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Rutgers competes in last meets before Big Ten Championships

 – Photo by Facebook

After they split up for the weekend, the Rutgers men’s and women’s track and field teams have been reunited at the Banks. 

Over the weekend, some runners traveled to Fayetteville, Arkansas, to participate in the Tyson Invitational hosted by Arkansas. The other runners went north to Boston, where they ran in the Dave Hemery/Valentine Invitational. 

Between the two meets, the Scarlet Knights had numerous finishes in the top 10, the majority of which came in Arkansas. 

For the men's team, junior Taj Burgess, school record holder in the 500 meter event, took part in the 400 meter. He finished in fourth place with a time of 46.39 seconds. The runner finished only .34 seconds behind first place finisher, Jeremy Farr of the host school. 

Burgess anchored the 4x400 meter relay team that came in sixth. Starting the race was sophomore Nadale Buntin. After Buntin came sophomore Jameson Woodell, followed by junior Semaj Willis, all before Burgess crossed the finish line, giving his team a 3:10.03 minute result. 

In the high jump, Willis placed fourth with a jump of 2.00 meters. Max Wagner of Michigan claimed victory with a jump of 2.10 meters. 

Senior Perry Christie, owner of the Rutgers high jump record, participated in the high jump invitational. He finished fourth with a jump of 2.16 meters. JuVaughn Harrison of LSU took the crown in the event. 

The women’s team recorded two top 10 finishes at the Tyson Invitational. Junior Courteney Campbell finished in eighth in the high jump. She jumped to a height of 1.72 meters. The Tigers' Abigail O'Donoghue won with a jump of 1.89 meters. 

Finishing in ninth in the triple jump, true freshman Claudine Smith jumped to a distance of 12.23 meters. Smith ended .69 meters behind Arianna Fisher of Missouri. 

In the more frigid state of Massachusetts, the Knights recorded several personal records (PR). 

For the men's team, junior Billy Hill ran the mile in 4:07.76 minutes, good for both his PR and almost the Rutgers record, currently held by Ron Speirs. The record time of 4:05.9 has stood since 1975. 

Junior Eric Barnes also recorded his PR in the 800 meter. He ran his two laps in 1:52.67 minutes. 

The final PR breakers were senior Cole Pschunder and junior Patrick Walsh. The two ran in the 3000 meter. Pschunder finished with a time of 8:17.94 minutes, while Walsh ended with a time of 8:22.06 minutes. 

There were other notable performances in Boston. Senior Patrick Warren finished 10th in the long jump. Sandwiched between two fouls, he jumped to 6.94 meters. 

In the shot put, there were two noteworthy finishes from the Knights. True freshman Kyle Lipscomb ended in fifth, with his furthest throw being 15.88 meters. In the same event, junior Adam Hunt came in 10th with a throw of 15.00 meters. 

In the women’s competitions, Rutgers had three finishers in the top five. In the highest finish for the Knights, sophomore Icisys Sadler found the podium in the 60 meter hurdles. Sadler came in third with a time of 8.75 seconds.

True freshman Sydney Hawkins ran the 60 meter and finished fourth after running the race in 7.73 seconds. Sophomore Iyanla Kollock was unable to qualify for the finals in the event but ran in the preliminaries with a time of 7.88 seconds.

The meets were the last competitions until the first championship meet, the Big Ten Championships. The meet will be on Feb. 28 and 29 in Geneva, Ohio. The weekend after will feature the IC4A Championships in Boston, Massachusetts, which will be on March 7 and 8. The indoor season wraps up at the NCAA Championships on March 13 and 14 in Albuquerque, New Mexico. 

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

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