Rutgers splits up for Florida Relays, Rider Invite
The Rutgers men’s track and field team covered the North and Southeast areas this weekend at the Florida Relays in Gainesville, Florida from March 29-31and at the Rider Invitational in Lawrenceville, New Jersey on Saturday.
Leading the Scarlet Knights was graduate student Rudy Winkler with a new school record in the hammer throw. Winkler made his Rutgers debut at the Florida Relays, throwing a mark of 71.76 meters (235’ 5”) for fourth place. His performance demolishes the previous 64.99-meter (213’ 3”) record set back in 2016 by Joseph Velez.
Winkler had a stellar career before coming to New Jersey. As a transfer from Cornell after graduating in 2017, Winkler was last year’s NCAA National Champion in the hammer throw and qualified for the 2016 Rio Olympics, winning the national title at the U.S. Olympic Trials.
He was named Ivy League Most Outstanding Performer in 2014 and 2015 in addition to being a three-time NCAA All-American.
The only relay that the Knights entered in the Florida Relays notched a bronze-medal performance for the team. Freshmen Boaz Madeus, Edwyn Pierre, Taj Burgess and junior Zo Aris ran a time of 3:10.82 in the 4x400-meter relay for third place.
Also competing in the Sunshine State, javelin-trio graduate student Matthew Krezmer and sophomores Michael Thomas and Greg Harnett placed within the top 16, with Krezmer at the front of the pack with a sixth-place finish. Krezmer posted a mark of 64.65 meters (212’ 1”), while Thomas and Harnett threw to respective marks of 59.13 meters (194’) and 58.77 meters (192’ 10”) for 13th and 14th place.
Like Krezmer, Burgess put up a sixth-place finish in the 400-meter, running to a time of 46.31.
Add in the hurdles and Madeus was all over the event. The 400-meter hurdles saw Madeus finish in 14th to just slip under his time from the last competition at 52.93.
The success from the Florida Relays moved through the team at the Rider Invitational, as well as with many athletes placing within the top three of their respective events.
Freshman Patrick Walsh won the 3,000 meter with a time of 8:41.82, while classmate Eric Barnes and sophomore Patrick Warren produced runner-up finishes in the 800 meter and long jump, respectively. Off the track, Warren jumped 7.04 meters (23’ 1.25”) for second and Barnes led a pack of six in the mid distance event to record a time of 1:55.52.
Following behind Barnes in the 800 meter were sophomores Jason Schweizer, Jared Skalski and Andrew Comito, as well as freshman Billy Hill and senior Luke Wiley. Schweizer and Skalski placed within the top 10, recording respective times of 1:56.00 for fourth place and 1:57.83 for 10th place.
Besides Skalski, the Rutgers pack also competed in the 1,500 meter, where runners who didn’t quite finish in top positions in the 800 meter excelled in the greater distance.
With a 24th place in the 800 meter, Wiley took the lead for the Knights in the 1,500 meter with a time of 3:56.93 to finish third. Additionally, Hill logged a time of 4:00.37 for a fourth-place finish.
On the field, junior Jordan Lorenzo added to Rutgers' top three performances in the high jump. Lorenzo set a mark of 1.99 meters (6’ 6.25”) for third.
Graduate student Brennan Crowle showed versatility as a jumper and thrower at the invitational. Crowle jumped to 6.41 meters (21’ 0.5”) for sixth in the long jump and threw 30.79 meters (101’) for eighth in the discus throw.
The Knights will keep the ball rolling into this weekend in Princeton, New Jersey for the Sam Howell Invitational from April 6-7.
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