Track and field dominates Fordham Christmas Classic

The entire St. John’s track and field team opened its 2005-06 indoor season winning 11 of the 13 events it entered at the Fordham Christmas Classic at the Lombardi Center on the Fordham University campus Friday.

Blessing Egwu captured first place in both the 20-pound weight throw and the shotput with throws of 57’7 √æ and 46’7 √º, respectively. Both of Egwu’s performances meet the Big East and the ECAC qualifying standards.

Meanwhile, Kaydian Reid and Jasmine Barreto also qualified for the Big East and ECAC championships. Reid won the 500 meter in 1:14.7 while Baretto crossed the line first in the 1000 meter with a time of 2:55.7.

Kellie Brown took the gold in the long jump (16′ 8 √Ω") and the triple jump (36’5 √æ"). Tarashon Broomes was the winner in the 200 meter and the 400 meter, clocking in at 26.2 and 59.7 seconds, respectively.

Newcomers Phobay Kutu-Akoi and Venisa Clarke began their careers at St. John’s on a high note. Kutu-Akoi won the 60 meter dash in 7.5 seconds and Clarke qualified for the high jump at the Big East championships with a first-place leap of 5’6".

The Red Storm closed out the evening with a victory in the 4×400 meter relay. Thamara Cherisme, Baretto, Kutu-Akoi and Reid combined to clock in at 3:58.0

"I cannot recall such a strong overall performance by all our team members as we had tonight," St. John’s coach Jim Hurt said. "I knew we have the possibility of having a very good team, and our ladies have been working hard all fall, but the competitive efforts by each of our athletes this evening indicate that this team could be very special as the year goes on."

St. John’s returns to action Friday, Jan. 6 at the Fordham Invitational. The Red Storm will compete at the 168th Street Armory in Manhattan.