AKRON, OH - The Rutgers men’s and women’s track and field teams kicked off competition at the 2006 BIG EAST Indoor Championships on Saturday, Feb. 18, at the Athletics Field House in Akron, OH.
On the men’s side, BIG EAST newcomer Louisville leads the pack with 37 points, followed by Rutgers in second with 29 points and Pittsburgh in third with 28.
Through four events of the heptathlon, reigning BIG EAST Champion and the Aéropostale Male Scholar Athlete of the Year, senior Trevor O'Grady (Wood Ridge, NJ) leads with 3,156 points. Junior Adam Golembeski (Torrington, CT) is in second place with 2,995 points.
Senior All-American Marquis Allen (Mays Landing, NJ) took second in the long jump with a leap of 24’1 ¾”, while sophomore Val Sisti (Lincoln Park, NJ) placed fourth with a mark of 23’ 7 ½”. Also securing early points for the Scarlet Knights was senior All-American Sam Segond (East Stroudsburg, PA), who finished fourth in the 35-pound weight throw with a toss of 59’ 9¾”.
The distance medley relay team of seniors Ambar Patel (Lake Hiawatha, NJ) and Tom Morley (Haddon Twp., NJ) and juniors Charles Simmons (Elizabeth, NJ) and Bill Hulbert (North Tonawanda, NY) finished seventh with a time of 10:03.04. Simmons also advanced to the finals of the 400m, while Hulbert advanced to the finals in the mile run.
RU’s trio of talented sprinters, senior Marcel Coleman (Harrisburg, PA) and juniors Rob Waters (Bellmawr, NJ) and Joe Porter (Franklin, NJ) each advanced to the finals of both the 60m and 200m dashes. Senior Ryan Westman (Bala Cynwyd, PA) will compete in the finals of 500m and sophomore Mike Snihur (Liverpool, NJ) run in the 1,000m on Sunday.
On the women’s side, defending champion Pittsburgh is in first with 34 points, followed by Providence and Syracuse, which are tied for second place (20 points each). Rutgers is currently in a three-way tie for fourth with Georgetown and Notre Dame with 18 points apiece.
Senior All-American Shameka Marshall (Mizpah, NJ) successfully defended her long jump crown, winning the event with a leap of 20’ 9 ¼”. Marshall also advanced in the 60m and 60m hurdles. She ran a school-record time of 7.45 in the preliminaries of the 60m dash and topped the Athletics Field House facility record in the 60m hurdles, running 8.37.
Senior Cycerli Ash (Beach Lake, PA) finished fourth in the 20-pound weight throw, recording a mark of 57’ 8 ½”. Senior Dominique Sanon (Bridgeport, CT) advanced to the finals of the 800m run, while junior Natasha Norville (Somerset, NJ) will compete in the finals of the 500m.
The competition will continue on Sunday, Feb. 19, at 8:30 a.m. with the completion of the heptathlon, and end at 3:00 p.m. with an award ceremony.