July 19, 2018 | ° F

Rutgers leaps into Tennessee Relays off of 5th-place finish at Colonial Relays

Photo by The Daily Targum |

The Rutgers women’s track and field team will continue its 2017 outdoor campaign with participation in the Tennessee Relays, hosted by the University of Tennessee at Tom Black Track at LaPorte Stadium in Knoxville.

The Scarlet Knights will face 15 different schools, including Big Ten competition from Illinois, Indiana and Ohio State and notable non-conference competition from Florida State, North Carolina, Tennessee and Virginia Tech. The meet will span three days starting Thursday, April 6 and will end on Saturday, April 8.

The meet will start with limited track and field events on Thursday before entering an all-day competition on both Friday and Saturday.

Rutgers will look to stack itself up early in the outdoor season against Ohio State, Indiana and Illinois— teams which placed third, fifth and 12th, respectively, at the Big Ten Indoor Championships in late February. The Knights did not qualify for a team placement at that meet.

This will mark Rutgers' first trip to Tennessee since 2015 at the Tennessee Challenge, where the team earned seven Eastern Collegiate Athletic Conference (ECAC) qualifiers and 12 top-10 efforts from several athletes still with the team, including graduate athlete Alayna Famble, seniors Sarah Robbie and Drew Andrews, and juniors Bria Saunders and Oksana Sokolova.

Last time out, the Knights were unable to successfully defend their 2016 team championship and placed fifth at the Colonial Relays in Williamsburg, Virginia.

Despite their loss, the team earned five ECAC qualifying scores, a victory in the 4x200-meter relay and 10 top-10 performances from athletes in both track and field events.

This weekend in Knoxville will also see greater participation from the team in a variety of different events. These large meets aid Rutgers in preparing for more varied competition that will come from championship meets, including next weekend’s Metropolitan Outdoor Championships, which will be hosted by the Knights.

Rutgers has only a little over a month remaining before it heads to State College, Pennsylvania for the Big Ten Outdoor Championships. The Tennessee Relays will be one of two remaining crucial mass-participation meets before the championships in May.

For updates on the Rutgers women's track and field team, follow @TargumSports on Twitter.

Kevin Stapleton

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