Men beat Rider, women fall just short at Mercer Duals

There may not have been a trophy emblazoned with “Best Mercer County College” at stake, but the unofficial title was enough to churn up the rivalry between the College’s indoor track and field team and their cross-town rival, Rider University, at the Mercer County Duals this weekend.

The men’s team defeated Rider with a score of 104-84 while the women’s team was edged out, 95-92. Combined, the two teams set three school records and six NCAA Division III provisional qualifying times.

“It’s a huge rivalry,” head coach Eric Mobley said. “We usually get our best performances, to date, at this meet.”

Junior Karim Cockrell led the Lions men with two provisional qualifying performances. He placed second in both the 55-meter dash (6.48 seconds) and the long jump (7.02 meters). Junior Kevin Jones won the long jump for the College with another provisional qualifying distance of 7.05 meters. Jones also took second in the 200-meter run in 22.23 seconds.

Junior Jeff Zodda, senior Ed Marion and freshman Brian Donatelli added three more first-place finishes and provisional qualifying marks for the Lions. Zodda took first in the 800-meter run with a time of 1:53.27 while Marion won the high jump at 2.09 meters and Donatelli won the weight throw with a distance of 17.09 meters. Marion’s mark set a new school record.

Despite the loss, the women’s team achieved some individual success with two new school records and numerous first-place finishes. After winning three events at the Haverford meet last weekend, junior Brittny Boyd repeated her tri-win performance against Rider. Boyd set the school record in the long jump with a winning distance of 5.68 meters, which was also a provisional qualifying mark. She also took first in the 55-meter dash (7.39) and the 200-meter run (25.49).

“(Boyd’s) a competitor,” Mobley said. “If she keeps getting better week after week like she has been, she’s going to win.”

Sophomore Elyse Mitchell set another school record for the Lions in the pole vault. She won the event with a 3.20 meter vault.

Junior Jenna Fasulo also won multiple events, taking first in the mile and the 3,000-meter run with times of 5:23.46 and 10:51.70, respectively.

This weekend, the Lions will travel to the University of Delaware for the Thompson Invitational.

“There was a lot of emotion from (the Mercer County Duals),” Mobley said. “So this is going to be a kind of a come-down week. Instead of everyone running two events, maybe we’ll have them run one and call it a day.”

The Thompson meet is their last before the New Jersey Athletic Conference (NJAC) Championship meet on Feb. 20.