On the same day that Rutgers graduated the Class of 2016, a few of that class' members were unable to attend the ceremony as they competed at the Big Ten Outdoor Track & Field Championships at Nebraska's Ed Weir Stadium.
When you're good, you're good. Graduate athlete Corey Crawford continued building his legend at Rutgers with another Big Ten title.
Crawford, who is Rutgers'Big Ten Medal of Honor recipient, won his second conference title in as many meets, as he also captured the Big Ten long jump indoor title in February.
What an honor for Corey, who received the Male Big Ten Medal of Honor! https://t.co/LaEUQYfNlc— Rutgers Men's TF/XC (@Rutgers_MensTF) May 4, 2016
They may not have been graduating, but a couple of other RU T & F members were on the podium in Nebaska. Freshman Izaiah Brown and sophomore Christopher Mirabelli captured individual titles in the 400m and javelin, respectively, to close out Rutgers track and field's performance in the Big Ten Outdoor Championships Sunday.
Brown flew in the 400m, finishing the race with a program record of 45.27 to earn the title. The performance was RU's first outdoor conference championship in the event and was a personal best for the Brown. Brown previously earned the Big Ten indoor title in the 400m with a time of 45.62 in February. Brown's time is currently the fifth-fastest mark in the country.
Mirabelli collected his first-career Big Ten title with a throw of 73.24m (240' 03"), which came on his third attempt. It marked a PR for Mirabelli, who surpassed his previous best of 71.98m. Junior Matthew Krezmer took a third-place in the javelin with a throw of 69.08m (226' 08"), while freshman Greg Harnett placed sixth with a throw of 63.62m (208' 09") as all three contributed points toward the team total.
The Knights also scored points in the 4x400m relay, as Brown, senior Calvin Knox, junior Jermaine Griffith and senior Rajee Dunbar finished fifth with a time of 3:07.21. It was a team best in the event this season.
Host Nebraska literally ran away with the team title, outscoring second place Michigan by 30 points (140.5 to 90.5). Purdue finished in third with 87 points.
Rutgers finished the Championships in ninth place (out of 12 teams) with 43 points. That put them 11 points behind eighth place Wisconsin and seven ahead of Indiana. And while that may not sound great, it is growth and progress. At the 2015 Championships, RU finished 11th with 36 points. And two of the big performers for Rugers, Brown and Mirabelli, are a freshman and sophomore, respectively.
For the Knights, it was all about Gabrielle Farquharson. She was crowned the Big Ten Champion in the 100m, set a school record with bronze in the 200m and helped the 4x100m relay team to a new RU record on the final day of competition at the Championships. Including her silver medal performance in the long jump on Saturday, Farquharson has now collected eight Big Ten medals in her career.
Her 100m gold was her third Big Ten title having captured the 200m indoor championship in 2015 and 2016. Farquharson bested the finals field with her time of 11.43.
Farquharson added to the team scoring joining teammates Chamique Francis, Phyllis Gordon and Bria Saunders in producing a new Rutgers record in the 4x100m. The quartet finished in fourth place and surpassed the previous RU record of 44.71 set in 2013 at the NCAA East Regional.
Michigan and Minnesota tied for the team title with 106 points. Host Nebraska finished in third place. Rutgers finished in 12th (out of 13) with 29 points, three behind Maryland and 17.5 ahead of Illinois. The Knightrs moved up one spot from their 2015 last place finish when they scored only three points.
BIG TEN WOMEN'S OUTDOOR CHAMPIONSHIP
1. Gabrielle Farquharson - 11.43
22. Halia Rosemond - 41.39m (135' 9.5")
11. Bryanna Grant - 12.33m (40' 5.5")