By George Tatoris
For five straight weekends, the College track and field team has competed out-of-state — in New York, Florida and Virginia — but they returned to Ewing on Saturday, April 11, for their first home meet of the spring season.
The College of New Jersey Tri Meet, so called because its competitors are all from the Tri-State area, saw both the men’s and women’s teams sweep their competition. The men had 261 points, and the women piled up 249 points, more than twice the total of the second place team.
Sophomore Brandon Mazzarella was happy to be able to cut out public transportation from his meet day.
“You wake up in the morning, and you’re already at the meet,” Mazzarella said of the comfort of being home. “When the meet’s over, you don’t have to think about or endure a long bus ride home which is one of the greatest feelings.”
Mazzarella was first in his event, the 1,500 meter, with a time of 4:07.33. Just behind, junior Roberto Guiducci took third with a time of 4:09.67. During the race, Mazzarella said he ran with his teammates — Guiducci included — for the first half of the race before taking the lead in the second half.
Mazzarella was just one of many successes that day. Senior Michelle Cascio gave amazing performances in two events — she won the 200 and 400-meter races with times of 25.16 and 57.99, respectively.
Senior Abayomi Arowolo had breakthrough performances in three events. He won the hammer throw with a toss of 51.53 meters and the discus throw with a sling of 42.74 meters. His toss of 13.19 meters in the shot put placed him in second.
Both teams saw a one-two finish in the 3,000-meter event. Senior Jillian Manzo and sophomore Andrew Tedeschi took first in their own 3,000-meter with times of 11:08.01 and 8:52.57 respectively. Soon after, sophomore Lara Straub and junior Scott Savage took second in their respective races with times of 11:16.39 and 8:57.30.
In the 400-meter hurdles, senior Katelyn Ary, who was one of six Lions to go to Nationals for winter track in New York, toppled her competition with a season best time of 1:03.98. One benefit of a home meet, according to Ary, was the support from the College community.
“It was so great to run at our home track because of the support that the TCNJ community provides,” Ary said.
Mazzarella expressed similar sentiments.
“My parents and friends were able to come support and witness another day at the Oval Office,” Mazzarella said.
Ary wasn’t the only Lion to get a season best at the home meet — according to Ary, a plethora of Lions were able to beat season and even personal records.
Senior Joan Hales also had a season-best performance in the hammer throw with a distance of 43.84 meters. The effort placed her in first.
Senior Juan Giglio had his season best at the meet as his 4.40 meter height in the pole vault earned him first place.
This success follows five grueling weekends on the road.
“Traveling is fun, but there is nothing like our home track,” Ary said.