Rutgers uses momentum from Metropolitan win ahead of Georgia Tech Invitational

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Photo by Jeffrey Gomez |

This may be the largest wave of momentum in the 2017 outdoor track and field season yet.

The Rutgers men’s track and field team is looking forward to the Georgia Tech Invitational held in Atlanta. Even with the few traveling and performance hiccups throughout the season, the many title wins and reclaimed Metropolitan Indoor Championship crown are definitely giving the players confidence going into this weekend.

This weekend from Friday, April 21 to Saturday, April 22, the Scarlet Knights will enter the home of the Yellow Jackets, hoping to maintain event titles with this group of competition as well.

Stars from last weekend’s meet such as junior javelin thrower Christopher Mirabelli and senior jumper Emeka Eze are looking to continue their successful streak in their respective events, as the rest of the team hopes to turn last year’s disappointing results in Georgia around in their favor.

Mirabelli was first in the javelin preliminaries in 2016, winning the overall event during finals the next day. Then-sophomore Mirabelli was the only one taking home a winning title, as other Knights were far from the top three finishes in almost every event. He is hoping to keep that javelin title, especially with his outstanding performance that surpassed the school record.

Eze, another record breaker this past weekend, has some theories for this upcoming meet.

“This meet will have good competition for sure,” he said. “I’ll definitely be competing in (the) long jump this weekend, and possibly put down for triple too.”

Even as a school record breaker, with the alumnus record holder watching him right from the crowd, Eze said he has some specific things to perfect before this meet.

“I have to practice my take off, and just work on my run, making sure I go through the board,” Eze said. “And by the end of the season, I want to definitely beat the (long jump) outdoor record, and I’m about five inches from that.”

Sophomore sprinter Izaiah Brown will also head to Georgia with really good times and with the potential to win under his belt. At last year’s invitational in Atlanta, Brown was the new athlete everyone kept an eye on. His first ever race in his collegiate career was a campaign that blew everyone away. Placing fourth against more experienced college athletes at the time, he captured yet an unexpected fourth place in the 200-meter race. Now as a household name, Brown hopes to keep taking first place in the 200-meter dash and his 4x100 and 4x400-meter relays, just as he did during the Metropolitan Indoor Championships.

The most common season goal for these track and field athletes fall under the same umbrella — beating school-wide and overall records, their own personal records and most importantly, qualifying for nationals.

“The team kind of has everything down pack. With the personal records and wins, it gave the team a lot of motivation and a lot of confidence. We are definitely, especially after last weekend, ready for this meet,” Eze said.


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Libby Hur

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