May 11, 2014
VILLANOVA, Pa. – Junior Claire Mooney added to her already terrific 2013-14 campaign by claiming her second BIG EAST title of the calendar year to lead the St. John’s women’s track & field team to a tie for fifth place in the team standings at the 2014 BIG EAST Outdoor Track & Field Championship, which concluded on Sunday afternoon in Villanova, Pa.
The Red Storm finished with 88 team points, tied with Butler for fifth, and saw five athletes claim medal finishes on the final day of the two-day conference championship meet.
“Our team battled the entire weekend, producing an array of personal and seasonal best performances that resulted in numerous podium appearances,” said St. John’s head coach Jim Hurt. “I am very proud of our team and staff’s hard work this year and look forward to additional successes in the weeks and years ahead.”
Mooney raced to her second BIG EAST crown in the calendar year as she crossed the finish line first in the 400-meter dash final in a time of 54.69 seconds, a shade off of her personal best of 54.61 seconds which ranks eighth all-time at St. John’s. The junior posted the fastest time of Saturday’s preliminary round with a clocking of 55.01 seconds. Mooney’s first outdoor conference title is also the Red Storm’s first overall since 2008, when Maxcine Foster claimed St. John’s last 400-meter dash crown. Mooney claimed the indoor 400-meter dash conference title this indoor season as well as the ECAC indoor title in the same event. Also lining up in Saturday’s final of the 400-meter dash, sophomore Pariis Garcia just missed a podium as she posted a time of 55.81 seconds which secured fourth place and All-BIG EAST accolades.
In the final of the 400-meter hurdles, senior Amber Allen produced her best race of the season as she claimed runner-up and All-BIG EAST honors as well as a silver medal with a fine run of 59.79 seconds. Finishing in fifth in the final was Red Storm freshman Christine Oguledo, who recorded a personal-best time of 1:04.63.
Senior Gina Frisa ended her St. John’s career in style at this weekend’s BIG EAST Championship as she claimed bronze in the heptathlon thanks to a two-day point total of 3378. Also competing in the event, junior Radiya Buchanan pooled together 2976 points for fifth place and all-conference honors.
As expected, the Red Storm scored big points in the relay events, coming away with a pair of silver medals following runner-up efforts in both the 4x100-meter relay and 4x400-meter relay. The team of Allen, junior LaTasha Collins and seniors Maya Lewis and Corrine Williams combined for a time of 46.90 seconds in the shorter relay race, while Mooney, Garcia, Allen and senior Shayna Presley broke the tape in 3:42.33 for silver in the 4x400-meter relay.
St. John’s produced two scoring efforts in the 100-meter dash final, as Collins was fourth in 11.77 meters to post an All-BIG EAST finish while Williams was eighth in 11.97 seconds. The pair also scored in the 200-meter dash final, as Williams took sixth in 24.72 seconds, Collins was seventh in 24.90 seconds and Garcia claimed eighth in 27.60 seconds.
In the triple jump, freshman Kenyatta Louis continued her impressive rookie season with a scoring seventh-place finish, as her first and only legal attempt of the competition was measured at 11.51 meters. Classmate Gabrielle Houston gave St. John’s another freshman scorer as she cleared 1.60 meters in the high jump to finish in a three-way tie for sixth, while Buchanan placed 10th with a clearance at 1.55 meters. Buchanan also recorded a scoring finish in the final of the 100-meter hurdles, as she took eighth with a time of 16.86 seconds.
One day following her runner-up finish in the hammer throw, senior Danette Hinton reached 35.82 meters in the discus throw to place eighth with sophomore Ann Dagrin finishing one place back with a mark of 29.42 meters.
The Red Storm’s 4x800-meter relay team enjoyed a season’s best outing as well, as the quarter of junior Natasya Rodriquez and sophomore Veronica Thompson, Michelle Van Pelt and Stephanie Van Pelt raced to a time of 9:00.73 which was good for a scoring, fifth-place finish.
St. John’s scored 100 team points at this season’s BIG EAST Indoor Championship in finishing fourth in the team standings. Up next, the Red Storm returns to Princeton, N.J., to partake in the ECAC Championships set for May 16-17.