Rutgers closes out indoor season at NCAA Championships

Today and tomorrow, the Rutgers men’s track and field team will be traveling to Birmingham, Alabama for the NCAA Championships. This will be the last indoor meet of the season before the Scarlet Knights head into their outdoor season. They remain unranked for the remainder of the indoor season.

While the top team in the nation is No. 1 Arkansas, the top team in the Big Ten is No. 4 Ohio State.

After the IC4A Indoor Championships, Rutgers placed second with five event titles and 11 places in the top three. The Knights were able to rack up 93 points, which were the most in program history. With an end to the season like this, it should put Rutgers in a confident position going into the NCAA Championships this weekend.

Some of these top finishes came from a sweep in the 200-meter dash with a win from senior Izaiah Brown with a school and meet record time of 20.75. In second place, freshman Antonio Tarantino nabbed a personal record of 21.05, while sophomore Taj Burgess followed behind with another personal record of 21.14.

Brown was also able to clinch his fourth Big Ten 400-meter dash title, which leaves him in good standing heading into the NCAA Championships, since the Big Ten has such impressive competition. Competitively, Brown has two Hawkeyes on his trail. 

Junior Karayme Bartley and senior Mar’yea Harris nabbed second and third respectively in the men’s 400 meter, and they trailed by less than a second. Brown also has fellow Knight to look out for: Sophomore Taj Burgess.

All three of these athletes were selected for the All-East 200-meter dash.

Rutgers also had 11 other athletes named All-East performers in various events. Both the 4x400 meters and 4x800 meters were selected as well as several individuals in long, high and triple jump.

The Knights' 4x400 meters team was able to capture a fourth-place finish in the Big Ten Championships, following behind Purdue in third place, the Buckeyes in second and Iowa in first. 

Rutgers was recently able to get the school record for the 4x400 meters with a time of 3:04.67, so the NCAA Championships could possibly push them to beat it once again.

Freshman long jumper A’Nan Bridgett has made a significant impact on the team. Bridgett finished third at the IC4A Championships with a jump of 7.26 meters. He also jumped 7.27 at the Big Ten Championships for third place. 

This season, he has finished top four at every meet, with the exception of the Clemson Tiger Paw Invite. With such an impressive first year, it will be interesting to see how his future on the Banks pans out.

Bridgett will be competing against senior Elijah Lucy from Nebraska, who jumped 7.67 meters at the Big Ten Championships and nabbed first place. He will also be going up against senior Dajuan Seward from Ohio State, who edged out Bridgett for second place at the same meet with a jump of 7.36. 

Another jumper to look out for is junior Tobi Tella, who claimed his second IC4A Championship title. This year, Tella won the long jump with a leap of 7.34 meters, and back in 2018, he claimed the triple jump title.

While he didn’t claim a spot on the podium at the Big Ten Championships, freshman Kamron Kobolak was able to finish fifth at the Princeton Invitational in shot put with a throw of 15.44 meters. Kobolak has a bright future with the Knights, and he has half a season left in his freshman year to improve.

Rutgers' indoor season comes to a close this weekend. Keep up with Brown’s final indoor meet, where he could help the Knights to more podium wins.

While Rutgers travels the furthest distance for a meet this season, there is a lot to take in, when going against teams across the country. 

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

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