Sophomore breaks record in Beantown Challenge
The Rutgers men’s indoor track and field team's season officially began last Saturday and they have quite literally hit the ground running and jumping.
After winning six events at last week’s Rutgers Invitational, they repeated the feat this past Saturday at Harvard University’s Beantown Challenge in Cambridge, Massachusetts.
The Scarlet Knights were the clear winners of the meet, as they won the most events out of any school. Their triumphs consisted of four track wins and two field wins, four of which were individual performances and two of which were won as a team. Overall, the Knights ended the meet with 18 top-10 finishes, nine of which were in the top five.
But according to head coach Mike Mulqueen, the team is capable of doing better, especially since a lot of athletes sat out for various reasons.
“It is very early in the season and we have a lot of work to do,” he said. “We did not compete a lot of athletes due to illness, injuries or coming back from injuries.”
Headlining the Rutgers performances was sophomore Izaiah Brown. He won the 300-meter dash with a time of 33.12 seconds, breaking a Rutgers record that had stood for 33 years.
Brown was also part of the 4x400 meter relay team that finished first with a time of 3:16.61 minutes. He joined senior Jordan Jimerson, first-year student Nathaniel Gravesande and senior Jermaine Griffith in the Knights’ winning effort. The team won the event for the second meet in a row.
Griffith and Gravesande also ran well for Rutgers in the 500-meter dash. Griffith won the event with a time of 1:03.87, and Gravesande was not far behind, finishing in third with a time of 1:05.14.
The Knights’ other team win and last track win came in the 4x800 meter relay. Junior Luke Wiley, first-year student Nick Pschunder, sophomore Andrew Comito and first-year student Jason Schweizer won the event with a time of 8:02.94 minutes. Just like in the 4x400, the Knights repeated their first place finish from the Rutgers Invitational.
The Knights also performed well in field events. Tobi Tella continued his stellar start to his rookie season, winning the triple jump for the second consecutive week. He won with a distance of 15.18 meters, beating last week’s winning distance of 14.95 meters.
“Tobi is jumping well, training hard and hopes to keep improving,” Mulqueen said.
The final Rutgers victory belonged to sophomore Jordan Lorenzo, who won the high jump with a distance of 1.99 meters. He improved on his second-place jump of 1.95 meters from last week’s meet.
The Knights return to action this Saturday, Jan. 21, when they compete in the Penn 8 Team Select in Staten Island, N.Y.
Rutgers has made quite a first impression so far this season. With 12 event wins in the last two weeks, the Knights will be on every program's radar in upcoming competitions. They have many athletes who have proven that they can compete well against opponents, and who will continue to improve as the season progresses. The season is still young, but Rutgers is emerging as one of the teams to beat in the Northeast, especially once they are at full strength.
“We will look a lot better when we get everyone back,” Mulqueen said. “Staying healthy is vital to our success.”