Jan. 20, 2013
NEW YORK, N.Y. - On the strength of a number of standout performances, St. John's track & field bested a 17-team field to capture a first-place finish at the NYU Invite at the New York City Armory.
The Red Storm finished with 147 points for the meet while winning eight different events.
"We are always pleased to do well at the Armory as it is our home away from home," said head coach Jim Hurt. "We hope for a repeat performance there next week as we seek a return to the top of the podium at the Metropolitan Championships."
Rikka Lovely starred for the Red Storm in the sprints with victories in the 60 and 200-meter dashes. Lovely ran a 7.62 second time in the finals of the 60-meters to best teammate LaTasha Collins who finished fourth with a 7.86 second time. Corrine Williams placed fifth at 7.79 seconds and Maya Lewis ran an 8.10 second time. Lovely would also go on to win the 200-meters with an ECAC qualifying time of 24.81 seconds. Lewis and Collins ran identical 26.63 second times to tie for seventh.
St. John's claimed the top four spots in the 500-meter dash with Claire Mooney claiming the top spot and qualifying for the BIG EAST and ECAC Championships with a time of 1:13.26. Shayna Presley, Trudy-Ann McLean and Nastasya Rodriques placed second, third and fourth and all qualified for the BIG EAST Championships. Presley ran a 1:16.08, McLean clocked in at 1:16.47 and Rodriques at 1:16.89 made for a close finish for second-place among the Red Storm runners.
Molly Ellis continued her impressive season with another victory in the 400-meter dash with a time of 55.55. Ellis has now won all three 400-meter individual titles she's competed for this season. Freshman Pariis Garcia placed sixth with a 58.37 second time. Ariel Gordon finished at 1:03.55 and Brittany Petersen recorded a 1:05.20 time.
A relay team of Ellis, Mooney, Lovely and McLean would also combine to go onto to win the 4x400-meter relay with a time of 3:49.08.
Freshman Veronica Thompson registered yet another 800-meter individual title with a time of 2:16.48 which qualifies her for BIG EAST Championship competition. Michelle Van Pelt ran a 2:29.10 and Autumn Edgar recorded a 2:31.77 time to round out the Red Storm competitors in the 800-meters. A 4x800-meter relay team of Michelle Duffy, Stephanie Van Pelt, Thompson and Kerri Butler came together for a 9:28.63 time that earned them first-place and gave the Red Storm a sweep of the relays.
Danette Hinton stood out in the throws for the Red Storm taking the top spot in the weight throw with a 17.74-meter toss. Ann Dagrin and Natasha Amazan also finished in the top-three for the weight throw and qualified for ECAC and BIG EAST competition with respective efforts of 16.40 and 16.25 meters. Hinton placed third in the shot put at 12.06 meters.
Veteran distance runner Michelle Duffy had her best meet of the season which featured a second-place finish in the 1000-meters. Duffy ran a 3:01.03 time in the 1000-meters finishing just a few strides behind the winner. Stephanie Van Pelt placed eighth at 3:05.84. Also in the distance runs, Jasmine Gomez ran a 12:56.80 time in the 3000-meters and Butler placed seventh in the mile run at 5:12.86.
St. John's returns to action next Thursday and Friday at the Metropolitan Championships held between Manhattan College for the first day of field events and the New York City Armory. Follow the track & field program all season long through RedStormSports.com and on Twitter (@STJ_Track_XC).