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Junior Queen Okeke
Courtesy: Columbia University Athletics/Mike McLaughlin

Okeke Sets New PR In Outdoor Triple Jump At ECAC Outdoor Championships

Courtesy: Columbia University Athletics
          Release: 05/13/2012
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PRINCETON, N.J. – Queen Okeke set a new personal best in the outdoor triple jump on Sunday to cap a big weekend for the Columbia track & field juniors at the ECAC and IC4A Outdoor Track & Field Championships at Princeton’s Weaver Stadium.

Okeke cleared 12.60m (41’4.25”) on her final jump of the day to take third place in the triple jump. That distance currently is tied for 41st in the NCAA East Region and should be enough to qualify her the NCAA East Preliminary Round in Jacksonville, Fla. Her 12.60m was 0.28m better than her previous season best at George Mason’ Patriot Open Invitational.

Fellow junior jumper Uju Ofoche also had a strong showing in the long jump, taking second place at the ECACs with a 6.00m jump, her best of the 2012 outdoor season.

On Friday, juniors Mallory Anderson, John Gregorek and Pat DeSabato had strong showings in their respective events.

Anderson took fifth place in the 3,000m steeplechase with a time of 10:37.18. Her season best of 10:28.03 that she clocked at the Ivy League Heptagonal Outdoor Championships currently ranks 39th in in the NCAA East Region and that time should hang on to qualify her for the NCAA East Preliminary Round.

In the IC4As, Gregorek took first place in the men’s 3,000m steeplechase with a time of 8:53.29, beating his previous career best by nearly six seconds. His time at IC4As currently ranks as the 16th-fastest time in the NCAA East Region and it will qualify him for the NCAA East Preliminary Round in Jacksonville, Fla. His previous career best of 8:59.28 that he set at Princeton’s Sam Howell Invitational was 27th best in the region and also would have qualified.

DeSabato set a new personal best in the 10,000m, finishing in fourth place with a 30:14.16.

At the New Balance Twilight Series Meet #1 on Saturday in Boston, a pair of juniors set new PRs as well. Byron Jones ran a career-best 3:45.94 in the men’s 1,500m. In the women’s 1,500m, Erin Gillingham set a new career best with a 4:22.23, beating her previous PR by over two seconds.

On Monday, some of Columbia’s student-athletes will run in the Swarthmore College Last Chance Meet. Swarthmore’s Walter T. Skallerup, Jr. Track is set up with equipment for Olympic qualifying measurements. Nine Lions are trying to log times that would qualify them for the U.S. Olympic trials. Kevin Boyd is competing in the 200m and the 400m. Connor Claflin and Harry McFann will run in the 800m. Adam Behnke, Nico Composto, Daniel Everett, Mark Feigen, Kyle Merber and Mike Murphy will run in the 1,500m.

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