Andrew Hodowanec / Observer
In their first meet in the outdoor season the weekend of March 18, the Case Western Reserve University men’s and women’s track and field teams turned in multiple first-place finishes at the Washington and Lee Carnival in Lexington, Virginia.
The women’s team was led by first and second-place finishes in multiple events. In the steeplechase, second-year student Danielle Kulpins finished first and set a new school record of 1:17.91, beating the previous record set in 2013 by over one second. Right behind her was fourth-year student Evy Hail, with a time of 1:36.76. In the 5,000-meter run, fourth-year students Kelsey Aamoth and Kristen Ruckstuhl finished first and second, with times of 17:44.63 and 17:51.54 respectively.
Another first-place finish was obtained in the 4×800 relay by the combined efforts of first-year student Maria DeRenzo, fourth-year student Juliana Ross, second-year student Elena Polivka and fourth-year student Taylor O’Neil. The relay team finished with a time of 10:36.60. O’Neil also finished third individually in the 800-meter dash with a time of 2:24.22.
Other notable performers included second-year student Cassandra Laios and first-year student Olivia Newman, who both finished second in at least one event. Laios finished second in shot-put, with a distance of 10.62 meters, and in discus, with a distance of 34.65 meters. Newman finished second in the 400-meter dash, with a time of 59.41 seconds, and third in the 200-meter dash, with a time of 27.04 seconds.
The men’s team was able to finish first in four individual events and one relay. First-year student Rasheed Ajala, who has already had a stellar indoor season, continued where he left off by winning the 100-meter dash with a time of 11.45 seconds. Second-year student Grant Mlack was able to win the 400-meter hurdles with a time of 55.86 seconds, and also come in third place in the 110-meter hurdles with a time of 15.59 seconds.
In distance events, second-year student Sam Merriman finished first in the 5,000-meter run with a time of 14:53.38, finishing a solid eight seconds before the next runner. In the 10,000 meter run, fourth-year student Benjamin Davis won with a time of 32:06.03.
In relays, a men’s 4×800 relay team won the event with a time of 8:12.61. The team consisted of third-year student Joe Ledger, second-year student Andrew Ibibo, third-year student Mitchell Baller and third-year student Galen Caldwell. In the 4×400 relay, a team consisting of Mlack, Ibibo, first-year student Joseph Cabral and third-year student Nathaniel Wahner was able to finish second with a time of 3:23.02.
The Spartans’ next meet will be March 26 at the Dick Small Invitational at Defiance College.