Rutgers wraps up outdoor season at Penn Relays

The Rutgers women’s track and field team wrapped up its regular season schedule as it traveled to Philadelphia for the historic Penn Relays at Franklin Field hosted by Penn.

The Penn Relays is the oldest and largest track and field competition in the country, making it a worthy final meet before the Scarlet Knights head to Bloomington, Indiana for the Big Ten Outdoor Championships. The Relays have been held at Franklin Field for the last 123 years and is the largest gathering of track and field athletes on the continent.

The last time Rutgers competed at the Penn Relays, it put together a solid team performance. The team captured two top-10 finishes, one in the high jump and the other in the javelin throw. The 4x800-meter relay team and the sprint medley squad posted new records for the Knights as well in their respective events.

Last week, Rutgers had its best collective effort of the outdoor season, as the team collected four event titles and a new record in the steeplechase at the Larry Ellis Invitational. 

In a season that has been plagued by inconsistency and injuries throughout, last week was the first time that the Knights put together a complete team performance while also being healthy for the first time this season. 

Head coach James Robinson has said several times throughout the season that he wanted his team to be more consistent and for them to put their best collective effort forward. His calls were finally answered with an exceptional performance by the team last week. 

Rutgers was unable to match the heights that they achieved last week at the Larry Ellis Invitational, but that was to be expected at an event that offered the stiffest competition the team faced the entire season. But, the Knights did put forth some notable showings by some members of the team.

The 4x200-meter relay team put together the most impressive performance from Rutgers this weekend. The team of juniors Phyllis Gordon and Oniesha Clarke, sophomore Arianne Strunkey and senior Bria Saunders put together a time of 1:38.30, a season best for the squad. 

The time was also good enough to qualify for the Eastern Finals. In the finals, the team put together an even better performance, crossing the finish line with a time of 1:36.36 to take fifth place in the event.

In terms of individual performances, graduate student Bryanna Grant had the strongest showing of the weekend. The Cranford, New Jersey native leapt a distance of 11.95 meters in the triple jump to take eighth place in the competition.

The next competition for the Knights is the 2018 Big Ten Outdoor Championships, hosted by Indiana in Bloomington on May 11-13.

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

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