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Rutgers Olympic Sports have up and down weekend

Some good, some okay. Individuals shine despite team losses.

scarletknights.com

Gymnastics

The Gymnastics team opened its first Big Ten season on the road at No. 9 Illinois (I keep telling you that the B1G is good at everything!).  The team secured its sixth-best team balance beam score in program history with a 48.950, but still dropped the meet to the Illini, 196.175 - 192.775.  Head coach Lou Levine was satisfied with the showing.

"We showed a lot of improvement today, but have to keep working to get better each time out.  The performances on vault and beam were what we were looking for early in the season. Those events are carrying us now, as we have to catch up on the other two."

RU performed best in the fourth rotation on balance beam, with three Scarlet Knights scoring a 9.800 or higher in the event. Rutgers was led by a team-best 9.850 from junior Jenna Williams while classmate Claudia Salinas anchored with a 9.825. Senior Anastasia Halbig produced a 9.800, senior Luisa Leal added a 9.775 and freshman Elizabeth Groden landed a career-best 9.700 score.

01/24/15

Nebraska/Brockport/Southern Conn.

Livingston Rec Center

1:00 p.m. ET

01/31/15

Michigan State/UW-Oshkosh/Brown

Livingston Rec Center

4:00 p.m. ET

Women's Track & Field

At the Penn State Invitational, Gabrielle Farquharson won the long jump and set a new school record in the 200m. The senior Scarlet Knight was also a part of the 4x400m relay team that captured an ECAC qualifying time. She joined Alayna Famble, Bria Saunders and Christina Dibernardo in taking third in a time of 3:48.36. The Scarlet Knights also had a top three finish in the debut of the distance medley relay team.  Kaitlyn Bedard, Nicole Nicholas, Felicia O'Donnell and Celine Mazzi ran to a time of 12:29.49 in their third place finish.

"I think with a young team, the key is having the patience to let them compete and mature. Overall, I believe they competed well against very good programs from the Big Ten, Big East and ACC," said head coach James Robinson. "We will continue to grow as a team and improve our performances as the season moves forward."

Senior Gabrielle Farquharson was also named the Corvias ECAC Women's Indoor Track and Field Athlete of the Week for the Division I Metro/Upstate area..

The Rutgers women's indoor track and field team returns to action at the Metro Team Challenge at the Armory on Friday, Jan. 23.

Men's Track & Field

Also at the Penn State Invitational, Emeka Eze won the long jump and Rajee Dunbar was the runner-up in the 60m and set a new PR in the event. Eze leapt to a first place distance of 7.20m (23' 7 ½") in the long jump in his first competition of the 2015 indoor season.

Dunbar took second in the 60m and was edge out of first place by .007 seconds. Dunbar's time of 6.89 gave the junior Scarlet Knight a new personal best, best surpassing his previous mark of 7.08 at last year's Great Dane Invitational. Additionally, his time was only .08 seconds off the school record.

"We had some good performances. It is only our second competition of the season, so we just have to keep working hard to keep improving," said head coach Mike Mulqueen.

The Scarlet Knights also garnered three IC4A qualifying times in the 200m with Stuart Tweedie taking fourth in a time of 22.10, followed by Dunbar in fifth in 22.13 andJordan Jimerson in sixth in 22.16.

In other field events, Joseph Velez captured an IC4A qualifying mark in the weight throw going a distance of 18.78m (61' 8 ¼").

The Rutgers men's indoor track and field team returns to action at the Metro Team Challenge at the Armory on Friday, Jan. 23.

Swimming

Despite producing a first-place finish in the 200 backstroke and securing a 1-2-3 finish on the boards for the second consecutive night, the Rutgers women's swimming and diving team concluded its inaugural Big Ten meet against Penn State, falling to the Nittany Lions 212-138 at the RU Aquatics Center.

"I thought overall it was a great performance by the team," said head coach Phil Spiniello. "In our first glimpse at Big Ten Conference action, we stepped up and competed, which was fantastic to see." 

Junior Joanna Wu claimed first in the 200 backstroke with a first-place time of 2:01.51. For Wu also captured the 100 backstroke with a time of 55.80. 

Rutgers continued its dominance on the boards, sweeping the top-three scores in the 1-meter dive. The Big Ten Freshman of the Week and ECAC Co-Diver of the Week, Addison Walkowiak, placed first with a 285.40 score, followed by rookie Morgan Engel ith a 252.50 mark and sophomore Alyssa Black with a 250.25 score.

Rutgers kicked off the meet with a huge victory in the 400 medley relay.  The quartet of Joanna Wu, Greta Leberfinger, Morgan Pfaff, and Sarah Coyne finished at 3:44.84 to top the field, holding off Penn State's group with its touch at 3:45.31. The Knights showed their strength in the 100 breaststroke event as Leberfinger placed first with a season-high time of 1:03.41. Sophomore Rachel Stoddard followed in second, registering a season-high of her own at 1:03.94.

RU returns to the pool Saturday, Jan. 24, traveling to New Hampshire for its final dual meet on the road this season.