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Rutgers wins 3 events at Bulls Invitational

The Rutgers women's outdoor track and field team had an impressive performance this weekend when it traveled down to Tampa, Florida for the Bulls Invitational hosted by the University of South Florida.

In what was the Scarlet Knights’ second outdoor meet of the season after they competed in Atlanta, Georgia last week at the Yellow Jacket Invitational, junior Oneisha Clarke, graduate student Bryanna Grant and senior Oksana Sokolova led the way for Rutgers, as each of them picked up victories in their respective events.

In addition to the three event titles, the Knights also collected 12 top-10 finishes during their trip to the Sunshine State.

Clarke had arguably the best performance by any Rutgers player on the track, as she crossed the finish line in the top slot and set a new personal record in the 100 meter dash with a time of 11.76 seconds. Her previous top time was a mark of 11.87 seconds that she set at last year’s ECAC Championships.

Another notable performance on the track came from sophomore Stephanie Mauer, who took third place in the 10,000 meter with a time of 37:15.94. In the 5,000 meter, senior Alexandra Juzwiak placed fourth in the event with a time of 18:09.43, with her redshirt freshman teammate Lou Mialhe not far behind in fifth place with a time of 18:10.26.

Additionally, the Knights’ 4x400-meter relay team consisting of redshirt freshman Ain Jones, senior Bria Saunders, freshman Bukola Akinsola and Sokolova pooled together a time of 3:54.66, good enough for ninth place in the event.

In the jumps, Rutgers had several standout performances, none of them more impressive than what Clarke and Sokolova did in the triple jump and long jump, respectively.

Grant leapt a total distance of 12.49 meters in the triple jump, beating her previous career best of 12.41 meters in the event that she had just set last week at the Yellow Jacket Invitational. This jump was good enough to place in the top slot overall in the event, landing the team another event win. 

Sokolova also set a new personal record in the long jump, with a distance of 5.57 meters, topping her previous best of 5.47 meters that she registered at the 2016 David Hemery Valentine Invitational. As with Grant, Sokolova's performance was good enough to clinch the top spot in the event, picking up the third Knight win of the day.

Other notable performances in the jumps came from freshman Anna Czajkowski, who was right behind Sokolova and placed in third in the long jump with a distance of 5.22 meters, sophomore Rhonda Rogombe who placed third in the high jump after reaching a height of 1.73 meters and freshman Jacqueline Simmons who took sixth place in the invitational long jump with her flight reaching 5.70 meters. 

In the field, junior Halia Rosemond and sophomore Selena Thorne led the way for Rutgers. Rosemond took ninth place in the discus with a throw of 40.13 meters, while Thorne placed in sixth in the heptathlon after racking up 3,822 points in the event.

It was a collectively strong performance for the Knights in Florida this past weekend, one where they showed a lot of improvement, while still showing that they still have more room to grow, according to head coach James Robinson. 

While Robinson was pleased with the performance, he was eager to remind his team that there is still much that can be improved upon. 

"I think some people capitalized on the opportunity to compete after some very challenging travel plans. Collectively, we need to compete with a higher sense of urgency," Robinson said, according to scarletknights.com.

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

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