NEW YORK - The Columbia track & field team hosted the 2014 Lions Invitational at the New York New Balance Track & Field Center at the Armory on Saturday, Feb. 2. The Lions had a strong day against the nine-team field that included Albany, LaSalle, Maryland, Maryland Eastern-Shore, Monmouth, Penn, Princeton and the NY/NJ Track Club.Junior Nadia Eke was phenomenal in the women's triple jump for the Lions. The Ghana native captured the victory with a school record leap of 12.93m, besting her previous record of 12.91m set last year. First-year Anna Williams also placed third in the event with a leap of 12.20m.
Senior Marvellous Iheukwumere continued her strong start to the season with a win in the 200m run, posting a personal-best time of 24.17. Iris Chijioke added another Columbia top-10 finisher in the event with an eighth-place time of 25.48. Chijioke also placed sixth overall in the 60m run with a time of 7.85.
In the 400m, Jaycee Parker had a big day with a first-place finish, clocking in with a time of 55.65. First-year Brittany Wade was solid in the event with a seventh-place time of 57.63. Senior Trina Bills captured a runner-up finish in the 800m run with a personal-best and program record time of 2:07.04.
Gardenia Centanaro tied for first-place in the pole vault with a height of 3.70m and Madelyn Magee took third-place in the high jump clearing 1.68m. The Lions capped the day with a victory in the 4x400m relay. The quartet of Parker, Wade, Mariella McCormack and Erica Johnson combined for a time of 3:48.35.
On the men's side, sophomore Chancelor Griffin was impressive in the triple jump, taking the event in a personal-best leap of 14.72m. Griffin’s measure currently stands second best in program history, surpassing Pat Hort's leap of 14.69m set a decade ago in 2004.
Senior Harrison McFann grabbed a win in the 800m with a time of 1:49.91 and first-year Rob Napolitano took home a victory in the 1000m with a time of 2:25.84. In the 500m, Kevin Boyd led the charge with a second-place finish at 1:04.44 and Denzel Woode finished in fouth-place at 1:04.69.
The Lions were dominant in the one mile run with five runners placing in the top 10, each with personal-best times. John Gregorek led the way with a runner-up finish at 4:01.65 and Daniel Everett was close behind in third place at 4:02.64. Brendon Fish came in fith place at 4:05.54, Daniel Nestor took seventh place at 4:06.87 and Tim Cousins finished in eighth place at 4:08.32.
Up next, the Lions will return to the Armory next weekend at the New Balance Collegiate Invitational Friday, Feb. 7.