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CWRU XC looks to dominate in UAA championship

Ben Yavitt

Issue date: 10/29/10 Section: Sports
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Halloween comes a day early this year for 20 Spartan student athletes. Tomorrow, Saturday, Oct. 30, the Case Western Reserve University's men's and women's cross country teams travel to the UAA Cross Country Championships in New York City to race against some scary competition. The No. 15 women and No. 30 men hope to avoid the tricks of the UAA and return with treats as they face five men's teams and four women's ranked nationally by the U.S. Track and Field and Cross Country Coaches Association. The UAA is one of the most competitive conferences in the nation this season, but fortunately for the Spartans, they come into Saturday's race as one of the teams to fear.

Each year, the UAA championship provides an exciting race and a challenging test before the regional and national championship meets. Due to the considerable distance between UAA institutions, teams often do not get to race against each other during most of the season. The UAA championship is the one chance that everyone has to race against their conference rivals.

"Conference is a special time of year. I love the competition between the fastest and smartest schools in the country," remarked sophomore Corey Bowen.

CWRU had the privilege of hosting the meet last year at Squire Valleevue Farm. This year, NYU will be running the show. The race moves to the prestigious Van Cortlandt Park in New York City. Perhaps one of the most famous cross country courses in the northeast, Van Cortlandt always provides a challenge located along Broadway in the Bronx and offers over 1000 acres of green space for the people of New York. The famous course covers open fields, trails, steep hills, and even a path embedded with railroad ties.

"Van Cortlandt Park seems like it will be an interesting place to run. Hopefully we can run our best and out-place as many schools as possible," said senior Justine Jeroski.

Each team runs 10 of their best runners, making up for 80 harriers in the men's 8 kilometer race and women's 6 kilometer event. This year, the Spartans bring experienced teams to the race. The men's squad has been led by sophomore Chris Kelly and senior David Carter for most of the season. With help from seniors Robert Ontko and Bobby Voigt and junior Ethan Teare, the Spartans are prepared to bring their best as they match up against their conference rivals. Seniors Tim Smith and Austin Schmidt, junior Chris Wade, and sophomores Phil Yeung and Paul Curtiss will run in defense for the rest of the Men's squad.
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