Rutgers to compete in final regular season meet of season

The Rutgers women’s track and field team will be heading to Philadelphia this week for the Penn Relays as the team heads down the final stretch of the season. 

The Penn Relays is a historic competition to say the least. The competition is the oldest and largest track and field meet in the United States, dating its history all the way back to April 21, 1895. The relays have been held at the same venue for the past 123 years, Franklin Field. 

As recently as 2012, there were more than 116 different events run at the relays and the competition hosted the largest number of track and field athletes than any other meet in the entire world, with a rough estimate of 15,000 participants traveling to the meet this year from both within and without the United States. Attendance is also fairly large at the event, with approximately 100,000 spectators watching the competition over the three days.

This will be the Scarlet Knights’ last meet before the Big Ten Championships that will be held in Bloomington, Indiana from May 11-13. Given the pedigree of the Penn Relays, this weekend should certainly give the team a taste of what is to come when they hop on the plane to Indiana in a few weeks. 

It has been a tumultuous season for Rutgers this spring, with the season being marked by great success at certain points, and disappointment at others.

A big reason behind that is the inconsistency the Knights have had from week to week. Throughout most of the season, Rutgers was unable to put up a complete performance from the entire team. 

Head coach James Robinson has made it a point of emphasis for the entire season that he wants his team to be consistent more than anything and to give their best effort all at once. 

A few weeks ago he made a prediction that the team would give a complete performance soon, with multiple players coming back from injury and an improvement in the way the team had been practicing. His prediction came true last week when the Knights put up their best performance of the outdoor season by quite some margin at the Larry Ellis Invitational.

The team captured four first-place finishes, in addition to several new personal records being set by team members. 

Junior Oniesha Clarke captured two of the event titles, the first coming from the 200 meter and the next coming from the 100 meter. Freshman Olympia Martin crossed the finish line first in the 3,000 meter, setting a new personal record in the process. And graduate student Bryanna Grant continued her outstanding season by earning the crown in the triple jump.

Rutgers will be looking for these players to capitalize off of these performances and to put their best efforts forth this week. The team will certainly need all the help it can get to be successful at the Penn Relays.

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

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