T&F: Short trip to Widener yields seven wins for ‘Cats

John Whalon

The track and field teams continued their strong season last weekend at the Widener Invitational at Widener University and the Larry Ellis Invitational at Princeton University. Both the men’s and women’s teams were able to bring home victories in multiple events in both field and track events.

The women’s team claimed five wins at Widener along with several other top finishes. Freshman sensation Theresa Rush won the 1,500-meter run, posting a time of 4:36.29. Rush, in her first collegiate year, had a great indoor season and is continuing to excel in the outdoor season. Not far behind Rush was Katina Alexander, who finished fifth in the event. In the 400-meter hurdles, junior Arusha McKenzie, sophomore Jordan Sarruda and junior Kathryn Geissler finished first, third and fifth, respectively. The Lady ‘Cats also had second-place finishes in the 400-meter dash and the 5,000-meter run from freshman Makalia Griffith and sophomore Lindsay Kos, respectively.

In the field, junior Abby Smith led ‘Nova as she won the javelin throw and placed third in the shot put and fifth in the discus throw. Sophomore Thelma Akpan competed in the high jump and tied for first with a height of 5-feet-3.75 -inches. Sophomore Jackie Christie also grabbed a victory for the Wildcats in the triple jump.

The men’s team also had numerous top finishes and was able to grab three victories of its own. Junior Kevin Okolie, who had a great indoor season, finished second place in both the 100-meter dash, in which he was only .01 seconds off first place, and the 200-meter dash. Sophomore teammate Austin Casey also ran well in the 200-meter dash where he finished just half a second behind Okolie to take fourth place. Victories on the track came from senior Bobby Curtis who won the 1,500-meter run and senior Drew Eckman, who won the 400-meter hurdles. Sophomore Elliot Whaley and junior Patrick Gazzini also ran the 400-meter hurdles and finished third and fourth, respectively.

In the field, senior Robert McDade, freshman Matt Ratigan and sophomore Matt Papson all had an exceptional weekend. McDade placed second in the shot put and won the hammer throw with a throw over six meters farther than second place. Ratigan also competed in both the hammer throw in which he placed third and in the discus in which he finished fourth. Papson placed second in the javelin throw.

In New Jersey, exceptional performances in the 800-meter came from sophomores Sean and Dan Tully who finished fourth and seventh, respectively. Sean was just above the NCAA Regional qualifying mark, missing by less than a second. Senior Michael Kerrigan also competed at Princeton in the 1,500-meter run, took third place and was under the NCAA Regional mark.

Both teams have a big week ahead of them and will compete in the Penn Relays starting today.