injuries and illness, always keeping his goals in mind. 

Beyond his individual accolades, Razanauskas elevated the stature of the men’s cross country team at CWRU. When Razanauskas transferred to CWRU from Washington & Jefferson College in Pennsylvania in the fall of 2018, CWRU men’s cross country had not qualified as a team for the NCAA Championships since 2012. Spearheaded by Razanauskas’ leadership, the team made three straight appearances at the meet between 2018 and 2021, the longest streak of consecutive appearances since the 1970s. 

His athletic honors are remarkable beyond just his record times. Razananauskas earned All-UAA Second Team honors in 2018 and First Team honors in both 2019 and 2021. He earned three Great Lakes all-region honors after placing 13th at the meet in 2018, fourth in 2019 and third in 2021. At the NCAA National Championships in 2018, Razanauskas placed first on the team and 64th overall. This past year, he placed 45th overall and led the Spartans to a 19th-place finish out of 32 teams, the best finish for the men’s team in 35 years. 

Off the track, Razanauskas excelled academically as well, earning multiple inductions into the Van Horn Society for achieving a cumulative grade point average of 3.8 or higher while studying economics and philosophy.

Razanauskas is a leader, a fighter and a friend. His support and encouragement brought out confidence in the teams he led while he was at CWRU. In my two seasons of being his teammate, I will remember his humor and his ability to make anyone feel welcome. His disciplined work ethic inspired me and others on the team to be great at everything we pursue. 

Future runners at CWRU would do well to remember these words of advice from the greatest runner CWRU has ever seen:

Never stop fighting for your dreams.”

Yoshmar Pinal-Alfaro is a fifth-year student studying political science, and a former runner on the cross country team at CWRU. He strives to be curious, patient and a good listener in life.