Rutgers women set to host Metropolitan Outdoor Championships
The Rutgers women’s track and field team will return home this weekend to host the Metropolitan Outdoor Championships for the second consecutive year at the Bauer Track and Field Complex in Piscataway.
The first championship meet of the outdoor season will take place on Friday, April 14 until Saturday, April 15.
Last year, the Scarlet Knights placed second at the Metropolitan Outdoor Championships, earning seven titles and 177 team points overall. St. John's won the 2016 meet with a commanding score of 202 team points overall. The Knights last won the Metropolitan Outdoor Championships in 2012.
Rutgers has been tested early on this outdoor season with stiff competition from conference and non-conference competition alike.
For Rutgers, the Metropolitan Outdoor Championships will likely serve as an important midway point of the outdoor season.
Last week, the Knights came out of the Tennessee Relays with five top-five performances and seven Eastern Collegiate Athletic Conference (ECAC) qualifiers, including a new 800-meter personal record set by senior Sarah Robbie.
Robbie, while reflecting on her performance, described her craving for athletic growth in the remaining months of the outdoor season.
“The Tennessee Relays were a really great segue to the Metropolitan Outdoor Championships this weekend because I was able to run a PR and finish top-five with some really fast ladies. I just took the Relays as an opportunity to run fast and not really think about it,” Robbie said. “It was awesome being able to stay in that pack. It gave me the confidence I need for this weekend especially in the Outdoor Championships.”
In addition to the 800-meter, the senior also participated in the 4x800-meter relay, where her squad placed seventh with an ECAC qualifying time.
“The relay was a little tough. I think we were all a little tired from our individual races the day before. We still kept it together and ran a time close to our PR,” she said. "We’re definitely ready to take it to the next level when we run the 4x800-meter relays again.”
After a long indoor season and three outdoor meets, Robbie is confident in the competitiveness of the Knights as they tread toward this weekend’s major home meet.
“We’re really ready to get off to a good start this weekend. The weather is supposed to be really nice compared to last year where the weather was miserable. Good conditions, home field advantage — I really think this team is ready to step-up to the plate and compete for the Metropolitan title.”
Fellow senior Katherine Johnston, who also had a productive meet placing fourth in the javelin throw and achieving a season-high in discuss, commented on how she felt coming out of Knoxville and into the Championships this weekend.
“The javelin throw was disappointing for me in Tennessee. I’ve been kind of hitting a plateau at this point in the season so I’m trying to breakthrough at the upcoming meet at home,” she said. “The discus [throw] was actually really fun because I don’t get to really practice it or compete often, so to get a season best was really cool.”
Similarly to Robbie, Johnston also expressed heightened expectations for the return to the Bauer track and a home crowd.
“Expectations are high this weekend. We’re really looking forward to coming home,” she said. “As a team, we just have to go out there, compete and perform our best. We’re really excited to be competing at home again.”
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