Rutgers men welcome Metropolitan Outdoor Championships to Piscataway

The Rutgers men’s track and field team is more than ready to perform in the sunny weather that is forecasted this weekend at the Metropolitan Outdoor Championships, despite the unfortunate forces of nature that acted against them over the past couple of weeks.

Not to mention, the Scarlet Knights will be bringing the competition to their home soil on Friday, April 14th, and splitting the team on Saturday, April 15 between the Metropolitan Invitational and the Princeton Outdoor Invitational.

According to forecasts, Piscataway is looking at sunny and spring weather this week for athletes to practice and compete in.

After many traveling trip-ups, schedule changes and weather obstacles, the Knights will take a break from traveling.

Freshman sprinter and jumper Perry Christie, who won the high jump event at the Colonial Relays, will also be experiencing the first outdoor home meet of his collegiate career.

“Traveling is kind of stressful, but with the help of my academic advisors, tutors and coaches, I’m able to do it and it’s pretty cool,” Christie said.

Christie is one of the more interesting athletes, his skills involving both short distance races and jumping events, totaling up to about five events. Those events will be narrowed down to high jump, 400-meter dash and triple jump during the outdoor season, although his other options are still always open for use.

“During practices, I usually have a mixture of both running and jumping training. Coach Farrell has scheduled practice blocks, so one day I’ll be focusing on jumping, tomorrow a workout and the next day strictly just technical stuff,” he said. “I will specifically be focusing on my approach for high jump and more clearance over the bar for this weekend.”

Also staying at home this weekend is junior javelin thrower Christopher Mirabelli. But despite how the weather has been treating his meet events for the past two particular weeks, traveling was never a strain.

“I enjoy long bus drives and traveling in general. It’s nice to compete at other schools and changing up the scenery,” he said. “But wherever I am, I try and approach every meet with the same intensity level.”

Sophomore runner Izaiah Brown, senior long jumper Emeka Eze and senior long distance runner Brendan Jaeger will also be competing in their respective events this weekend at Piscataway.

Sophomore distance runner Dominick Munson will also be on the roster for the Metropolitan meet this weekend, still riding in strong with his recent 1500-meter win at the Rider invitational.

“I’m going to be running the 1500-meter, and probably double up somewhere too. But it’s up to the coach,” Munson said. “Last year’s Metropolitan race was really slow, I don’t really care as much about the time, but more about the points. We want to win, and first place will get us 10 points.”

At last year’s home meet, the Knights took home second place with 186 points, far from the meet winner, Manhattan College, with 254 points. Even then, the athletes were swept up with weather interferences. 

This time around, with the clear weather forecast, better records and new athletes, the Knights will be heading into the Metropolitan Invite with only a first-place team win in mind.

“We only have one home meet a year, and having a home crowd is much better," Mirabelli said. "Competing in different schools really depends on the atmosphere, but having our school behind us is always a great thing.”

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

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