NEW YORK - As Columbia nears the heart of the outdoor track and field season, the Lions showed good mid-season form at a number of meets over the weekend. Columbia posted impressive showings at the War Eagle Invitational in Auburn Ala., the Larry Ellis Invitational in Princeton, N.J. and the Mt. SAC Relays in Walnut, Calif.
A busy weekend was highlighted by a school record run in the women’s 800m by Trina Bills who clocked in with a time of 2:07.21 in Princeton. Waverly Neer posted one of the best runs around the east region in the women’s 5,000m run with a time of 16:01.36 in Walnut, Ca.
Columbia competed on both days of the two-day meet at the Larry Ellis Invitational. Along with Bills’s record run in the 800m, the Lions were collectively strong in the men’s 5,000m run on Friday, April 19. Mike Murphy grabbed a runner-up finish with a time of 14:08.04 to lead three Lions who finished in the top eight of the event. Jacob Sienko came in seventh place at 14:20.31 and Nicolas Composto followed in eighth place at 14:23.41. On the field, Nnenna Okwara showed well in the women’s hammer with a throw of 54.46m.
On Saturday, April 20, the Lions returned to action to compete in a number of distance events. Caroline Williams took first-place in the women’s 3,000m run with a time of 9:47.72 and Mallory Anderson placed third in the women’s 3,000m steeplechase at 10:29.75. Fifth place finishes by Sophia Harrington in the women’s 1,500m (4:35.86) and Denzel Woode in the men’s 800m (1:53.36), also added to the Lions success on the day.
Nadia Eke led the way in Auburn with a win in the women’s triple jump with a leap of 13.22m. Eke’s jump of 13.22m stands as the third longest in the East Region to date this season. Also, placing fourth in the event was QueenDenise Okeke with a leap of 12.88m.
Another victory in Auburn came in the 400m hurdles as Susan Rodriguez crossed the finish line in 1:00.61. Sharay Hale put together a solid day with a fourth place finish in the women’s 200m run ( 23.80) and a seventh place finish in the 400m (55.53). The senior edged teammate Jaycee Parker in the 400m who placed eighth with a time of 55.58.
In one of her best times this season, Marvellous Iheukwumere earned a seventh place finish in the finals of the100m dash with a time of 11.88. Iris Chijioke also placed seventh in the finals of the100m hurdles with a time of 14.24.
Up next, the Columbia track and field team gears for the Penn Relays in Philadelphia from Thursday, April 25 - Saturday, April 27.