Rutgers prepares for Big Ten Championships in Iowa

The Rutgers men’s and women’s track and field teams head to Iowa City, Iowa for the Big Ten Championships, where some Scarlet Knights will make an appearance. This season, there have been monumental finishes, school records broken and personal records being made by both teams.

What makes the Rutgers track teams successful is the fact that they have diverse teams with many talented student athletes competing in several events. But with potentially only one more meet left, the seniors have to make this a top priority for finishing the season.

On the men’s team, it goes without saying that there is more than one Knight that could be found competing in Iowa City. 

Senior Izaiah Brown comes to mind instantly. His personal biography is full of achievements, but in his final year on the Banks, Brown has continued his legacy. In almost every event he competes in, he claims the title. 

Most recently at the Metropolitan Championships, he nabbed a personal record in the 100 meter with a time of 10.49 and a first-place finish.

Brown also scored first in the 4x100-meter relay, 4x400-meter relay and the 200-meter dash. He holds the school record in the 4x100-meter relay and 4x400-meter relay. 

Another important athlete to watch for at this coming meet is senior John Mooers, a discus thrower. Mooers has been on a roll for these past four meets. At the Sam Howell Invitational, the Metropolitan Championships and the Virginia Challenge, Mooers nabbed first place in all three and also broke personal records at two. 

At the 125th Penn Relays, while Mooers did not place first, he crushed his previous personal record of 54.39 meters and threw a whopping 56.45 meters for a third-place finish. Mooers is moving up the ranks quickly as he should with it being his last year at Rutgers.

Moving onto the women’s team, there are several notable athletes that could place highly at the Big Ten Championships. 

Starting with senior Oniesha Clarke, who is in third place for the 100-meter dash all-time school record, she has a high probability of placing at the Big Ten Championships. Her personal record clocks in at 11.59, in 2018. She has been inching closer and closer to her own record in her senior year.

Clarke placed seventh last weekend at the Penn Relays. But, if she were able to drop her time down to her personal record, it would have landed her in second place. This puts her in a prime position heading into the conference championships, and it should drive her to run a race as well as she did back in 2018.

Senior Jenna Sobieski has also had a successful year running the 800 meters. Sobieski holds the school record with a time of 2:06.91, nearly 2 whole seconds faster than the all-time second-place school record holder. 

Sobieski has been placing highly in the past couple meets, with top-10 finishes in highly competitive meets. She also has some first-place finishes in the 800 and 1,500 meters.

Finally, there is senior Rhonda Rogombe, who holds the outdoor high jump school record, with a height of 1.78 meters, and the indoor record with a 1.80-meter jump. While Rogombe has been grazing the surface of her own personal record, she has not been able to top her own best jump in her final year as a Knight.

While both freshman Reanda Richards and sophomore Olympia Martin are accomplished athletes who both hold school records in their respective events, they still have 2 to 3 more years of college competition.

Richards in the 400-meter hurdles is now second in the nation for fastest Division I time, with a 57.21, and Martin holds the school record for 10,000 meters with a time of 35:44.84.

There are several athletes on both the men’s and women’s teams who show true potential for their coming years, but with the Big Ten Championships on the horizon, the seniors will be competing for possibly the last meet of their college careers. 

For updates on the Rutgers track and field teams, follow @TargumSports on Twitter.

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