Track and field team dominates at Wittenberg Quad Meet

Spartan men finished with 89 points while the women, tallying eight first-place finishes, earned 114.5 points

Puneet Bansal, Sports Editor

The Case Western Reserve University men’s and women’s track and field teams put on a dazzling display of strength and speed this past Saturday at the Wittenberg Quad Meet, sailing to a first-place finish against Albion College, Wittenberg University and Kenyon College.

Though this was the first scored meet of the season, the Spartans competed in their first outdoor meet on April 17 against Oberlin College in Oberlin, Ohio.

In the unscored meet, the Spartans dominated several events. For the men’s long-distance events, third-year Logan Singer took first-place in the 1,500-meter run with a time of 4:11.70 and first-year Matthew Smutney brought home a second-place finish of 4:29.63. Singer also carried the 800-meter run, completing the distance in 1:58.48. Fourth-year Jonathan Haling finished second in the event with a time of 2:01.50.

Rounding out the long distances, the men’s team swept the 5,000-meter run. Second-year Jack Begley won the event with a time of 14:59.23. Fellow second-years Joseph Jaster and Robert St. Clair took second and third-place. The 4×400 relay team consisting of second-year Eli Fragnoli, Haling, first-year Sam Hubbard and third-year Juan Perez won the event, completing the distance in 3:36.11, about nine seconds faster than Oberlin’s squad.

The men’s team continued this strong showing in the shorter distances. Perez won the 400-meter dash in 50.26 seconds and first-year Andrew Baierl took third-place with 53.20 seconds. In the 200-meter dash, second-years Lucas Tilford and Keith Cartwright took second and third-place, respectively. Meanwhile in the 100-meter dash, Haling and Cartwright also placed second and third. Second-year Ben Pinkowski got second-place in the 110-meter hurdles, finishing behind first by only 0.64 seconds.

In the throwing events, third-year Ben Brisman took home two wins. Brisman first won the discus throw with a mark of 34.97 meters and later won the hammer throw with a 43.03-meter distance. Cartwright and Pinkowski prevailed in the javelin throw, earning first and second-place, respectively.

Pinkowski continued his podium finishes in the jumping events, winning the long jump with a 6.22-meter jump and finishing second in the triple jump and high jump. First-year Yusuf Shaaban won the high jump with a 1.77-meter mark.

The women’s team also put out an amazing performance in their first events of the season. The 4×100 meter relay team of first-year Anna Zinsser, second-year Elise Moore, first-year Emily Hopkins and fourth-year Julie Hines won the race with a time of 51.35 seconds. The 4×400 team consisting of third-year Grace Bentley, second-year Mia Kilroy, Moore and Zinsser also took home a win, running the distance in 4:24.92.

First-year Cecelia Zielke won the 5,000-meter race with a time of 18:07.32, while second-year Kiera Olson and third-year Susanna Henry came in second and third, respectively. Concluding the long-distance events, fourth-year Madison Vargo ran a 2:35.87 distance in the 800-meter run and finished third-place.

Perhaps the strongest performances from the women’s team came in the short distance races. Hines, Zinsser and Bentley swept the 400-meter dash, while Hines, Hopkins and Moore did the same in the 200-meter dash. Hopkins and Kilroy finished second and third in the 100-meter hurdles, respectively. First-year Blanca Garcia-Rodriguez brought home the only podium finish in the 100-meter dash, finishing in second-place.

The field events were also rife with stellar showings. First-year Adrienne Wachtman won the discus throw with a mark of 38.18 meters and the javelin throw with 36.41 meters. Kilroy finished third in the javelin throw with a 24.57-meter throw. Wachtman and fourth-year Emma Hammelef earned second and third-place finishes in the hammer throw. Wachtman concluded her events with a solid third-place performance in the shot put with a throw of 10.87 meters, only missing second-place by 0.01 meters.

Second-year Shelby Cooper earned the only first-place finish in the jumping events, pole vaulting 2.75 meters. Fourth-year Bailey Flint and second-year Mia Vargo finished second and third, while Hopkins and fourth-year Andrea Arline also took second and third-place in the triple jump. Flint also took second-place in the long jump with a mark of 4.76 meters.

Most of the athletes felt the first meet was a success and many were grateful to be competing again.

“The team did an amazing job at our first meet against Oberlin last weekend,” said first-year Emily Hopkins. “In the beginning of the semester the team was unsure whether we would be able to compete against other schools at all this season, so it was super exciting to finally get to compete. [This] first meet against Oberlin was a great opportunity to get our foot in the door and to get marks and times.”

The team’s goal for the first meet was not about acing every event. It was more about getting in the groove of the competition.

“Leading up to the meet, our coaches emphasized that we shouldn’t have expectations as to what our times and marks should look like, we just should just get out there and compete,” relayed third-year Logan Singer. “That is exactly what we did as a team. We competed.”

The momentum from the first meet carried over to the quad meet in Wittenberg. The Spartan men finished with 89 points ahead of second-place Albion, who had 69 points. The women’s team had eight first-place finishes and placed first with 114.5 points. Albion finished second with 82.5 points.

The men’s team had blowout performances in the long-distance races, winning the 5,000 meter, 1,500 meter and 800 meter races. St. Clair, fourth-year Michael Klein and fourth-year Alex Loeper swept the 5,000-meter race with times of 15:39.91, 15:47.64 and 16:04.41, respectively. Singer, Jaster and second-year Parker Straight dominated in the 1,500-meter race, posting times of 3:59.27, 4:00.75 and 4:03.69. In the 800-meter race, Haling, Straight and second-year Will Dehmler earned the top three spots with times of 1:55.05, 1:58.41 and 1:59.29. Haling, Perez, Hubbard and Singer also won the 4×400 meter relay with a 3:41.19 time.

In the short distances, Perez earned first-place in the 100-meter race with a 11.02 seconds time, while Cartwright finished in third-place with 11.66 seconds. Perez also earned third-place in the 200 meter race with 22.66 seconds.

In the throwing events, the Spartan men only placed in the javelin throw. Second-year Pierce Boucher placed second with 42.56 meters and Pinkowski got third with 40.25 meters.

The men’s team was more successful in the jumping events. Pinkowski won the triple jump with a distance of 12.52 meters, while Shaaban took second-place with 11.32 meters. Shaaban also finished third in the long jump and tied second in the high jump.

The Spartan women opened the long-distance events with two podiums in the 5000-meter race. Zielke took first with 17:53.83 and Olson finished second with 18:01.82. In the 1,500-meter race, Henry won first-place with 5:01.12, while first-year Sierra Williams brought home a third-place finish of 5:12.53. Williams also took second in the 800-meter race. Additionally, the 4×400 meter relay team of Kilroy, Zinsser, Bentley and Moore won the event with 4:18.76.

Kilroy took home a first-place finish in the 400-meter hurdles with a time of 1:08.61. Zinsser and Moore earned first and third-place finishes in the 400-meter race, completing the distance in 1:02.98 and 1:03.10, respectively. Hopkins finished second in the 200-meter dash while Zinsser came in third with times of 27.62 seconds and 27.93 seconds, respectively.

The women’s team did fairly well in the throwing events and placed in every event except shot put. Wachtman won the javelin throw with a distance of 33.65 meters and first-year Ailean Duffie came in second with 22.49 meters. Hammelef earned a second-place finish in the hammer throw with 42.13 meters. In discus, Wachtman came in second, while Hammelef came in third.

In the jumps, Cooper took first in the pole vault with a 2.75-meter distance. Hopkins bested her competitors in the triple jump, going 10.46 meters to win the event. Flint came in third-place in the high jump with a 1.47-meter jump.

The track and field athletes were proud of everything people accomplished over the weekend.

“There were many athletes who had all-time and season personal records [this past weekend], all contributing to CWRU taking first-place,” said first-year Hopkins. “This was amazing especially considering the weather conditions of the day… I personally was pretty affected by the weather as I have never competed in the rain before and did not hit the marks/times I was hoping to hit this weekend. Even so, I put in my best efforts and was still excited to have another opportunity to compete this season and have fun with my team.”

“I felt as though everyone that I was able to see compete had a performance that they could be proud of,” added third-year Singer. “As for my own performance, I was really happy with it. I think what allowed me to perform as well as I did was my teammates who competed with me in the race. We have some really fast guys on the team and I couldn’t be more grateful to call them my teammates.”

Looking ahead, the athletes are excited to finish off the season with strong performances, hopefully drawing off the energy of a home crowd.

“I think the goal of the team is to put everything that we have worked for throughout the year into our last meet of the season,” Hopkins said. “This meet is a great opportunity for the team to compete on our own track and finish out the year on a high note. The team is planning on coming into this meet with a lot of enthusiasm to work hard and have fun together.”

The Spartans will compete against Oberlin college again, this time on the home turf at 10:00 a.m. on Saturday, May 1.