March 20, 2010
QUEENS, N.Y. - St. John's opened the 2010 outdoor track & field season in a flurry, with four athletes qualifying for the BIG EAST Championships in five different events at Friday's Bulls Invitational on the campus of USF in Florida.
Competing against teams from around the country in an unscored meet, St. John's sported four different veteran athletes with career-best performances.
Coming off her eighth-place finish and All-American performance at the 2010 NCAA Indoor National Championships, junior Priscilla Frederick set a new career best in the high jump, hitting the 6 foot mark (1.83 meters) on her final attempt. The performance qualified Frederick for both the ECAC and BIG EAST Championships, as she finished in first place in the event.
Senior Asia Nettles posted a personal-best time of 56.97 in the 400-meter dash, finishing fourth overall. Nettles' time qualified her for the BIG EAST Championships in the 400-meters.
Junior Kim Piard rounded out those with career performances as she ran a 2:14.17 in the 800-meter race. Piard's time placed her sixth overall in the meet.
Freshmen sensations Stephanie Barnes and Rikka Lovely added to the number of team qualifiers in their respective events. Barnes qualified for the BIG EAST Championships with a distance of 11.63 meters in the triple jump. Lovely qualified both in the 100-meter dash (12.03) and 200-meter dash (24.82). Along with the triple jump, Barnes also competed in the long jump, finishing seventh with a distance of 5.44 meters.
Sophomore Chanel King
competed in three different events, her best being the shot put. King finished eighth in the shot with a top throw of 12.56 meters. King also competed in the discus and hammer throw, both events that are only available in the outdoor season.
Freshman Molly Ellis ran in both the 200-meter dash and 400-meter dash in her first career outdoor meet. Ellis' time of 57.89 seconds was good enough for eighth place in the 400-meters. Junior Rene Cousins also competed in both of those events, finishing 10th in the 400-meters with classmate Lauren Wynter crossing the line right behind her.
Along with Piard, four other St. John's runners placed in the 800-meter race, including Pamela Petruski (2:18.79), Sarah Sudbury (2:19.90), Nicole Cocozza (2:25.84), and Alexis Bean (2:26.21).
The Red Storm 4x100-meter relay team finished fourth and put together an ECAC-qualifying time of 47.54 seconds. The team included Lovely, Vanessa Thompson, Frederick and Nettles. St. John's ran the relay for the first time in 2010 as the 4x100-meter relay event is not held indoors.
St. John's returns to action next weekend at the Rice Invite in Houston, Texas.