Rutgers capture five titles at Penn Invitational
Similar to last year’s showing at the Penn 8-Team Select, the Rutgers men’s track and field team finished with five event titles at the Ocean Breeze Athletic Complex on Saturday evening.
Hosted by Penn, the Scarlet Knights competed against six other teams in Army West Point, Stony Brook, Manhattan, Villanova, St. Joseph’s (Pa.) and Wagner.
Although junior Izaiah Brown is the school record holder in the indoor and outdoor 400-meter, freshman Taj Burgess has made it his mission to continue Rutgers’ top position in this event. Burgess took the top spot with season best times of 21.62 in the 200-meter and 47.45 in the 400-meter, for the second competition in a row.
Also putting in a season best of 22.04 in the 200-meter was junior Zo Aris with a second-place finish behind Burgess. Freshman Boaz Madeus ran to fourth in the 400-meter with a time of 48.90.
On the distance side, sophomore Sean Martinek and freshman Billy Hill led the Knights in the 800-meter to place fourth and fifth, respectively. In the mile, sophomore Cole Pschunder snuck into the top 10 with a ninth-place finish with a 4:17.86 time. Additionally, junior Conor Murphy posted a time of 8:40.00 to take the lead for Rutgers in the 3,000-meter, placing 15th out of 38 runners.
Although not besting his time from the last meet, freshman Edwyn Pierre ran the 60-meter hurdles in a time of 8.38 to place second, slightly higher than his third place finish at the Towson Tiger Invitational.
In the field events, sophomore Patrick Warren jumped 6.79 meters (22’ 3.5”) to claim first place in the long jump. The Knights stole the show in the triple jump, as freshman Ja’Quan Mial and junior Jairus Paul placed first and second, respectively. Mial and Paul both hit a mark of 14.42 meters (47’ 3.75”), but Mial’s second-best jump of 14.24 meters was just slightly better than Paul’s 14.17-meter leap.
Noticeably absent from the triple jump was sophomore Tobi Tella, winner of the triple jump in the past two competitions. With his first two attempts ending in fouls, Tella passed the rest of his jumps to prevent any injuries from occurring.
Cutting almost 4 seconds off of Rutgers' season best time in the 4x400 relay, the relay of Aris, Burgess, Madeus and Hill threw down a 3:15.77 to just eclipse Penn’s 3:15.89 for the top spot.
Next up for the Knights will be the Dr. Sander Invitational Columbia Challenge from Jan. 26-27 at the Armory in Bronx, New York.
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