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Rutgers heads back to Florida for relays

 – Photo by The Daily Targum

This weekend, the Rutgers men’s and women’s track and field teams are heading back down to Gainesville, Florida for the Florida Relays. Last weekend, the Scarlet Knights had a meet at the South Florida Bulls Invitational in Tampa, where they competed in their first outdoor meet of the season.

Rutgers was able to capture several podium finishes across the board, many of which were from underclassmen.

On the women’s team, senior Oniesha Clarke finished fourth in the 100 meters with a time of 11.96 behind three other seniors on competing teams. Freshman Iyanla Kollock followed close behind finishing the race in 12.05 for a fifth-place finish. Kollock was also able to place fourth in the 200 meters in 25.56 seconds.

For the men’s 200-meter race, senior Izaiah Brown was able to capture first place with a time of 20.81, and sophomore Taj Burgess followed right behind in second place with a time of 21.30. Both were also able to sweep in the 400-meter race as well. Brown ran a time of 45.92, while Burgess ran a time of 46.05.

Brown and Burgess also competed in the 4x100-meter relay for a first-place finish along with freshmen A’Nan Bridgett and Anthony Tarantino in an impressive time of 40.29. 

Brown and Burgess held on for a third place finish in the 4x400-meter relay with freshman Semaj Willis and sophomore Chris Jenkins. The Knights finished in 3:18.92.

Freshmen Mackenzie Prezume and Brooke Reidy took second and third place-finishes respectively in the 800-meter race with times of 2:15.98 and 2:16.33. Both women followed behind the first-place finisher by less than 2 seconds.

In the 800-meter and 1,500-meter races, sophomore Billy Hill snagged a third and first-place finish respectively. 

In the 800 meters, Hill finished with a time of 1:52.99, which was a little more than a second behind the first and second-place finishers ahead of him. Hill also finished with a time of 3:54.41 in the 1,500 meters, with a competitor from Saint Leo close behind his final time.

Senior Jenna Sobieski was able to conquer the 1,500-meter race, coming in first place with a time of 4:41.32, beating out the next racer by more than a second.

In an amazing finish, freshman Reanda Richards blew out the competition with a time of 1:00.25 in the 400-meter hurdles, while the second-place finisher followed behind by more than 5 seconds.

Another impressive finish for Rutgers came from the 400-meter hurdles. Both underclassmen finished top 4 of 14 competitors. 

Jenkins finished first in the event with a time of 52.83. He has an impressive track record in his short time with the Knights with several high-placing records under his belt in varying events. 

In fourth place, freshman Jameson Woodall was able to finish in 53.81 seconds, less than a second behind Jenkins.

The women’s 4x400-meter relay also conquered the track with a first-place finish with the help of Prezume, Richards, senior Phyllis Gordon and junior Arianne Strunkey with a 3:45.93 time.

Moving onto the field part of the meet, freshman A’Nan Bridgett nabbed first place in the long jump followed by senior Jarius Paul with jumps of 7.55 meters and 7.30 meters respectively.

Freshman Kameron Kobolak was able to get his first first-place finish in shot put in her first year on the Banks with a throw of 15.29 meters, winning by more than a meter.

In javelin, senior Chris Mirabelli captured the title with a throw of 72.3 meters while junior Greg Harnett placed second with a throw of 61.24 meters. 

On the women’s team, sophomore Courteney Campbell and junior Rhonda Rogombe captured second and third-place finishes in the high jump with jumps of 1.75 meters and 1.70 meters respectively. While in the triple jump, freshman Zia Barr nabbed second place with a jump of 11.22 meters. 

Senior Halia Rosemond was also able to nab second place in discus with a throw of 43.20 meters, out throwing her following competitors by nearly 2 meters.

Sophomore Kathryn Campbell captured the javelin title with a throw of 44.74 meters, while freshman Alexa Gardener nabbed third place with a throw of 38.70 meters.

It is impressive to see how much talent comes from the underclassmen, with so much time to improve. 

Overall, both of the Rutgers track teams were successful this past meet, and if that is any indication of how the Florida Relays will pan out, then the Knights are in a good position.

For updates on the Rutgers men's and women's track and field teams, follow @TargumSports on Twitter.

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