Track Starts Season Strong

The St. John’s men’s and women’s indoor track and field teams opened up their 2002-2003 season with a strong start last weekend at the Manhattan College Pentathlon and Throwers Invitational.

Sophomore Blessing Egwu led the way for St. John’s with two top-five finishes in the weight throw and shot put.

In the women’s weight throw, Egwu placed first with a toss of 15.25m while fellow sophomore Brandy Bradford came in third with a throw of 14.54m.

Both Egwu and Bradford’s scores were good enough to qualify them to compete in the MET Championships, which will be held in February.

In the shot put, it was another sophomore, Judy Owens, who finished in first with a throw of 13.10m. Egwu placed third with a throw of 12.09m.

“Blessing’s performance indicates that the tradition [of great throwers] is going to continue,” St. John’s Head Coach Jim Hurt said. “She didn’t compete last year and to open at those levels is fantastic.”

Also, in the women’s pentathlon, graduate student Axum Gaines earned first place honors with a score of 3,627 points and notched three personal bests in the hurdles, long jump and the overall event.

“That’s a great day,” Hurt said of Gaines’ effort. “It’s a testament to her hard work. She’s going to get better.”

Junior Alina Abramova came in fourth with 3,218 points.

On the men’s side, graduate student Jason Goulart placed third in the men’s weight throw with a toss of 16.92m.

Goulart’s score was good enough to qualify him for the IC4A Championships in March.

“It’s a great opener for us,” Hurt said. “We’re very pleased with the opening results and are very positive at this point.”

Both teams return to action on Dec. 13 when they travel to Fordham University to compete in the Fordham Opener.