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Men and Women’s Track Record First Place Finishes at Rider

On Saturday afternoon, both the Monmouth University men’s and women’s track and field squads claimed the team title at the Rider Invitational in Lawrenceville, N.J., while a trio of distance runners competed at the Bison Outdoor Classic at Bucknell University, which included ECAC qualifying marks for a pair of Hawks.

On the men’s side at Rider, Monmouth (266) defeated the host Broncs by 115 points to take home the trophy, while the Monmouth women (234) topped NEC foe Sacred Heart by 37 points to claim the top spot.

“We needed to take a step forward as a team this weekend, and for the most part we definitely did that,” commented Head Coach Joe Compagni. “We still need to get stronger in some areas, but overall it was a very positive day.”

The Monmouth men scored in 20 of 20 events, winning all three relays, two individual events on the track and six field events to highlight the day. Senior Vincent Elardo won three events – shot put, discus and hammer throw, all with performances that move him up among the top performers in the East.

Junior Ford Palmer qualified for IC4As in the 800, pulling away late in the race to win in 1:51.73, a time that ranks fifth in school history. Palmer came back later to anchor the winning 4×800 relay, joining with Colin McDonald, Andrew Langille, and Garth DeBlasio to win in 7:51.50.

The Hawks also won the 4×100 relay, with Josh Lewis, Geoff Navarro, Mike Drake and Ben Boyd running 41.78, while the 4×400 team made it a clean sweep of the relays, with Aaron Aquino, Jon Marques, Bayaan Oluy­adi and Joe DiBianca closing out the day with a win in 3:18.35.

Freshman Zach Torrell picked up his first collegiate win with a personal best of 203’2” in the javelin, leading the way for a 1-2-3 sweep for MU in the event, while the Hawks posted a 1-2-3 finish in the high jump, behind Jake Bartlett, Ed Kramer and Erik Anderson.

Sophomore Errol Jeffery joined Elardo as an IC4A qualifier in the discus, throwing 156’11” to take sec­ond.

The Hawks also finished 1-2 in the 5K late in the meet by Sean Hartnett and Ryan Mulligan to help the Hawks pull away for the win. Senior captain Pete Matano also took home a victory for Monmouth in the pole vault.

The Monmouth women scored in 18 of 20 events, sweeping the top three places in three events – the 400 hurdles, 100 hurdles and the high jump, while winning two others.

Pacing the Hawks, junior Rachel Watkins claimed first place in the 400 hurdles, a tie for first in the 100 hurdles and posted a second place finish in the high jump. Sophomore Qiyana Hill broke her own school record in the discus for the third time this season, throwing 143’0” to finish second, while teammate freshman Taylor Johnson third in the event with a throw of 133’8”.

Hill also placed eighth with a personal best in the hammer throw, with senior captain Jessica Toritto leading the way with a third place finish in the event.

Sophomore Rachel Aliotta won the shot put, moving into fourth in school history with a throw of 44’9.5”, while junior Anne Marie Moccia and sophomore Haley Knaub finished 1-2 in the javelin.

The Monmouth women’s 4×100 relay of Lauren McDonald, Es­teem Winder, Kafi Daughtry and Ajda Dotday finished first in a time of 49:39, while the 4×400 team of Ali Hehn, Amanda Eller, Megan Patrick and Jessica Maguire claimed second place at 4:02.36. The 4×800 team of Lucia Montefusco, Lyndsy Horn, Mackenzie Roche and Stacey Lepes claimed fifth position with a time of 10:04.57.

In Lewisburg, Pennsylvania, senior Jennifer Nelson posted an ECAC qualifying time of 17:08.41 in the women’s 5,000 meter run, shattering her own school record, finishing sixth overall and fifth among collegiate athletes. Junior Kelsey Maher did the same in the women’s 10,000 meter run, posting a time of 37:33.64, to move into the top-ten in school history. Not far behind was senior captain Juliet Smith, who raced to a 38:47.95 in the 10K to join Maher as one of the best in school history in the event.