The Rutgers women’s track and field team returned from the Big Ten Indoor Championship in Geneva, Ohio this week and heads straight to Boston, Massachusetts for another championship bout.
This week the Scarlet Knights will be competing at the ECAC Indoor Track Championships.
Rutgers will certainly hope to perform better at the ECAC Championships than it did at the Big Ten Championships. Last week in Geneva, the Knights finished in last place at 13th, and scored only 5 event points for the whole weekend.
Overall, it was a disastrous weekend for the team, but it can certainly redeem itself this weekend in Boston.
And there is certainly hope for the team in the form of freshman Oniesha Clarke, who has arguably been the most valuable member of the squad this season.
Last week, Clarke was the only member of the team to make it to the event final in any of the events in the conference tournament.
In the preliminaries for the 60-meter dash on the first day, she set a new personal record with a time of 7.43 seconds. This also happened to be the third-fastest time in event history for Rutgers.
The next day, Clarke ran well again in the 60-meter finals, finishing the event in fourth place. She was just off the personal record mark she had just set for herself, crossing the finish line with a time of 7.44 seconds.
It was this result at the Big Ten Championships that gave the Knights any points for the entire weekend.
Clarke was recognized for her efforts at the tournament on Tuesday, when she was named the Rutgers recipient of the Big Ten Indoor Track & Field Sportsmanship Award.
These sportsmanship awards are handed out to one member of each of the conference members for each of the sports. The student athletes are individuals who have separated themselves from the rest of the pack through their sportsmanship and ethical behavior.
In addition, the student athletes must be in good academic standing and have to have shown good citizenship outside of a sports-competition setting.
In other words, Clarke has not only been invaluable to the Knights on the track, but also outside as well with her model behavior and performance.
Hopefully for Rutgers, Clarke will have another strong performance this weekend and the rest of the Knights will be able to follow suit and join her in sharing that glory this weekend.
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