By Malcolm Luck
In a season full of dominating performances, the women’s track and field team left Staten Island, New York on Feb. 19 as New Jersey Athletic Conference indoor champions. This marks the women’s first indoor title since the 2011 season.
Competing against eight other conference opponents, the Lions came out on top, earning 225 points.
The College dominated many events, beginning with a pair of impressive 400-meter performances. Sophomore Samantha Gorman and senior Jenna Ellenbacher claimed first and second place respectively, finishing with times of 58.01 and 58.40.
Women’s track and field saw similar finishes in the 800-meter event. Junior Kathleen Jaeger, sophomore Katie LaCapria and freshman Emily Hirsch respectively earned first, second and fourth places, clocking in at 2:14.10, 2:15.38 and 2:19.61. The trio also set the first, second and fourth fastest marks in the NJAC this season.
The Lions were also competitive in the distance events. In the 3000-meter marathon, junior duo Erin Holzbaur and Madeleine Tattory and sophomore Gabby Devito claimed the top three marks with their times of 10.29.19, 10:29.46 and 10:35.10.
The Lions claimed another top three sweep in the 5000-meter event as well. The event was dominated by first, second and third place finishes by Tattory, along with junior teammates Natalie Cooper and Emma Bean. Cooper, Tattory and Bean respectively took the top three times, completing the race in 18:05.82, 18:09.69 and 18:18.21.
Collectively, the Lions were nothing short of unstoppable in the relay events.
In the 4×400 relay, the team of Gorman, Ellenbacher, Jaeger and freshman Shannon Lambert took first place in 3:55.15. In the 4×800 relay, Hirsch, LaCapria, freshman Hannah Fay and junior Abigail Faith claimed first place, beating second place Rowan University by almost 15 seconds.
Seniors Cassidy Cardone and Allison Fournier, along with freshmen Kristin Lange and Emily Forester captured first place in the distance medley relay, earning a time of 13:11.86. In the field, senior Meagan McGourty and freshmen Jada Covington and Tamika Voltaire also contributed to the Lions’ point total with respective first, second and third place finishes in the high jump.
On the men’s side, a strong team effort resulted in a third place conference finish.
The men’s team began with formidable finishes at the 800-meter event, where juniors Noah Osterhus and Jack Wood respectively earned third and fourth places with times of 1:53.84 and 1:54.60. The College was also well represented in the mile event, where senior Dale Johnson and junior Luke Prothero finished in third and fifth places respectively, clocking in at 4:16.19 and 4:19.45.
Sophomores Mike Zurzolo and Andrew Dyer contributed to the Lions’ total in the 3000-meter event as well with their respective second and fourth place finishes, clocking in at 8:56.61 and 9:04.54.
Perhaps the Lions’ most notable performances came from the relay teams. In the 4×200 race, the team of Osterhus, sophomores Tyler Andriopoulos and Daniel Pflueger and freshman Daulton Hopkins secured third place, finishing in 1:32.94. The team of Johnson, Prothero and freshmen Joey Erskine and Robert Abrams also claimed second place in the 4×800 relay with a time of 7:56.46.
After memorable NJAC championship performances, both teams had trouble keeping their momentum at the Fastrack Last Chance Invitational on Saturday, Feb. 24 in Staten Island.
Notable efforts on the women’s side came from senior Danielle Celestin and freshman Jada Grisson as they finished the 60-meter dash in fifth and sixth place while sophomore Kaila Carter contributed with a fifth place finish in the 60-meter hurdle event. McGourty earned third place in the high jump as well.
For the men, the team of Osterhus, Abrams, Erskine and Prothero earned a third-place finish in the distance medley relay.
Both teams will hit the track in Boston University’s Last Chance Meet in Boston on Sunday, Feb. 25.