Lions Invitational prepares runners for NJACs

By Nicole DeStefano
Staff Writer

The College hosted the Lions Invitational on Friday, April 28, and Saturday, April 29. The Lions track and field team competed for two days at the TCNJ Track and Field Complex. Select members of the team also competed at the Penn Relays in Philadelphia on Friday, April 28.

At home, the hurdle events were highlighted by senior Jake Lindacher and freshman Daniel Pfluger. Lindacher placed fifth overall in the 110 meter hurdles, clocking in at 15.05. Pfluger also competed in the 400-meter hurdles with a time of 56.39 and secured sixth place.

In the 400-meter dash, sophomore Noah Osterhus placed eighth with a time of 49.36. His brother, sophomore Nathan Osterhus, competed in the 200-meter dash with a time of 22.71. He placed 14th overall.

Noah Osterhus sprints the 400-meter dash in 49.36. (Courtesy of Sports Information Desk)

Freshman Mike Zurzolo placed 15th overall in the 1500-meter run and finished at 4:09.12.

The men’s relay teams placed both second and third in the meet. The 4×400 relay team placed third with a time of 3:22.23 while the 4×100 team ran a time of 42.62 for second place.

In the field events, senior Chris Guglielmo placed second in the pole vault with a clear of 4.55 meters. In the long jump, freshman Justin Brown placed second in 6.90 and third in the high jump with a height of 1.90 meters.

At the Penn Relays, the men raced in the 4×400 meter relay. The 4×400 relay team comprised of sophomore Thomas Livecchi, the Osterhus brothers, and senior Zakaria Rochdi. The Lions ran a time of 3.19.50 to place 40th among 70 teams across all divisions.

“Penn Relays is all about the experience,” Nathan Osterhus said. “The meet is run differently than the meets that we usually compete in because of the size and the competition. So the focus of Penn Relays is to have fun and compete, rather than worrying about the time. For the 4×100, the goal is to get the baton around and stay competitive in our heat, which we were able to do. We were able to run fast in lane with some great Division I schools.”

The other 4×100 team was comprised Lindacher, Pflueger, Nathan Osterhus, and junior Tristan Gibson. The men placed 49th out of 75 teams, clocking in at 42.79.

“In the 4×100 relay, we knew that we were going to be competing against quality competition. We knew that this was going to be our last relay before NJAC’s, so we wanted to show that we are ready for this weekend,” Nathan Oterhus said. “We didn’t end up running the race we wanted to run, but we know that we will be ready to perform our best at NJAC’s, when it matters most.”

The women were also successful at the Lions Invitational.

Freshman Erin Holzbaur took fourth place in the 1500 meter run with a time of 4:50.85. Senior Laura Straub also ran the 1500 meter race, placing 10th with a time of 4:53.64.

In the 800-meter dash, freshman Katie LaCapria placed fourth overall in the 800-meter run with a time of 2:13.16.

Freshman Samantha Gorman competed in the 200- and 400-meter dash, placing sixth in both. She ran times of 25.77 and 57.48, respectively. Senior Danielle Celestin clocked in at 25.86 in the 200-meter dash, placing eighth overall.

In the hurdles, freshman Nicole Tampone placed seventh in the 400-meter hurdles, clocking in at 1:07.96. Freshman Kristen Hall took 12th place in the 110-meter hurdles with a time of 15.88.

In the field, senior Tracy Prentice took eighth in the pole vault, clearing 3.40 meters.

The Lady Lions also competed at Penn Relays on Thursday, April 27. The 4×100 relay team, comprised of Celestin, freshman Allison Zelinski, Gorman, and freshman Kaila Carter, ran a 48.84 for a 59th place finish among all three collegiate divisions.

The women’s 4×400 meter relay team of junior Jenna Ellenbacher, Gorman, Tampone, and LaCapria also placed 51st overall, with a time of 3:56.61.

The women and men’s track team will compete in the NJAC Championships at Rowan University on Saturday, May 6, and Sunday, May 7.