By Malcolm Luck
The Lions have had their hands full with a vicious slew of Division I opponents.
Princeton’s New Year Invitational on Jan. 9 proved to be a tough endeavor, but the College did not back down. Sophomore Katie LaCapria and junior Kathleen Jaeger led the charge with their respective first and second place finishes in the 600-meter event, clocking in at 1:36.49 and 1:38.60.
The 4×400 relay team of freshman Kim Lewis, sophomore Samantha Gorman and seniors Meagan McGourty and Jenna Ellenbacher topped both Princeton and Rider’s competitors to earn second place.
The men did not fail to impress either, as junior brothers Noah and Nathan Osterhus each finished in third place in the 600-meter and 300-meter events, respectively. The team, however, lost a stride in the Towson Tiger Invite on Jan. 13, finishing in 11th out of 12.
The women’s team carried its momentum to Staten Island, New York, where they finished best among non-Division I competitors in the Spartan Invitational.
On Friday, Jan. 19, the College returned to Staten Island to compete in the Gotham Cup held at the Ocean Breeze Athletic Complex.
The team’s extraordinary performance was highlighted by athletes such as junior Madeleine Tattory, who outraced all opponents for her first place finish in the 5000-meter event with a time of 18:18.90. This feat also set the new mark for the fastest finish in the New Jersey Athletic Conference this season.
LaCapria was equally impressive in the 800-meter event, crossing the finish line second out of 59 competitors with a time of 2:16.12. Jaeger finished just moments behind in fifth place.
The jaw-dropping finishes came despite the overwhelming competition of Division I and II teams.
Collectively, the Lions were not done handling their opponents.
In the 4×400-meter relay, the team of Jaeger, LaCapria, Gorman and freshman Shannon Lambert captured first place with a time of 4:01.37, ahead of 10 other competing teams.
For the men, a number of Lions boasted impressive numbers, led by sophomore Mike Zurzolo who placed fourth out of 32 in the 3000-meter event with a time of 8:52.05. This number set the second fastest mark recorded in the NJAC this season.
In the 800-meter event consisting of 55 participants, juniors Jack Wood and Noah Osterhus sprinted their way to fifth and 12th place, respectively, posting times of 1:57.30 and 1:59.62.
Only a day later, the women’s team traveled to nearby Pennsylvania to compete in the Collegeville Classic on Saturday, Jan. 20. Despite the quick turnaround, the College managed to clinch a fourth place finish out of 19 teams, totalling 52 points.
The resounding effort was led by a number of outstanding second place performances and highlighted by sophomore Kaila Carter’s first place finish in the 60-meter hurdles, clocking in at 9:48. Her second place finish came in the 60-meter dash with a time of 8.07.
Other notable finishes came from freshman Shannon Lambert, beating 70 other participants with a time of 27.12 to earn second place honors.
Junior Danielle Cozzarelli also propelled her way into second place in the pole vault event with a mark of 2.90 meters, while earning sixth place in the long jump.
The Lions will rest until Friday, Jan. 26 and Saturday, Jan. 27 when the team heads north for competitions at Boston and Lehigh Universities.