College’s athletes set new records in invitational; Coach hopes warmer weather brings even better results

 

Alorro sets new pole vault record. (Krystal Spencer/Staff Photographer)

Five Lions of the men’s outdoor track and field team achieved record book status Saturday, on the second day of the New Jersey Invitational hosted at the College. The 10-team event, the first home meet of the season, proved to be an impressive showing by the women’s and men’s outdoor track and field teams.

Sophomore Julio Alorro cleared a height of 4.66 meters, breaking the College’s previous pole vault record — an 11-year-old record, according to head coach Phil Jennings — on Saturday.

“He’s (Alorro) really worked hard this year, and has been steadily improving throughout the indoor season as well,” Jennings said in an e-mail.

Alorro said in an e-mail that his performance was an exciting accomplishment, and it was a direct result of using any free moment to practice, as well as to study other pole vaulters’ techniques.

“I felt a lot of excitement obviously for breaking a school record that’s been up since 2000,” Alorro said. “I prepared for it just like most athletes, putting a lot of time in practice in between classes and watching a lot of YouTube videos on pole vault.”

With a time of 3:21.62 in the 4×400 relay, the combined efforts of junior Christopher Medina, sophomore Alex Brown, freshman Michael Spekhardt and sophomore Steven D’Aiutolo, also made a change in the school’s record book.

Also collaborating for first place status, the men’s team in the 4×100 relay and women’s team in the 4×400 relay claimed first. The men’s team consisted of senior Kyle Gilroy, sophomore Kyle Magliaro and juniors Medina and Robert Jiggetts, while the women’s team included seniors Miriam Khan, Alexandra Tomaselli, Meryl Wimberley and freshman Emily Kulcyk.

The Lions seized a number of first place feats in field events. Senior Alexander Necovski took first in the shot put throw (13.23 meters), discus throw (40.92 meters) and the hammer throw (44.24 meters). For the women’s Lions on Friday, senior Sarah Wehrhan  placed first in these same categories, with distances of 11.88 meters, 36.96 meters and 45.12 meters, respectively.

The lady Lions consistently dominated the higher ranks of these events, with senior Brianna Brennan taking first in the javelin throw with 35.90 meters and freshman Emily Skalko, placing first in pole vault with a distance of 2.59 meters. Sophomore Mary Chismar placed third in shot put with 11.39 meters, and junior Emma Tucci took second with 35.06 meters.

Individual performances also contributed to the Lions’ solid showing. With a time of 8:40.43, senior Dennie Waite won first place in the 3000-meter run.

The Lions run in front of a home crowd for the first time this season. (Krystal Spencer/Staff Photographer)

For two players the invitational garnered NCAA qualifying times. Kulcyk achieved NCAA marks with a time of 1:03.99 in the 400-meter hurdles. Gilroy earned NCAA marks in the 110-meter hurdles (15.02) and 400-meter hurdles.

When asked what he anticipates for the remainder of the season, Jennings said the teams will likely see improved results as spring emerges and the weather is more conducive to practice.

“Our athletes certainly like to run at home, in front of family and friends, and at the familiar facility that they practice on daily. That in itself helps bring out solid performances in the team,” Jennings said. “However, I expect that the weather improves, as we get in better shape, and as the season progresses toward our championships we’ll see improved performances from all event areas.”

Katie Brenzel can be reached at brenzel2@tcnj.edu.