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Track and Field Sets Records in Florida and Princeton

Laura Williams ran .02 shy of a new 400-meter hurdles school record as the Monmouth University women’s and men’s track and field teams opened competition at the Florida Relays hosted by the University of Florida, Friday afternoon. Vincent Elardo and Vincent DuVernois paced the men’s squad, landing top-four finishes in the discus and javelin, respectively. At Princeton’s Sam Howell Invitational, Qiyana Hill’s mark of 43.11 (141’ 5”) broke her own school record in the discus, while Khari Bowen finished the 5,000-meter run in 14.42 to set the new MU freshman standard.

In a field of 56 sprinters, Williams crossed the finish line in 1:00.03 in the 400-meter hurdles, good for 20th overall. Her time sits second all-time in the Monmouth record books, .02 seconds shy of Latasha Dickson’s 2007 time of 1:00.01. Rachel Watkins ran her personal best of 1:01.02 in the event.

Watkins cleared 1.70m (5’ 7”) in the high jump followed by senior Lindsey Walsh (Mount Laurel, N.J./Lenape), who landed a jump of 1.65m (5’ 5”).

Jennifer Nelson ran her way to third all-time in program history in the 1,500-meter run, clocking in at 4:36.86 for 25th overall in a field of over 40 competitors.

Elardo took third in the discus finals, landing a throw of 50.70m (166’ 4”), while also earning sixth in the hammer throw, hurling for 56.36m (184’ 11”).

DuVernois took fourth overall in the javelin as last season’s All- American launched a mark of 67.02 (219’ 10”).

The MU women’s 4×800 and distance medley teams set new school records, while the men’s sprint medley squad set a new program mark as the Florida Relays came to a close, Saturday afternoon. In the final day of the Sam Howell Invitational host by Princeton University, senior captain Jessica Toritto (Smithtown, N.Y./Smithtown East) qualified for the ECAC Championships in May to lead the corps of throwers who landed stellar marks on the afternoon.

“Florida Relays was a great experience for our team,” said head coach Joe Compagni following the events. “There were more than a dozen Olympians in action along with the top college teams in the nation and our athletes took advantage of that with some excellent performances.”

The women’s 4×800 team consisting of Amanda Eller, Emily MacEwen, Danielle Toritto and Ali Hehn crossed the finish line in 9:09.76, which landed the relay in sixth overall, and atop of the Hawks’ record books in the event, erasing last year’s time of 9:15.87.

Eller, Hehn, and MacEwen teamed up with Jennifer Nelson in the distance medley relay to run 12:06.26, shattering the 2001 record of 12:14.53. The new Monmouth record holders finished sixth overall.

The sprint medley relay of Geoff Navarro, Jon Marques (and Ford Palmer ran 3:24.63 for 10th overall. The team’s mark breaks Bob Shapson, John Werner, Bill Ott, and Felix Olivo’s 1998 record of 3:28.75.

The women’s 4×400 relay team of Rachel Watkins, Colleen Rutecki, Lindsey Walsh and Laura Williams ran a ECAC qualifying time of 3:50.61.

Vincent Elardo claimed seventh in men’s invitational shot put, landing a throw of 17.35m (56’ 11.25”). In the open shot put competition, Errol Jeffrey finished second overall with a mark of 17.11m (56’ 1.75”), while Shane Carle registered a throw of 15.96m (52’ 4.50”) for eighth.

Competing at Princeton, Symmone Fisher landed a throw of 54.78m (179’ 9”) in the hammer to finish second overall, followed by Toritto, who claimed fifth and qualified for the ECAC Championships with her mark of 51.07m (167’ 8”).

Ann Marie Moccia registered a second place finish in the javelin, registering a toss of 39.37m (129’ 2”).

Qiyana Hill continued the trend by the throwers at Princeton, earning a second place result in the discus, hurling for 43.11m (141’ 5”).

Alison Day cleared 1.65m (5’ 5”) in the high jump to claim third. For the men’s squad, Taylor Bernstein posted a throw of 44.55m (146’ 2”) in the discus to finish in third.

Jake Bartlett landed in first place in the high jump, clearing 1.99m (6’ 6.25”) followed by Ed Kramer and Erik Anderson who shared second with a mark of 1.94m (6’ 4.25”).

Monmouth is back in action next weekend at the Rider Invitational and Bison Outdoor Classic.