College athletes impress at Penn Relays

The College of New Jersey track program hosted the annual Lions’ Invitational on Saturday, April 25. The men’s and women’s track and field teams collected a number of ECAC qualifying marks and a few NCAA provisional marks.

Tim Blashford, sophomore pole vaulter, said, “Any meet at home is always fun. It is nice to compete on our home track, and the results show how much the team enjoys it. There were a lot of good things that happened this weekend: personal records and season bests along with some qualifiers. There are always more qualifiers to be met, and I think everyone is moving in that direction.”

The men’s 4×100 took first and the 4×400 placed second. Freshman Chris Medina, sophomore Jule Brooks, freshman Brandon Leftridge, and feshman Robert Jiggetts combined for a time of 42.73 seconds in the 4×100 and Brooks, freshman Justin Worthing, Leftridge, and sophomore Kyle Gilroy ran 3:57:19 in the 4×400, both ECAC qualifying times.

The women’s 4×100 relay team also placed first with a team of juniorPriscilla Senyah, junior Meghan Miller, sophomore Tiffany Etheredge, and Miriam Khan combining for an ECAC time of 48.67 seconds. ?

Senior Al Wonesh won the 400 hurdles with a NCAA provisional mark of 53.61 seconds. In the 1,500, sophomore Dennie Waite placed second in 3:57.19 and sophomore TJ Bocchino followed in third with a time of 4:01.27, both ECAC marks. Sophomore Shawn Rembecky placed third in the high jump clearing a height of 1.85 meters and in the pole vault Blashford claimed fourth at 4.35 meters.

In the hammer throw, junior Steve Liccketto finished fourth with throw of 48.35 and teammate junior Zach Goldstein was fifth at 47.72. Both marks met ECAC standards.

Senior Kristen Tricocci placed second in long jump sailing a distance of 5.45 meters and freshman Emma Tucci was fourth with 5.28 meters, both ECAC qualifying marks. Tucci also placed second in the javelin with a distance of 37.70 meters, also qualifying her for the ECAC Championships. ?

In the hammer throw, sophomore Sarah Wehrhan placed second with an ECAC mark of 43.57 meters and sophomore Christina D’Amato took third in the shot put with a toss of 11.46 meters.

The Lady Lions earned a third-place finish in the 800 meters as junior Michelle Wallace boasted an ECAC time of 2:19.03.?
Senyah added a fourth-place effort in the 100-meter hurdles with a NCAA provisional cut of 14.81 seconds, andsophomore Alexandra Tomaselli finished fourth in the 400 hurdles with a clocking of 1:06.85.

Rembecky said, “Our overall team performance at the Lions Invitational proved that all of our hard work up to this point has been paying off. Everyone appears to be peaking at the right time, which puts us in a good position to make a run at another NJAC title.”

Both the men’s and women’s teams also competed in the Penn Relays this past weekend. The women’s 4×800 relay team consisting of junior Jianna Spadaccini, sophomore Meryl Wimberly, freshman Katie Nestor, and senior Stephanie Herrick set a school record with a time of 8:53.04. The time broke the previous mark by more than 15 seconds. They finished third overall, trailing NCAA Division I teams Purdue University and Duke University.

Nestor said, “It was the first time all season we had run in temperatures that high, and to still be able to break the school record was awesome.”

The men’s 4×400 team of senior Rob McGowan, senior Pasquale DiGioacchino, junior DeShard Stevens, and senior Steve Murray ran an ECAC qualifying time of 3:19.25.The mean’s 4×100 also ran an ECAC mark of 42.52 seconds. The sprint medley relay finished second at 3:31:48 trailing Wake Forest University.

Etheredge said, “We had a good week with Penn Relays and the home meet, so I think we’re ready for the competition that’s headed our way… It towards the end of the year and were all just focusing on the championship part of the season. I really think we have a good shot at achieving the goals we planned.”

Next weekend the men’s and women’s track and field teams are competing at NJAC Championships at Rowan University, and are hoping todefend their title as champions.

Katie Nestor, a freshman distance runner, said, “We’re hopeful about winning NJACs next weekend and looking forward to sending a decent amount of girls out to Nationals. in May. Everyone has been working really hard all season and we’re excited to see that hard work pay off in the upcoming meets.”

The conference meet is a good opportunity for the Lions to qualify for nationals, break personal bests, and win All American honors.

For relays, junior DeShard Stevens, junior sprinter, said, “I’m looking to qualify for nationals as part of the 4×4 relay and garner an all American citation. I am hoping to finish this seasonal off strong and compete at nationals so that we can build for a solid final year of Track for next year.”

Junior hurdler and sprinter Priscilla Senyah said the team is really excited about this weekend and next year. “We have some big goals for the end of the year, and next year. and I think we have the talent to make that happen.”