Red Storm Wins Six Events And Honors Seniors At Inaugural Tom Farrell Classic

University Hall of Fame member Tom Farrell won two NCAA titles and set a world record in the 880-yard run during his time at St. John's.

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May 5, 2014

QUEENS, N.Y. – In its final tune up before the 2014 BIG EAST Outdoor Championship, the St. John’s women’s track & field team won six events and posted a number of personal-best efforts at the Inaugural Tom Farrell Classic at DaSilva Field on Saturday, dedicating its final home meet of the campaign to the Red Storm’s volunteer assistant coach and former world record holder.

One of the most decorated athletes in University history, Farrell as a St. John’s student-athlete set a world record in the 880-yard race in 1965 before winning two NCAA titles and representing the U.S. in the 1964 Tokyo Olympic Games and 1968 Mexico City Olympic Games, winning a bronze medal in the 800-meter in the latter. Farrell has served as a volunteer assistant coach with the Red Storm since 2000, working primarily with St. John’s middle distance runners.

The Red Storm also took the opportunity to recognize and honor its nine graduating seniors – Amber Allen, Michelle Duffy, Gina Frisa, Danette Hinton, Maya Lewis, Rikka Lovely, Brittany Peterson, Shayna Presley and Corrine Williams – during Saturday’s event, as well as a number of support staff members and program alumni who were on hand.

“We wanted to honor Tom Farrell who is one of St. John’s all-time great athletes and even more importantly a tremendous volunteer coach and human being,” said St. John’s head coach Jim Hurt. “This was a bit of a bittersweet day for us as we honored a great senior group. They’ve achieved great accomplishments in their four years here and it’s been great to watch them grow from young ladies to grown women. It was fitting to send them off in front of a big home crowd and we wish them all the best moving forward.”

“It’s great to be part of the organization and part of the team,” said Farrell. “We have great girls, a great University and I’m just proud to be a part of it.”

On the track, the Red Storm set three personal bests in the 800-meter run while claiming four out of the top five finishes. Sophomore Veronica Thompson was the winner in new a personal-best  time of 2:13.80, while sophomore Michelle Van Pelt claimed third in the event with a run of 2:17.55, junior Natasya Rodriquez was fourth in 2:19.00 and sophomore Stephanie Van Pelt fifth in 2:19.98, all besting their previous career bests.

In the hurdle races, freshman Chrstine Oguledo claimed the win in the 400-meter hurdles with a personal-best time of 1:05.78, while junior Radiya Buchanan was the runner-up in the 100-meter hurdles in 16.73 seconds.

Sophomore Ashlin Conroy added her 3,000-meter steeplechase title from last month’s Monday Meeting to another win at Saturday’s Tom Farrell Classic, leading wire-to-wire to finish in a time of 12:50.20.

Aided by a strong back wind, St. John’s posted a number of fast times and claimed nine out of the top 11 times in the 200-meter dash. Senior Corrine Williams led the Red Storm charge with a fine run of 24.61 seconds to claim runner-up honors, while sophomore Pariis Garcia was not far behind in 24.72 seconds for third and junior LaTasha Collins was fourth in 24.87 seconds. Junior Claire Mooney also dipped under the 24-second barrier in finishing fifth in 24.89 seconds, as did senior Amber Allen who claimed sixth in 24.90 seconds.

The Red Storm claimed victory in the lone relay race of the afternoon, as Allen, Williams, junior Shenika King and Collins combined to run 47.36 seconds in the 4x100-meter relay.

In the field, St. John’s claimed two event wins and a runner-up finish. Freshman Louis Kenyatta won the triple jump with a leap of 10.80 meters and was second in the long jump with a mark of 5.41 meters, while classmate Gabrielle Houston was the high jump winner with a clearance of 1.65 meters. Houston was also the runner-up in the triple jump with a mark of 9.68 meters while Buchanan was second in the high jump and third in the long jump with leaps of 1.55 meters and 4.54 meters, respectively.

Up next, the Red Storm travels to Villanova, Pa., to contest the 2014 BIG EAST Outdoor Track & Field Championship set for May 10-11.




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