All of the men’s track and field athletes for Rutgers saw their events take place on Wednesday night at the NCAA Outdoor Championships. 2017 Hammer Throw national champion Rudy Winkler competed in the Finals of his event and all of the track athletes took part in the semifinal heats in their respective races. Overall, while you could argue each had higher expectations for themselves than what the final results actually were, it’s hard to be disappointed with six athletes earning All-American status. Here is a recap of the NCAA Track & Field Outdoor Championships for Rutgers.
A second consecutive national title was not in the cards for Winkler, as he finished in 4th place out of a field of twenty-four athletes. Even though he didn’t win another national championship, Winkler left his mark in just one season at Rutgers. He shattered the all-time program mark three times, the last coming with a record setting performance at the Big Ten Championships last month. In addition, the 2016 Olympian ends his collegiate career as a four-time First Team All-American. As Winkler told our Jim Hoffman in this interview earlier this week, his next goal is to make a second Olympic appearance in 2020 after completing his graduate degree at Rutgers next year. Good luck to Rudy!
Four-time All-American!! Rudy Winkler advances to the final of the hammer throw at the #NCAATF Championships - finishing fourth in the nation with a throw of 72.74m (238' 8"). Winkler will collect First Team All-America status for the fourth straight season! #RUMTF pic.twitter.com/oPtX0qdYnX— Rutgers Men's TF/XC (@Rutgers_MensTF) June 6, 2018
The freshman who finished fourth in the 400m Hurdles at the Big Ten Championships in May, held his own on Wednesday at historic Hayward Field. Madeus finished 12th out of twenty-four competitors, earning Second Team All-American status. He spoke about all that he learned during his freshman campaign in our interview with him earlier this week and proved he is an athlete to keep a close eye on at Rutgers the rest of his career.
Burgess had some electrifying moments in his debut outdoor season on the track for Rutgers, including a second place finish in the 400m at the Big Ten Championships. On Wednesday, Burgess ended his freshman campaign with a 16th place finish at the NCAA Championships, earning Second Team All-America status.
4X400 Relay Team
While Burgess was expected to anchor the 4X400 relay for Rutgers at the NCAA Championships, a role he has excelled in and spoke about earlier in the week here, he ended up not running in the team event on Wednesday. The specific reason is not known at this time. Junior Zo Aris replaced Burgess and alongside the other three regulars in Madeus, Jermaine Griffith, and Izaiah Brown, Rutgers placed 11th out of twenty-four teams. That shows the depth that the Scarlet Knights have in this event. It was still a solid showing and earned the foursome Second Team All-American status. For Madeus, it was double All-American recognition, capping off a tremendous freshman season at Rutgers.
Relive #RUMTF 4x400 relay collect Second Team All-America status at the NCAA Championships. The quartet of Jermaine Griffith, Zo Aris, Boaz Madeus, and Izaiah Brown finished 11th in the nation with time of 3:06.30! pic.twitter.com/XcPoCTeYDJ— Rutgers Men's TF/XC (@Rutgers_MensTF) June 8, 2018
Overall, while Winkler failed to earn the first individual national championship for Rutgers since sabre fencer Alexis Jemal won in 2003, he completed one of the more memorable seasons for a Scarlet Knight in track & field in some time. In addition, two promising freshman in Madeus and Burgess gave Rutgers fans plenty to hope for in the future, while the relay team put up a respectable showing. This meet also marked the end of Jermaine Griffith’s time at Rutgers, who earned All-America status on four different occasions during his collegiate career. Izaiah Brown, the two-time Big Ten Indoor champion in the 400m, is expected back for his senior season next year. Along with Madeus and Burgess, there is a lot to look forward to with the men’s track and field program.