WEST LONG BRANCH, N.J. - On a busy opening weekend, the Columbia track and field team traveled to West Long Branch, N.J. to compete in the Monmouth University Outdoor Season Opener from Friday, March 29 – Saturday, March 30. The season opening meet hosted 20 schools and 1,038 athletes. Both men and women’s teams went 8-1 in dual meet scoring, highlighted by eight combined first place finishes.
Columbia saw big success in the mid-distance and distance events throughout the meet. The Lions placed six runners in the top 10 of the men’s 1,500m run with Connor Claflin taking the win at 3:57.44. Brendon Fish (2nd,3:57.77), Harrison McFann (3rd, 3:58.77), Tim Cousins (8th, 4:02.30), Ben Golestan (9th, 4:02.45) and Mark Violone (10th, 4:03.07) also aided the Columbia dominance in the event.
The women’s 1,500m run also placed six Columbia runners in the top 10. Fourth through ninth place went to the Lions, including Aryn Foland (4th, 4:31.23), Mallory Anderson (5th, 4:32.64), Trina Bills (6th, 4:34.05), Madeline Rathbun (7th, 4:39.98), Caroline Williams (8th, 4:40.26) and Sophia Harrington (9th, 4:41.74).
Raul Silva Behrens posted another Columbia victory in the men’s 5,000m run with a time of 15:04.34. Three Lions finished strong in the women’s 5,000m run with Alexis Schustrom taking the win at 17:24.05, followed by Molly Dengler in fourth place at 17:35.04 and Irene Kalbian at 17:45.28.
Danika Simonson won the women’s 800m event with a time 2:15.13 and Nicole Bauer claimed third place at 2:17.95. The men’s 800m run saw Sam Miner take third place with a time of 1:54.45, followed by Denzel Woode in fourth place at 1:54.54.
Columbia put together a number of winning performances in the relay events. The foursome of Mallory Anderson, Aryn Foland, Emma Giantisco and Patricia Reilly took first place in the women’s 4x800m relay with a time of 9:19.62. Another relay win in the women’s 4x400m saw the quartet of Susan Rodriguez, Trina Bills, Maura McKendrick, and Madeline Rathbun combine for a time of 3:59.79.
The men’s 4x400m relay added a victory when the squad of Kevin Boyd, Connor Claflin, Yelnats Calvin and Harrison Mcfann clocked in with a time of 3:19.31. In second place, the Columbia foursome of Denzel Woode, Brendon Fish, Sahir Raoof and Brendan Donley finished with a time of 3:22.31.
Susan Rodriguez claimed a runner-up finish in the 400m hurdles with a time of 1:01.28 and Trevor Bell placed seventh in the men’s 100m dash at 11.45. In a field of 61 runners, Declan Starrett posted an 18th-place time of 23.58 in the 200m dash.
In the field events, the Lions posted several solid performances including a victory in the women’s triple jump. With a leap of 12.25m, Addy Sonaike grabbed first place and Alexis Kodie Yeboah placed second with a leap of 11.32m. The women’s hammer throw saw a runner-up finish by Nnenna Okwara with a measured throw of 51.79m and Joanna Koronios took sixth place with a throw of 47.18m. Koronios went on to place fifth in the women’s discuss throw with a measure of 41.43m.
On the men’s side of the field events, Chancelor Griffin led the way for Columbia with a second place finish in the men’s triple jump with a leap of 13.92m Trevor Bell added a fourth place finish with a leap of 13.30m. Duncan Dickerson claimed third place in the men’s hammer throw with a measure of 54.45m.
Up next, the Columbia track and field team will compete in the Sam Howell Invitational in Princeton, N.J. from Friday, April 5 – Saturday, April 6.