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By Louis Petrella

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Junior decathlete Mike Fritz will have surgery on a nagging hip injury. His absence gives senior pole-vaulter Chris Wycoff a larger leadership role.

Knights focus on mentoring young for prolonged success in spring

With a roster that holds 12 freshmen, the upperclassmen on the Rutgers men’s track and field team understand the importance of mentoring the youth. Unlike other college sports where first-year athletes do not see much action, track and field is different in the sense that most freshmen are thrown into the action when they start the season in December.


Super Bowl more about events, less about the game

Could there possibly be any more headlines “frozen” into one football game? Let’s start with the temperature. Of course, the National Football League decides to pick basically the coldest winter on record to experiment with a cold-weather Super Bowl — a winter where more people are familiar with the term “polar vortex” than with who is actually playing in the biggest football game of the year.

Junior decathlete Mike Fritz said it was a great experience to bond with his younger teammates over the winter recess.

Rookies use break to prepare for lofty goals

While most Rutgers students relaxed over break, the men’s track and field team took advantage of the time off to improve itself on and off the track. On the track, the Scarlet Knights emphasized getting the younger players used to competing in indoor meets. Many freshmen competed in the Rutgers Invitational on Jan. 10-11, which was the Knights’ second meet of the indoor season.

Junior sprinter D’Andre Jordan captured two IC4A qualifying times in the 400m and as a member of the 4x400 relay team Friday at the Great Dane Invitational in the Bronx.

RU finishes in ninth at Great Dane Invite in NYC

The Rutgers men’s track and field team entered the heart of its indoor schedule during the month-long winter recess. The team faced 14 other schools this past weekend in the Great Dane Invitational, hosted by Albany at the New York City Armory in the Bronx. The historic track and field site is home to a 60,000-square-foot arena with an Olympic-caliber track, and also the National Track & Field Hall of Fame.

Sophomore Gina Li was one of four Knights who qualified for the ITA Northeast Regional Champs this season, which was the most in program history.

Rutgers sets up for strong spring

The Rutgers tennis team finally feels it has the firepower to compete with some of the top teams in the Northeast Region. The squad believes a combination of a strong youthful roster and constant strong competition led it to a position of success. Head coach Ben Bucca’s philosophy of beating the best to be the best rubbed off on his players.


Junior sets NCAA, school mark in long jump event

The Rutgers men’s track team started the season off in record-breaking fashion this weekend at the New Year’s Invitational meet hosted by Princeton. Junior sprinter Corey Crawford broke the school record in the long jump at the event with a jump of 7.79 meters Saturday, currently the best mark in the country this season.

Junior sprinter Corey Crawford captured first place in the long jump last season at the Princeton Invitational.

Rutgers to unvail young roster in opener

The Rutgers men’s track and field team gets its indoor season underway Saturday at the Princeton New Year’s Invitational. The meet will take place on the Princeton campus at Jadwin Gymnasium. Joining the Scarlet Knights at the event will be seven other schools, including Johns Hopkins, Rider, Towson and Princeton. The Knights hope to reproduce last season’s effort at Princeton, when they won three events and had other various second-place finishes.


RU brings talent, motivation into year

The Rutgers men’s track and field team exudes confidence after a strong end to its 2013 spring season. The team finished its final season in the Big East Conference by placing third in the conference championships held at the Bauer Track and Field complex on Livingston Campus. The Scarlet Knights will have no choice but to attempt to replace some of the best performers the school has seen in quite some time.

Sophomore Gina Li enjoyed a strong fall season for the Knights after her breakout rookie season, when she went 16-5 last year.

Head coach says Rutgers finished year strongly

As one season ends, another begins. The Rutgers tennis team completed a tough fall season this weekend and will begin offseason training to prepare for the spring campaign. Head coach Ben Bucca is proud of the way the Scarlet Knights performed this season in tournaments and practices. “I speak for everyone when I say that we are satisfied in knowing that [the team] really pushed forward and put forth a strong effort this season,” Bucca said.

Senior Vanessa Petrini fell in her first match of the ITA Northeast Regional Championships at Harvard. Petrini lost straight sets to the Crimson’s Amy He, 6-4, 7-5. Petrini was one of four Knights to compete.

Fall season concludes at Invite

The Rutgers tennis team concluded its fall season this weekend at the ITA Northeast Regional Championships at Harvard. Four Scarlet Knights were selected to compete in the singles draw at the regional tournament, which was the most in program history. Head coach Ben Bucca was disappointed with the draws the team received, but proud of the way his players fought.

Lindsay Balsamo will compete in the ITA Northeast Regional Championships today. Rutgers will have four members in this year’s field, four fewer than last season.

Four qualify for weekend championship

Four members of the Rutgers tennis team made the qualifications to compete at this weekend’s ITA Northeast Regional Championship. Coming off a strong showing at the USTA Invitational in Flushing, N.Y., the players will travel today to Harvard, this year’s championship host. Senior Vanessa Petrini, juniors Lindsay Balsamo and Mariam Zein and sophomore Gina Li stand among the 103 participants from 33 schools.


RU closes out successful year

The Rutgers tennis team feels confident entering its final week of play of the fall individual season. After back-to-back strong performances at both the Brown Invitational and USTA Invitational, the Scarlet Knights believe their fall campaign has been successful. Head coach Ben Bucca believes the competition has put the Knights in position to finish the season strong.


RU uses tournament to prepare for regionals

The Rutgers tennis team concluded its final tournament of the season before regionals this weekend at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center College Invitational in Flushing, N.Y. The Scarlet Knights sent six representatives to face some of the top schools in the country. The field consisted of nearly 150 players and 19 other schools, including top regional rivals Harvard and Columbia.


USTA gives Rutgers professional feeling

The Rutgers tennis team is ready to compete after nearly a month off at the U.S. Open’s recent location. The team will travel to Flushing, N.Y. tomorrow for the United States Tennis Association Invitational at the Billie Jean King National Tennis Center. It lasts until Sunday as the second full-weekend tournament of the Scarlet Knights’ fall season.

Senior Stefania Balasa said playing for such a small team has allowed the Knights to get closer. She said a larger team might not grant that chance.

RU gains chemistry from geographical differences

The Rutgers tennis roster has come from all over the country and found a home in New Brunswick. The team’s closeness has made it a comfortable transition for all the Scarlet Knights. “You get really close to everyone on the team, as opposed to a team with a lot of people and you don’t really know what’s going on in each other’s lives,” said senior Stefania Balasa.


Fall tournaments gives RU physical challenge

The Rutgers tennis team knows how important it is to possess a sound mind and body. This fall, the team will compete in only two tournaments, not including the ITA regional at Harvard, where the Intercollegiate Tennis Association must select players. But both tournaments last all weekend, often becoming a true test of both physical and mental endurance.


Schedule provides Rutgers with challenge, advantage

The Rutgers tennis team knows how important constant competition is to their success. Head coach Ben Bucca schedules tough tournaments and games so his players can see what it is like to be around the best players in the country. “We always play a demanding schedule,” Bucca said. “That is what our program has become. One result of that is we have become one of the more respected teams in the region.”

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