Rutgers to compete in New Jersey, Virginia

The Larry Ellis Invitational in Princeton, New Jersey and the Virginia Challenge in Charlottesville, Virginia await the Rutgers men’s track and field team this weekend. The Scarlet Knights are coming off of an exceptional performance at the 2018 Outdoor Metropolitan Championships hosted in Piscataway. 

At the Virginia Challenge, Rutgers will get the chance to compete against Big Ten opponents’ Penn State and Michigan State alongside other teams traveling south for some warmer weather. 

Last time out, the Knights saw seven individual titles and 10 top-three finishes at the Bauer Track and Field Complex. Additionally, a four-runner contingent traveled to Knoxville, Tennessee for the Tennessee Relays and captured an event title in the 400 meter along the way. 

At the Metropolitan Championships, Rutgers’ javelin and jumper trios went 1-2-3 in the javelin throw and long jump. Graduate student Matthew Krezmer threw 64.07 meters (210’ 2”) to claim the top spot in the javelin throw followed by sophomore Michael Thomas’s PR throw (61.25 meters, 200’ 11”) and classmate Greg Harnett (60.82 meters, 199’ 6”). 

“We want to place really high in the Big Ten Championships this year and we have a lot of new guys like transfers like Rudy Winkler. We have freshmen. We have a lot of guys here at Rutgers that are just putting in the work and can hopefully perform big this spring. And personally, I just want to help the team score at Big Tens," Harnett said.

In the long jump, sophomore Tobi Tella set a mark of 7.49 meters (24’ 7”) for first place with freshman Malachi Davis’s PR jump of 7.17 meters (23’ 6.25”) and junior Jairus Paul (7.12 meters, 23’ 4.50”) coming in second and third, respectively. 

Graduate student Rudy Winkler has consistently thrown more than 71 meters in the hammer throw since joining the Knights. This past weekend, Winkler threw 71.59 meters (234’ 10”) for the event title and is excited about what is to come for the team in the next couple of weeks.

“Most of us are just going to try to carry on with the momentum that we’ve built as a team with our good performances and take the building blocks that we can improve upon, combine that to everything that we did right today and just try to take these next two meets before our Big Ten Conference Championship to refine a lot of the minimal things that we have to work on to make sure we’re strong as possible,” Winkler said.

Also capturing individual event titles were freshmen Patrick Walsh and Edwyn Pierre and sophomore Jason Schweizer. 

Walsh claimed the 10,000-meter title in a time of 34:06.69 while Pierre sprinted to first in the 110-meter hurdles with a time of 14.81 seconds. Schweizer won the 800 meter in a PR time of 1:53.72, leading four Rutgers runners across the finish line.

Sophomore Perry Christie and junior Jordan Lorenzo jumped respective marks of 2.02 meters (6’ 7.50”) and 1.97 meters (6’ 5.50”) for second and third in the high jump. Juniors John Mooers and Izaiah Brown also notched runner-up finishes with Mooers’ 51.91-meter (170’) throw in discus and Brown’s 47.65-second run in the 400 meter.

At the Tennessee Relays, freshman Taj Burgess blew away the field in the 400 meter with a time of 46.23 for first place. Burgess also placed seventh in the 200 meter with a time of 20.92. Classmate Boaz Madeus took third place with a time of 52.26 in the 400-meter hurdles. 

Last year, the Knights traveled to the Georgia Tech Invitational instead of the Virginia Challenge where senior Chris Mirabelli won the javelin throw with a mark of 76.20 meters (250’) to rank him third in the nation. Brown ran a time of 45.72 in the 400 meter to put him atop the conference rankings and eighth nationally.

Rutgers will compete from April 20-21 at the Larry Ellis Invitational in Princeton, New Jersey or Virginia Challenge in Charlottesville, Virginia. The Knights will only have one more event to end the regular season, next weekend at the Penn Relays. 

After that, Rutgers will begin training for championships season, with the Big Ten Championships being held from May 11-13 in Bloomington, Indiana. The Knights will have just two weeks to prepare for the Championships after the Penn Relays.

Rutgers will then have the preliminary rounds for the NCAA Championships from May 24-26, where many hopeful Knights look to put on a show.

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

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