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Rutgers outdoor track & field continues spring season with handful of top 3 finishes

Junior sprinter and jumper Sincere Robinson leaps over a hurdle in the South Florida Invitational. – Photo by Chris Henry /

The Rutgers outdoor track & field team turned heads in its first few April meets of the season. The Scarlet Knights kicked it off with a successful outing in their last March meet, setting the tone for the next few weeks.

Sam Howell Invitational (March 30)

Rutgers ended the month of March with a short bus ride down to Weaver Stadium to compete in a meet held by Princeton University. Once again, the bulk of athletes that went were throwers, with a few runners tagging along.

The Knights brought two gold medals and seven combined top two and three finishes back up Route 1. Senior thrower and jumper Alicia Campbell took home her second gold medal of the outdoor season in the affair, placing first in the shot put with a throw of 14.48 meters (47' 6.25"). Campbell also finished third in the hammer event with a throw of 50.95 meters (167' 2").

Freshman sprinter Bryce Tucker was the recipient of the other gold medal, finishing first in the 400-meter hurdles with a time of 52.28. This is Tucker's sixth first-place finish of the year and his first of the outdoor season.

South Florida Invitational (April 5 - April 6)

To kick off the second month of the season, Rutgers had a pair of meets that split the squad between Florida and Pennsylvania.

The South Florida Invitational took place in Tampa, Florida, and was hosted by the University of Southern Florida. The sprinters and jumpers traveled down to compete in the two-day meet at the USF Track & Field Stadium.

The Knights had another triumphant meet, winning gold three times and coming in at the two and three spots a combined seven times.

Winning her first gold medal of the year, graduate student sprinter and hurdler Arianna Smith placed at the top of the 400-meter hurdle with a time of 59.55.

Junior pole vaulter Suzy Lacombe was responsible for another one of the gold medals, winning the pole vault by clearing a height of 4.00 meters (13' 1.5"). Freshman pole vaulter Emma Keating came in just behind her, clearing the same height but placing second because when two athletes clear the same height, their second-best jump determines the winner.

The other winner at the meet was junior sprinter and jumper Sincere Robinson. Robinson placed first in the long jump with a distance of 7.93 meters (26' 0.25"). Following behind him was graduate student jumper A'nan Bridgett, who leaped for a distance of 7.75 meters (25' 5.25") to place second.

Penn Invitational (April 6)

Rutgers then headed to Philadelphia at Franklin Field. The University of Pennsylvania hosted the meet, and the Knights sent the distance runners to compete.

Rutgers finished in first place twice in the one-day meet and recorded a second and third finish a combined two times.

The men's 800-meter is where the Knights notched two of their four medals. Freshman distance runner Gabriel Rodriguez placed first and won gold with a time of 1:53.21, while senior distance runner Gavin Richards placed third and won bronze with a 1:53.60 time.

The other two medals came from the men's 1500-meter, where Rutgers placed first and second. Sophomore distance runner Kyle Rakitis came in first, recording a time of 3:55.83, his first gold medal of the season. Freshman distance runner Micah Lawson came in second with a time of 3:56.62.

The Knights will look to continue their successful year as they enter the back half of the outdoor season.

For more updates on the Rutgers track & field team, follow @TargumSports on X.

To view more of Philip Jaccoma's work, follow @PJaccoma on X.

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