Women’s and men’s teams finish first, second at All-Ohio Championships

Joe Jaster named Spartan Club Athlete of the Week


Melissa Phung

Fourth-year Chris Heermann (#3) runs in the 5,000-meter race at the All-Ohio Championships this past weekend.

Puneet Bansal, Sports Editor

The Case Western Reserve University track and field teams used the Bob Kahn Invite on April 8-9 to springboard to podium finishes at the All-Ohio Outdoor Championships and set school records at the Bison Outdoor Classic at Bucknell University. At the Bob Kahn Invite, 11 Spartans recorded first-place finishes, headlined by fourth-year Juan Perez and third-year Mia Kilroy. Third-years Joe Jaster and Jack Begley set program records at the Bison Outdoor Classic while a total of seven first-place finishes catapulted the men’s team to second-place and the women’s team to first at the All-Ohio meet.

Perez earned three first-place finishes at the Bob Kahn meet, taking the 100-meter dash in 10.86 seconds, the 200-meter dash in 22.40 seconds and the 4×100-meter—as part of the relay team with third-year Keith Cartwright, second-year Brett Callow and fourth-year Peter Chin—in 43.42.

 The men’s team recorded three more first-place finishes. First-year Aidan Nathan won the 10,000-meter run with a time of 31:34.75. Third-year Peculiar Nzegbuna and second-year Yusuf Shaaban swept the hurdle events, with Nzegbuna taking the 110-meter hurdles in 15.95 seconds and Shaaban winning the 400-meter hurdles in 56.95 seconds.

For the women’s team, Kilroy led the way with victories in the 400-meter hurdles with a time of 1:05.46 and as a part of the 4×400-meter relay team alongside second-years Anna Zinsser, Elise Moore and Jessica Kwasny, taking the win in 4:11.77. The relay run was the fastest by a Spartan relay team this season. Kilroy also placed third in the high jump with a mark of 1.43 meters.

The rest of the women’s team also recorded three individual wins in different events. Second-year Adrienne Wachtman won the javelin throw with a top distance of 30.57 meters. Fourth-year Jana Fisher won the 5,000-meter race in 17:39.58 while second-year Emily Hopkins won the triple jump with a 10.43-meter finish. Hopkins, Moore, Zinsser and first-year Sarah Ozeki also took third-place in the 4×100-meter relay with a time of 52.29 seconds.

This past Saturday, the track and field team sent Jaster, Begley, fourth-year Logan Singer and third-year Will Dehmler to the Bison Outdoor Classic.

“We’re feeling great, we’re all four of us very excited about this opportunity,” said Dehmler in an interview with the CWRU Athletic Department. “It’s rare that we get to go to a big DI school like Bucknell and race against everybody… It’s kind of like UAAs in the way that there’s no hiding. Everybody’s going to be going fast and it’s just a real opportunity to get ready for nationals and try to go after those marks.”

The quartet came back with impressive results, headlined by Jaster and Begley’s record-breaking performances. Jaster set the CWRU record in the 5,000-meter run with a time of 14:14.74, finishing more than 10 seconds faster than the previous best of 14:24.91 set by former Spartan Trey Razanauskas in 2019. Jaster’s time placed him 10th overall and fourth among DIII athletes. Begley’s 30:26.61 time in the 10,000-meter run broke a 44-year-old record, which was previously held by Spartan Club Hall of Famer Peter Kummant in 1978 with a time of 30:32.00. Begley finished fifth among DIII finishers and 24th overall.

Jaster was named the Spartan Club Athlete of the Week for his record-breaking performance, which was second in the conference and eighth best nationally. Begley was given an honorable mention for his weekend success.

Singer competed in the 1,500-meter run, finishing with the second-best time in program history (3:54.35) and missing the record by just 0.10 seconds. Singer and Dehmler ran in the 800-meter race as well, finishing 1:52.65 and 1:55.26, respectively.

At the All-Ohio Championships, second-year Matthew Smutny, third-year Liam O’Reilly and Nathan earned first-place finishes. Smutny owned the 10,000-meter run in 32:31.67, O’Reilly took the 3,000-meter steeplechase in 9:24.42 and Nathan won the 5,000-meter run in 15:11.52. Second-year Arjun Thillairajah finished second behind Smutny in 32:31.77. Second-year Stephen Henry and fourth-year Christopher Heermann finished behind Nathan 15:52.83 (fifth) and 15:57.46 (sixth), respectively.

Other top finishers include first-year Quaylen Lamarre in the pole vault (third, 4.15 meters), first-year Nate Gilbert in the 1,500-meter run (third, 4:00.18), fourth-year Alex Loeper in the 10,000-meter run (fourth, 33:06.69) and Nzegbuna in the 110-meter hurdles (fourth, 15.73 seconds).

The women’s team was headlined by Moore’s first-place finish in the 400-meter dash in 1:00.86, Kwasny’s win in the 800-meter run in 2:18.37, second-year Grace Jackson’s first-place in the 1,500-meter run in 4:46.12 and Wachtman’s top javelin throw of 36.19 meters. Wachtman had decent finishes in the shotput (sixth, 11.08 meters) and discus throws (sixth, 35.77 meters) as well.

The 4×400-meter relay team of Moore, Kwasney, Kilroy and third-year Melissa Phung finished second with a time of 4:10.72. The 4×100-meter relay team of Hopkins, Zinnser, Ozeki and Moore placed fourth in 50.91 seconds. Ozeki also earned two third-place finishes in the 100-meter hurdles (15.86 seconds) and the triple jump (10.72 meters).   

From April 23-24, the Spartans will compete at the UAA Outdoor Championships hosted by Washington University in St. Louis. The teams will get a two week break before heading to the Harrison Dillard Twilight meet and the Dr. Keeler Invitational on May 13. Qualifying Spartan athletes will travel to Geneva, Ohio from May 26-28 to compete in the NCAA DIII Outdoor Championships.