By Malcolm Luck
After a rough outing in Lawrenceville, New Jersey against Rider University on Feb. 2, the Lions looked to regain traction at the David Hemery Valentine Invitational which lasted from Friday, Feb. 9 to Sunday, Feb. 11.
The women’s team began the College’s quest for redemption on Friday, Feb. 9. A boatload of comeback performances were complimented by impressive New Jersey Athletic Conference seasonal records.
In a packed slate of 166 competitors in the 800-meter event, junior Kathleen Jaeger claimed 44th place with her time of 2:14.84. Jaeger earned herself the top mark in the NJAC this season, dethroning sophomore teammate Katie LaCapria and her mark of 2:16.12 set at the New York City Gotham Cup on Jan. 19.
Sophomore Samantha Gorman one-upped her teammate by setting new top marks for two events in the NJAC this season.
In the 400-meter event, Gorman claimed 34th place out of 154 runners, clocking in at 57:17. Gorman continues to excel this season. With this time, she outdid the previous mark, also set by herself, by almost two seconds.
Also finishing in the top half was senior Jenna Ellenbacher, claiming the second best NJAC time on the season, putting forth a mark of 58.76. The Lions now own the top six women’s 400-meter performances in the NJAC this season.
A strong, collective effort from the 4×400 relay team of Gorman, Jaeger and freshmen Dana DeLuca and Shannon Lambert claimed a new first place mark for the NJAC as well.
Their time of 3:58.38 is almost five seconds faster than the second place mark held by rival Rowan University. The Lions currently hold the top 4×200 and 4×800 relay times as well.
Similar jaw-dropping NJAC marks were not set on the men’s side a day later, but redemption was achieved nonetheless.
Top tier performances were highlighted in the mile run, where senior Dale Johnson and junior Luke Prothero finished with times of 4:20.66 and 4:22.31, respectively.
These times were good for third and fifth place in the NJAC this season. Johnson and Prothero were also followed by freshmen Joey Erskine and Matthew Kole, who finished with times of 4:24.51 and 4:28.85 respectively.
Other notable performances came in the 60 and 200-meter dashes, both led by senior Nicholas Genoese. In the 60-meter event, Genoese claimed 11th place out of 48, clocking in at 7.27. In the more competitive 200-meter event, Genoese still managed to stay afloat, finishing in the 101st spot out of 198, clocking in at 22.86 for his personal best time.
Both teams are looking to carry positive momentum to the NJAC indoor championships at the Ocean Breeze Athletic Complex in Staten Island, New York on Monday, Feb. 19.
In the midst of a season filled with tough Division I competition, the Lions look to challenge conference opponents in a highly anticipated meet.