T&F: ‘Cats topple New Balance invitational records

John Whalon

Last weekend at the Penn State National, the Wildcat track and field teams had a strong meet. Field competitor Robert McDade won the shot put event with his throw of 17.34 meters, putting him at the top of the Big East. Drew Eckman was the fastest collegiate 800-meter runner, and his time placed him first in the Big East. Sean Tully, a sophomore middle-distance runner, set his personal best in the 1,000-meter run and finished third in the event.

Frances Koons won the one-mile run and also reached the NCAA automatic qualifying mark with a time of 4:38.98. Koons’ time also set a new meet record and was the fastest time for collegiate runners in the country. The women’s distance medley team also reached the NCAA provisional time with their win and ran the second fastest time in the country.

Koons continued her strong season with another win at the New Balance Collegiate Invitational this past weekend. Koons won the 3,000-meter run and shattered the old meet record as well as her personal best, which had been 17 seconds slower than her run at the New Balance Invitational. The new record is her second NCAA automatic qualifying mark as well. The biggest surprise of the meet for the ‘Cats, however, was freshman Theresa Rush, who won the 1,000-meter run and set a new meet record, as well as a personal best, in only her third collegiate competition. Teammate Ellen Dougherty finished not far behind Rush in fourth place. Senior Monique Morgan placed fifth in the 60-meter hurdles finals but beat her personal record in the preliminaries with a time of 8.23.

Over the weekend, the men’s team also traveled to New York City to compete in the New Balance Collegiate Invitational, but the men’s 4×800-meter relay team also ran in the 100th Millrose Games. The team, which consisted of Mark Korich, Dan Tully, Sean Tully and Lewis Jenkin, placed second behind American University in the games. Korich, the Tullys and Jonathan Kolodziej also placed third in the 4×800-meter relay at the New Balance Invitational. Kevin Okolie continued his strong season by finishing in the top 10 in the 60-meter dash. Sprinter Elvis Lewis also finished in the top in the 400-meter dash.

The teams’ next action will be ton Feb. 13 at he much-anticipated Big East Championships in Akron, Ohio.