The Independent Student Newspaper of St. John's University

The Torch

The Independent Student Newspaper of St. John's University

The Torch

The Independent Student Newspaper of St. John's University

The Torch

Track and field keeps on rolling during historic season

Stephenie Van Pelt  broke a 31-year-old St. John’s record in the outdoor 1,500-meter event with a time of 4:27.10.
Photo: Athletic Communications
Stephenie Van Pelt broke a 31-year-old St. John’s record in the outdoor 1,500-meter event with a time of 4:27.10.

During the first day of the Larry Ellis Invitational hosted by Princeton University, the St. John’s track and field team continued to shine as they broke two school records and had a few athletes finish in the top 10 on Friday.


Freshman Izzi Batt-Doyle and  junior Stephanie Van Pelt both set school records in the steeplechase and the 1,500-meters. Marlow Schulz and Nyla Woods qualified for the USA Junior Championships in Eugene, Ore. in June.


“We had an exceptional opening day at the Larry Ellis Invitational,” head coach Jim Hurt said. “Our ladies continue to be impressive in their competitive efforts in all event areas.”


Junior Stephanie Van Pelt had already broken a school record in the indoor 1,000-meter run this past winter at the ECAC Championship and broke yet another record on Friday.

On Friday, Van Pelt broke the 31-year-old program record in the outdoor 1,500-meter event. She finished with a time of 4:27.10 to finish ninth overall. Van Pelt broke the record previously held by Margarita Sabogal, who set the record in 1984 with a time of 4:29.18.

“Running at Princeton is always fun.  It’s a fast track with good competition.  I did surprise myself with breaking the school record.  I knew I was able to do it this season but I didn’t know I was capable of dropping seven seconds off my time at once,” Van Pelt said on breaking the record. “But, the exciting thing about track is every race is different so everything is always a surprise.  I know I can run faster and I hope I can qualify for regionals this season.  It will be exciting to see when championship season comes.”

Batt-Doyle made her collegiate debut in the 3,000-meter steeplechase. She finished eighth but set a new school record time of 10:19.54. She beat the program record by 55 seconds, which was set in 2012.

Schulz finished in 12th place in the 800-meter run  with a new personal-best time of 2:09.91, which was the fifth fastest in the history of the program.

Freshman Nyla Woods earned third place and had a new personal best toss of 55.03 meters in the women’s hammer throw. Woods’ toss was the fifth best mark in school history. She arrived at the event ranking third in the Big East. Now, she is four centimeters behind Big East Champion Danette Hinton for fourth place on the school’s all-time hammer throw list.

Senior Natasha Amazan also set a personal best mark with a throw of 52.31 meters for sixth place and sophomore Ann Dagrin took eighth place with a toss of 51.68 meters.

On Saturday, the  final day at Larry Ellis Invitational, the women’s track and field continued to show their dominance.

Junior Pariis Garcia finished third in the first heat and third overall in the 400-meter dash, with a new personal best time of 54.29 seconds, which was the eighth best finish in school history. Junior Raquel Ricketts took sixth place with a seasonal best time of 55.06 seconds and senior Nastasya Rodriquez claimed ninth with a personal best time of 56.00.

“Our sprinters picked up where we left off last night, posting personal and seasons best efforts along with Big East leading performances and ECAC Championships qualifying marks,” coach Jim Hurt said. “As the weather warms up, so will our performances, so we look forward to producing some hot marks next week at the Penn Relays.”

Garcia also participated in the 200-meter dash and finished eighth overall with a personal best time of 24.48 seconds. Senior LaTasha Collins ran a season best time of 24.76 seconds for 11th overall, sophomore Shenika King finished 14th overall in 24.80 seconds, and freshman Maya Stephens came in 15th with a personal best time of 24.85 seconds. Also, Ricketts had a season best time of 24.89 for 18th place.

Freshman Chenoa Sebastian set a personal best time of 14.52 seconds in the preliminaries of the 100-meter hurdles to take 10th.

Sophomore Christine Oguledo ran in the 400-meter hurdles and had a personal best time of 1:03.08, which was one second off of the 10th all-time performance in the history of the program.

Collins finished eighth in 12.20 seconds in the preliminary round of the 100-meter dash. The team of Collins, King, Schwan and Stephens had a season best of 46.97 seconds for fourth place in the 4×100 meter relay.

Freshman Erica Graham competing in long jump taking 16th with a mark of 4.83 meters. Buchanan had a personal best in the triple jump with 11.18 meters for 13th.

The Red Storm is set to travel to Philadelphia for the Penn Relays on April 23.

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