April 22, 2019 | 52° F

Rutgers captures 3 first-place finishes at invitationals

Knights compete in 2 places at once over weekend

Photo by Jeffrey Gomez |

With many athletes posting personal bests this weekend, the Rutgers men’s track and field team look in good form heading into the Big Ten Indoor Championships. Competing at the SPIRE Institute Invitational in Geneva, Ohio and the David Hemery Valentine's Invitational hosted by Boston University, the Scarlet Knights came home with three first-place finishes in a deep field of contenders from across the country.

The sprinters ran at the SPIRE Invite, where junior Izaiah Brown contributed two first place finishes. In the 400-meter, Brown was the only one to dip under the 47-second mark as he won the event in a time of 46.99. 

Junior Zo Aris and graduate student Jermaine Griffith were almost side-by-side in that event to cross the line in tenth (48.65) and ninth (48.68), respectively.

Brown, Aris, Griffith and freshman Boaz Madeus posted the top time of 3:11.51 in the 4x400 relay. Madeus was also able to notch a top-three finish in the 600-meter with a time of 1:18.28 for third place.

Squished in between a herd of Penn State runners, freshman Taj Burgess came away with a fourth place finish in the 200-meter with a time of 21.62. In that event, the Nittany Lions swept the podium in addition to capturing fifth and sixth place. 

At the Valentine’s Invite, sophomore Tobi Tella led Rutgers by claiming the triple jump title and producing a second-place finish in the long jump. Tella set a new personal best mark of 15.55 meters (51’ 0.25”) in the triple jump, while recording a mark of 7.05 meters (23’ 1.75”) in the long jump.

Junior Jairus Paul held fifth place in the long jump and triple jump, recording respective jump marks of 6.87 meters (22’ 6.5”) and 14.78 meters (48’ 6”).

Also producing a fifth-place finish was junior Jordan Lorenzo in the high jump, leaping 1.95 meters (6’ 4.75”). 

Five distance runners clocked lifetime indoor bests in their particular events. With personal record times in the 800-meter, sophomore Jason Schweizer recorded a 1:54.53 and junior Edward Zalek ran to a 1:54.92. The mile logged personal record times for junior Conor Murphy (4:12.11), sophomore Cole Pschunder (4:13.70) and senior Alexander Livernois (4:15.92).

The distance medley of Schweizer, Zalek, sophomore Jared Skalski and freshman Patrick Walsh dipped as close under the 10-minute mark as possible, recording a time of 9:59.99 for 11th place. 

Other notable performances this weekend were freshman Edwyn Pierre’s sixth-place finish in the 60-meter hurdles (8.36), sophomore Patrick Warren’s seventh-place finish in the long jump (6.68 meters 21’ 11”) and freshman Ja’Quan Mial’s 10th-place finish in the triple jump (14.05 meters, 46’ 1.25”).

The Knights will have a two-week hiatus as they tune up for the Big Ten Championships from Feb. 23-24 in Geneva, Ohio.

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

Alexandra Fabugais-Inaba

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