Jan. 31, 2018
QUEENS, N.Y. - Entering the most-grueling stretch of the indoor season, the St. John’s track and field team will compete in a pair of prestigious meets this weekend.
Starting Thursday, the Red Storm will look to defend its team title at the 2018 Metropolitan Indoor Championships at Ocean Breeze Park in Staten Island. On Saturday, the Johnnies will head back to the New Balance Track and Field Armory in Manhattan for the 111th NYRR Millrose Games.
“Our team will be fully tested as we defend our Metropolitan team title, and Millrose Games 4x400-meter championship,” said St. John’s head coach Jim Hurt. “We are starting to get fully healthy so I am excited to see what we can achieve this weekend. Being the best team in New York and winning at Millrose would be a great achievement after doing both last year.”
St. John’s will vie for its third title in the last four years at the Metropolitan Championships, running on Feb. 1-2. The two-day event brings together the top collegiate track and field programs the greater New York City area. Last season, Maya Stephens won three events, while the team scored in 25 events on its way to the championship.
Saturday will mark the running of the 111th NYRR Millrose Games from the historic New Balance Track and Field Armory in Manhattan. The Johnnies will send their 4x400-meter relay team to defend their title from a season ago. The world’s longest-running and most prestigious indoor track and field competition will begin at noon, and will be broadcast live on NBC.
The Red Storm received a taste of the top competition that awaits them when the Johnnies competed at the Columbia Challenge last weekend. There, St. John’s saw action against four programs ranked in the USTFCCCA poll, including defending Division I national champions Oregon.
The Johnnies were led once again by Nyla Woods, who finished third in the weight throw. The senior registered a best throw of 19.63 meters, with all of her attempts but one finishing over 19 meters. Her throw also leads the BIG EAST Conference and ranks 28th in the NCAA.
St. John’s also saw Anointing Onuoha and Erica Graham score in the long jump event. Onuoha finished fourth with a 5.79-meter jump while Graham came in eighth with a 5.57-meter try. The pairing joined Duke as the only two schools to have two competitors score for their respective program.
In the 4x400-meter relay, the team of Torisha LaForce, Kafi Ottley, Leah Anderson, and Stephens reached the scoresheet for the Red Storm with a time of 3:46.91, finishing eighth.
Stephens and Anderson also put together a solid performance in the 400-meter dash, with Stephens finishing just ahead of Anderson at 13th and 14th, respectively.
Lillith Ida found the scoresheet for the Johnnies in the indoor pentathlon event, posting a sixth-place finish with 3,111 points. The junior won her 60-meter hurdles heat before finishing sixth in the 800-meter run portion of the event. Antonia Frazier also competed in the event, winning her 60-meter hurdles heat as well to finish 10th overall.
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