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Rutgers Olympic Sports: Let's discuss everything else

Track and field, gymnastics, swimming, tennis. Lots of stuff on the agenda. Even facilities.

Top billing this week has to go to Gabrielle Farquharson who is Rutgers' first ever champion in a Big Ten Track & Field meet.  Story is below.

Track & Field - Big Ten Indoor Championships

Women's Track & Field

It was a banner weekend for senior Gabrielle Farquharson as she captured the Big Ten title in the 200m, was the runner-up in the long jump and took third in the 60m, setting personal bests in all three events, at the 2015 Big Ten Indoor Track and Field Championships at the Spire Institute.

Farquharson reset the Rutgers indoor 200m record for the third time this season in capturing the Big Ten crown. She crossed the finish line in a time of 23.50, with a .06 margin of victory and bettering her previous record from the Valentine's Day Invitational by .12 seconds.

In the long jump, Farquharson missed out on the title by just .01m. Leaping to a distance of 6.36m (16' 2 ½") on her final attempt, the senior Scarlet Knight landed in second place.  She surpassed her previous PR of 6.31m set at the Metro Team Challenge and Penn State Invitational in January.

Farquharson picked up bronze in the 60m. Clocking in at 7.38, she was only .02 behind the Big Ten champion and .002 second behind the runner-up.  She was also named to the All-Big Ten First Team.

Ohio State won the women's title.  The Scarlet Knights finished in 12th place overall, scoring 24 points, as Ohio State captured the 2015 Big Ten indoor team title. In all, RU posted eight ECAC qualifying marks.  The Knights finished two points ahead of 13th - and last - place Iowa.

Men's Track & Field

The Rutgers men's indoor track and field team saw scoring from Emeka Eze in the long jump and the 4x400m relay team in its first Big Ten Championship appearance.

The 4x400m relay team featuring D'Andre Jordan, Jordan Jimerson, Stuart Tweedie, and Rajee Dunbar took eighth as they combined for a time of 3:12.13.

Eze also placed eighth as he reached a distance of 7.20m (23' 6") in the long jump.

Among those Scarlet Knights setting PRs at the championships were Christopher Banafato in 5000m and Brendan Jaeger in the 800m. Banafato captured an IC4A qualifying time of 14:26.56 surpassing his previous top time of 14:31.61 from last season's Colonial Relays. In the 800m, Jaeger clocked in a time of 1:52.29 taking off over two seconds from his previous best at the Valentine's Day Invitational. Jaeger's time was also an IC4A qualifying time.

In all, the Scarlet Knights earned 12 IC4A qualifying marks.

Nebraska captured the 2015 Big Ten Indoor team title. Rutgers placed 12th.  Out of 12 teams with 2 points, 35 points behind 11th place Purdue.

Track & Field Sportsmanship Awards

The Big Ten Conference office recognizes student-athletes from each team as Sportsmanship Award Honorees. The student-athletes chosen are individuals who have distinguished themselves through sportsmanship and ethical behavior. In addition, the student-athletes must be in good academic standing and have demonstrated good citizenship outside of the sports-competition setting.  Rutgers' recipients are
D’Andre Jordan for the men and Gabrielle Farquharson for the women.

Time to editorialize

We've been talking a lot about facilities lately.  So where is our indoor track facility?  Right, it's the bubble used by football and everyone else.  Including wrestling.

So, while I'm not calling for an indoor facility right now, let's think of who else needs facility improvements besides hoops.  Right...everyone. Below, our Big Ten-ready track and our Big Ten-ready tennis facility.

'Nuff said.  Moving on.....

Swimming & Diving

Senior swimmer Greta Leberfinger set a new school record in the 100 breaststroke for Rutgers swimming and diving on Sunday morning in an NCAA qualification meet at Princeton. Leberfinger posted a program-high time of 1:00.83 in the event to etch her name into the record books.

At the Big Ten Swimming and Diving Championships, Leberfinger re-set her own school record in the 200 breaststroke with a program-best 2:11.38. The senior had set the mark last season at the time of 2:13.06.

A total of six school records have now been broken in the 2014-15 season. Freshman Addison Walkowiak has added in two of her own, including a program-best in the 1-meter dive at a dual meet (306.90) and the 1-meter dive at a championship (305.25).

In the qualification meet at Princeton, multiple Scarlet Knights improved their times, including sophomore Rachel Stoddard and juniors Morgan Pfaff and Joanna Wu

Unofficial NCAA Qualifiers

Morgan Pfaff  400m Indiv Medley, 200m butterfly

Greta Leberfinger 100m breaststroke

Rachel Stoddard 100m breaststroke, 200m breaststroke

Joanna Wu  100m backstroke, 200m backstroke



at Maryland *

University of Maryland, College Park, MD

L, 7-0


at Navy

Naval Academy, Annapolis, MD

W, 4-3

In its first ever Big Ten matchup, the Rutgers women's tennis team was topped by No. 54 Maryland, 7-0, on Saturday afternoon. The loss snapped a two-game win streak for RU.

Rutgers moves to an overall record of 4-3 on the season, while Maryland improves to 5-4.

Following its first ever Big Ten match, the women's tennis team remained on the road, defeating Navy, 4-3, on Sunday afternoon, improving to an overall record of 5-3 with the win.

"Back-to-back matches on travel weekends are always demanding," said assistant coach Hilary Ritchie. "Our ladies fought on every court in doubles and singles. It was truly a team effort for us to get this win." 

In doubles action, the pair of juniors Gina Li and Mariam Zein claimed the first victory of the day at the No. 1 spot by a score of 8-3. Despite dropping the match at the No. 2 spot, junior Lindsey Kayati and freshman Lee Levy battled it out at the No. 3 spot to take the win, 8-6, and the team doubles point. 

Navy would go on to grab two consecutive victories to open singles play. However, freshman Chloe Lee balanced the match with a 6-4, 6-3 win at the No. 4 spot. Li followed with a hard fought 6-1, 6-7 (4), 6-2 win to return the advantage back to RU.

After the Mids took the win at the No. 2 spot, it all came down to the final match between Zein and Audrey Channell. Zein was able to hold off Channell by a score of 7-5, 4-6, 6-1 to seal the match for RU. 

Up next, Rutgers travels to Iowa for its second Big Ten matchup on Saturday, Mar. 7, before returning home to host Michigan State on Friday, Mar. 13 at the East Brunswick Racquet Club.

B1G Tennis Athlete of the Week

Melissa Kopinski, Illinois, Sr. - Palos Hill, Ill.

  • Guided Illinois to a 6-1 win over No. 24 Indiana
  • At No. 2 singles, defeated Alecia Kauss (6-2, 6-4)
  • Defeated Kim Schmider and Kauss alongside teammate Louise Kwong, 8-4



at Towson/Michigan State/Yale


2/4, 194.850


West Chester/Bowling Green/Bridgeport


6:00 p.m. ET

Tying a season-high mark with a 48.975 team score on vault, Rutgers gymnastics recorded a 194.850 to finish second in a quad meet Friday night at the SECU Arena in Towson, Md. Michigan State (196.275) finished first in the meet, while host Towson (193.750) and Yale (191.875) placed behind RU in team competition. For the Scarlet Knights, the 194.850 was the third time in four meets the team went over a 194.000.

"What it came down to is that we had a great finish and not the best start," head coach Louis Levine said. "We'll strengthen what we did well and work on what we struggled with tonight. We look forward to coming back home next week."

Senior Luisa Leal led the way for Rutgers during its impressive vault performance, posting a season-high 9.900 individual mark, the highest individual score for a Scarlet Knight this season in the event. Sophomore April Baker also secured a personal season-high score with a 9.875. Freshman Sahara Gipson added a 9.750, while senior Sara Skammer and freshman Elizabeth Groden each contributed a 9.725.

For the first time since 2006, the gymnastics team will be competing at the RAC in a quad meet against Bowling Green, West Chester, and Bridgeport.  Meet starts at 6:00 pm.

Big Ten Gymnast of the Week

Lindsay Mable, Minnesota, Jr. - Aurora, Colo.

  • Earned her tenth consecutive all-around title and also won three event titles
  • Placed first on the floor (9.950), vault (9.900) and beam (9.900) and finished second on the bars (9.900) en route to an all-around score of 39.650
  • Tied her season record of 25 event titles

Big Ten Event Specialist of the Week

Talia Chiarelli, Michigan, So. - Boston, Mass.

  • Recorded a first-place score of 9.975 on the floor exercise in No. 5 Michigan's dual meet against North Carolina State
  • Tied for first on the beam (9.900) and placed third on the vault (9.875)
  • Set a career-high mark on the floor exercise and tied a career-best mark on the beam

Big Ten Freshman of the Week

Grace Williams, Nebraska, Linden, Mich.

  • Recorded an all-around score of 39.375 at the Masters Classic
  • Earned a career-best 9.900 on the bars and tallied a 9.875 on the floor exercise