On a beautiful day last weekend, the College hosted the New Jersey Invitational and came away with some stellar performances against a field of 16 teams.
In what was one of the most exciting races of the year, the men’s 4×100 relay team took first in a dramatic comeback.
The team consisted of senior Christopher Medina, sophomore Scott Lisa, senior Robert Jiggetts and junior Kyle Magliaro. Jiggetts made up some serious ground in the third leg, and Magliaro completed the turnaround by sprinting to first as the anchor. They finished with a time of 42.08.
“I was watching the throwers when I heard a roar from the crowd and saw the end of the comeback,” said freshman Tyler Frezza. “It was really exciting to watch, and something like that uplifts the entire team’s morale.”
There were several other impressive performances, starting with sophomore Dominic Tasco who came in second overall in the 800-meters with an ECAC qualifying time of 1:52.25. In the 400-meter hurdles, two freshmen finished in the top four. Erik Moutenot and Louis Fisher finished in times of 55.55 and 50.73 respectively. Finally, junior Alex Brown barely missed qualifying for ECAC’s as he captured fourth place in the 400-meters with a time of 50.41.
The field events were once again led by huge jumps from junior Steven D’Aiutolo. He won the triple jump and was the top Division III jumper in the long jump with marks of 46’ 3.25” and 21’ 9”, respectively. In the pole vault, junior Julio Alorro and senior Colin Gold each cleared a height of 14’ 5.25” to take the top two spots in the event. Fisher was not far off in sixth place, clearing 12’ 5.5”.
The throwing events also brought top honors for the Lions, specifically in shot put and disc. Frezza and freshman Abayomi Arowolo finished second and seventh in the shot put with throws of 41’ 9.25” and 38’ 7”. Arowolo was also fourth in the discus with a toss of 129’ 3”.
“I had been in a slump for the past couple of weeks, and it was great to finally start throwing well again,” Frezza explained. “There’s definitely room for improvement, but nonetheless, I’m happy.”
The women also had a great day at home. Their most dominant event was the 3000-meters that saw three Lions finish before any other runner. Sophomore Megan Flynn, junior Rachel Morris and freshman Jillian Manzo took the top three spots with times of 10:25.42, 10:41.79 and 10:43.08 respectively.
The 400-meters was also a strong event for the College that saw senior Alyssa Bannon get a personal best this season with a time of 4:44.38. Freshman Liz Johnson came in sixth at 4:49.76 and sophomore Anginelle Alabanza was ninth at 4:54.68.
Rounding out the running events were two outstanding hurdle races. Sophomore Emily Kulcyk won the 400-meter with an ECAC qualifying time of 1:04.15, while sophomore Katie Knight was fourth in the 100-meter with a run of 15.60.
Junior Mary Chismar highlighted the field events. She won the shot put with a throw of 40’ 6”, came in fifth in the discus with a toss of 97’ 1” and grabbed second in the hammer throw at 125’ 4”. In the javelin, graduate student Brianna Brennan won the whole thing with a throw of 128” 5’, which was 11 feet more than any other throw. Sophomore Emily Skalko won the high jump at 5’ 1”. The Lions dominated the pole vault with four of their athletes finishing in the top five: Skalko, sophomore Jackie Chester, freshman Jamie Demarco, freshman Brigit Milorey.
The College seemed to enjoy competing at home for once, a rarity in their track and field season.
“I like traveling to other schools to throw, but there’s nothing like competing at home,” Frezza said. “TCNJ has a great track facility. All the events are really close to each other, which makes it easy to watch and cheer on the rest of the team when you’re not competing.”
The Lions head to Princeton University this weekend to take on all comers in the Larry Ellis Invitational.