NEW YORK – The Columbia track & field team posted some top performances while taking part in three meets over the weekend.
Metropolitan Championships | Results
A large contingent of Lions competed in the Metropolitan Championships, which were split between the Ocean Breeze Athletic Complex and Manhattan College on Thursday and Friday. The Columbia women finished in third place with 103 points, while the men were fifth with 58 points.
A trio of women were victorious at the Mets meet, headlined by Akua Obeng-Akrofi, Brittney Raffo and Katie Wasserman. In the 500m, Obeng-Akrofi took the tape at 1:11.48, putting her second in the school record books just behind Sharay Hale’s school record of 1:11.24 from 2010, and giving her the best time in the Ivy League this season. Wasserman was first in the 1,000m at 2:56.19, edging Libby Kokes who was second in 2:56.46. For Raffo, a clear of 3.35m (10-11.87) in the pole vault helped her top the competition for her first collegiate win.
In the 1 Mile, Allie Hays claimed second place, crossing the line in 5:04.46. Three underclassmen were able to score points for the Lions in the 60m Hurdles, when Simone Kirton, Alexis Turley-Young, and Lauren Micham went 3-4-6. Other highlights included Jillian Murray taking fourth in the 800m at 2:16.35, Maryam Hassan matching that output in the triple jump at 11.70m (38-4.62), and Sydney Groom finishing fifth in the 500m at 1:15.52.
Robert O’Brien continues to re-set his own school record in the pole vault, as the junior climbed the ladder to a first place finish. O’Brien cleared 5.20m (17-0.75) on Thursday, topping his previous indoor record of 5.05m (16-6.8).
Jacob Caswell and Jack Pihlkar were able to score eight points each in individual events at Mets. Caswell was the runner-up in the 1,000m, going 2:28.40, while Pihlkar tossed the weight throw 16.47m (54-0.5) to also claim second.
The men doubled in the 1 Mile run, as Chris Thompson took third in 4:13.13 and Tyler Otterstedt finished fifth in 4:14.18. Other points came from Troy Martig in the 200m (5th/22.52), Jake Tuckerman in the 800m (5th/1:57.18), and Solomon Fountain in the 1,000m (7th/2:29.80).
Millrose Games | Results
The women’s team ran a pair of relays in Saturday’s Millrose Games at the NYC Armory, against some of the top talent in the country.
Betty Jackson, Sydney Petersen, Obeng-Akrofi, and Iman Sule ran to a first place finish in the Metro College 4x400m relay. The quartet clocked the third best indoor 4x400 time in school history, aided by a 53.59 leg from Obeng-Akrofi, when they crossed the line in 3:42.80.
Columbia also put a team in the Jack and Lewis Rudin Women’s 4x800m relay, which saw a world record fall from Team USA. The Lions went on to take fifth place in the race behind Sarah Hardie, Bianca Alonzo, Terri Turner and McKenzie Sup at 8:47.70, which was the second best time in the school record book.
Villanova Invitational | Results
In the Saturday meet at the Ocean Breeze Athletic Complex, the Columbia middle distance and distance runners turned in some of the top times of the season.
Four Lions on the men’s side were able to score in the 1,000m, led by Alek Sauer who finished first. Sauer’s 2:22.09 was the fifth best effort in school history, and gives the junior the top time in the Ivy League this season at that distance. Sam Ritz finished fourth in the same race at 2:23.03, which is the eighth best time in school history, while Spencer Haik was fifth in 2:24.34, and Jackson Storey was sixth at 2:30.56.
The women were highlighted by Victoria Ingram, who took the tape in the 3,000m run. At 9:56.88, the senior put up a career-best effort, as she won her heat in over three seconds. Erin Gregoire also had a nice finish for the women, as she won her heat of the mile at 4:55.69 to take eighth overall.
Columbia has one meet on the schedule next weekend, with the Fastrack National Elite taking place on Friday, Feb. 9 in Staten Island. The Lions will take the following weekend off, before heading to Hanover, New Hampshire, for the Ivy League Indoor Heptagonal Championships, Feb. 24-25.