Top track runners set for Big East finals
Both individual and relay team members on the track and field teams hit NCAA provisional times this weekend at the Collegiate Invitational in New York City.
Senior Krista Simkins achieved her first provisional time and finished in seventh place in the 200-meter dash.
She ran 24.06 in the preliminary heats and knocked off .05 seconds in the finals.
Simkins also ran in the 400-meter dash, notching a 54.14 in the preliminary round of the event.
Simkins said she prefers to run the 400-meter dash at indoor meets.
“The 200 is difficult because the turns are so tight,” Simkins said. “It’s just hard to run it since I’m a little taller.”
Senior Toneisha Friday ran a time of 55.00 in the preliminary round of the 400-meter dash, meeting the exact time of the NCAA provisional standard.
Junior Christopher Cox ran the 400-meter dash preliminary heats with a time a 47.55. Cox was also only male runner on the team to record an NCAA provisional time.
The men’s 4×400-meter relay team of seniors Sean Morris and Kamar Ellis, junior Marvin Carter, and Cox sped to a time of 3:13.14.
They will be running for an at-large bid to the NCAA Championships.
The women’s 4×800 relay team consisting of senior Louisa Faye, juniors Alexandra Hehn and KeAira Dickerson and freshman Hughnique Rolle finished the race in their best time of the season, 9:19.42.
Head Coach John Moon said he was pleased with the performances of the relay teams and believes they will continue to improve.
“They have been slowly progressing,” Moon said. “They are nowhere near their potential and better times for them will come.”
Faye ensured a spot at the ECAC Championships by winning the 500-meter dash with a time of 1:15.05.
She also recorded an ECAC qualifying mark in the triple jump with an effort of 12.07 meters.
Freshman Nijgia Snapp won first place in the women’s 800-meter run with a time of 2:10.59.
Dickerson finished right behind her in second place, posting a time of 2:10.98.
Snapp was not the only freshman with a first place finish at the meet.
Classmate Ivanique Kemp came through with a victory in the 60-meter hurdles, finishing at 8.58.
Hehn qualified for her first event at the upcoming Big East Championships in the 1,000-meter run. She crossed the tape at 2:58.09.
Junior Nick Frimpong won the triple jump while achieving an ECAC qualifying mark of 14.91 meters.
Moon said Frimpong is still feeling some pain from a major operation on his knee.
“Nick is a phenomenal athlete even while he is injured,” Moon said. “He’s slowly getting back into form.”
The Big East Indoor Championships is next on the agenda for the Pirates.
The team has a little over a week to prepare for the in conference event, which will take place from Feb. 20-21 at the Armory in New York..
“We just have to continue to practice hard and stay in the weight room,” Simkins said.
Moon said he thinks the women are more favored to succeed in the event, due to an injury-stricken men’s team.
“The men’s team is a little beat up but, in a few events, we should do well,” Moon said. “Right now we are in a serious rebuilding stage.”
Moon said he hopes for the women is to finish in the top six next weekend in New York.
Gabrielle Kiger can be reached at email@example.com