Rutgers victorious at Metropolitan Outdoor Championships for first time since 2012


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For the first time since 2012, the Rutgers women’s track and field took home the team championship at the Metropolitan Outdoor Championships this past weekend at the Bauer Track and Field Complex in Piscataway.

The Scarlet Knights earned an impressive nine titles and seven Eastern Collegiate Athletic Conference (ECAC) marks over the weekend, giving them 190 team points overall for first place out of 12 participating schools. St. John’s, who came into the meet as the defending champion, placed second overall with 162 team points, followed by Manhattan in third place with 120 team points.

Rutgers’ victory was led by junior Bria Saunders, who seized two individual titles and one relay title during the championship meet.

Saunders placed first in both the 100-meter and 200-meter, earning a season-best time in the 100-meter with a time of 11.80 and a 200-meter win in 23.85. Both times were ECAC qualifiers for Saunders.

The sprinter joined fellow junior Imani Beauliere and sophomores Phyllis Gordon and Nabiya Garrett to take the 4x100-meter relay title with an ECAC qualifying time of 46.77.

Gordon also had a multi-faceted day in Piscataway, as she earned the 400-meter title with an ECAC qualifying time of 56.54. The sophomore also participated in the 200-meter, where she placed third overall after Saunders.

Senior Sarah Robbie, coming off an 800-meter victory and a new personal record set at the Tennessee Dogwood Relays, earned first place in the 800-meter once again this weekend with a time of 2:12.28.

Robbie also helped her 4x800-meter squad of fellow senior Kaitlyn Bedard, junior Brianna Haspel and sophomore Jenna Sobieski take first place with a time of 9:16.82.

Graduate athlete Paige Senatore rounded out the track victors with a triumph in the 5,000-meter, running it in 17:39.49.

Several field events also secured two key titles to aid the Knights in earning their team championship.

Senior Katherine Johnston, after placing in the top five in two-consecutive meets, took home the javelin title with an ECAC qualifying distance of 47.96-meters.

Similarly, sophomore Rhonda Rogombe also saw a win in the high jump after placing in the top-five at the past two meets. After battling a leg injury that sidelined her for most of the indoor season, Rogombe’s jump of 1.66 meters was good for first place overall, her first title since the Penn 8-Team Select last January.

Rutgers also saw six athletes take runner-up in both track and field events last weekend.

Junior Sabrina Alexander took second overall in the 100-meter hurdles with an ECAC qualifying time of 14.49.

Freshman Nadia Saponara earned a personal best in the 5,000-meter, placing second just after Senatore with a time of 17:47.15. This was Saponara’s second top-five placement of the 2017 campaign, her previous coming in the 3,000-meter last February at the Metropolitan Indoor Championships.

Junior Oksana Sokolova was the runner-up in the long jump with an ECAC qualifying distance of 5.72 meters. The junior also participated in the high jump with Rogombe, where she earned third with a distance of 1.58 meters.

Freshman Alison Chomsky saw continued progression in the javelin throw, where she placed second overall after Johnston with a season-best distance of 40.52-meters.

Senior Drew Andrews was the runner-up in the heptathlon with 4001 points, where she placed in the top-five in five out of seven track and field events.

Finally, sophomore field athlete Halia Rosemond was the last runner-up for the Knights where she earned a season-best in discus with a distance of 41.22 meters.

This weekend, the Knights will travel to Atlanta, Georgia to participate in the Georgia Tech Invitational from Friday, April 21 to Saturday, April 22. Beyond this weekend’s meet in Atlanta, Rutgers has only two meets remaining prior to the Big Ten Outdoor Championships next month.


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


Kevin Stapleton

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