The Rutgers track and field program had its most successful performance at the Big Ten Indoor Championships last weekend in winning five individual titles. It was the most gold medals won by any Big Ten program at the event. RU had eight medalists overall, a staggering 23 school record performances and 63 all-time top 10 performances per head coach Bobby Farrell.
“I’m very proud of our team,” said Farrell. “We had a lot of athletes step up. It was the best indoor Big Ten we’ve ever had with the most medals, podium finishes and school records. But this was just the next step, we’re capable of far more. The coaches know it and the student-athletes know it. I’m excited for this upcoming outdoor season because we have high expectations for what these teams can do.”
The women’s team produced its best finish in program history. They scored its highest point total with 45 points to finish ninth in the team standings. The men’s team finished with 34.5 points for 10th place.
Sophomore Chloe Timberg won the pole vault title in historic fashion. She set both the school and Big Ten record in eclipsing the height of 4.46m (14′ 7.5″). It was her third career Big Ten medal after winning the Silver in indoor and Gold in outdoor as a freshman.
Rutgers won the Big Ten title in the long jump for both the men and women’s side. Sophomore Sincere Robinson jumped the winning distance of 7.77m (25′ 6″) on his first attempt. Rutgers repeated in this event after A’nan Bridgett won the indoor title last year. Junior Kristina Tossas also won the event on her first attempt which was also a personal best of 6.33m (20′ 9.25″)
Senior Nadale Buntin won the 200-meter title with a program record time of 20.73. In addition to his gold medal, Buntin broke the school record in the 60-meter dash with a time of 6.72. It resulted in a podium finish in fifth place.
Sophomore Alex Carlson won the Big Ten title in 3,000-meter with a time of 9:17.18. Carlson is the program record holder in this event as well as the 1,000-meter and mile, which she finished in second this past weekend to win the Silver medal. She finished with a time of 4:36.75.
Other medal winning performances at the Big Ten Indoor Championships included Chris Serrao finishing third in the 60-meter hurdles with a school record time of 7.74. Kassidy Johnson also finished third in the 800-meter with a school record time of 2:04.36.
In addition, Rutgers had podium finishers that included Justin Cornetta finishing sixth in the mile, Robinson finishing in a sixth place tie in the high jump, and Dennisha Page finishing in eighth in the 60-meter.
The Rutgers track and field program continues an upward trajectory that has been a steady climb under Farrell. With NCAA Indoor Championships the second weekend of March and outdoor season approaching, expectations continue to rise for the program.
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