Three runners qualify for Tourney

Despite his team finishing 11th of
25 schools Friday at the Great Dane
Invite, St. John’s track Head Coach
Jim Hurt still walked out of the
Armory in Manhattan satisfied.
And it wasn’t due to low expectations.

The Red Storm qualified three
players at the Indoor Big East
Tournament. Asia Nettles and
Molly Ellis qualified for the
400-meter dash, and Erika
Lovely qualified for the 55-yard dash.

The Tournament takes place at the
Armory on Feb. 20. The trio
increases the number of qualifi –
ers to 10, which is already “ahead
of schedule,” Hurt said.

“This event went really well for
us,” said Hurt, now in his 21st year
as head coach. “We had another big
qualifying day. We were waiting
for the 400s to finally get it. It was
only a matter of time.”

Thrower Chanel King also inched
closer to qualifying for the NCAA
Tournament, as she threw the discus
17.16 meters, one meter less than
the NCAA provisional qualifying
mark of 18.75.

“She made a big improvement
in the weight throw,” Hurt said.

“She’s one of the best throwers on the
eastern part of the United States.”

The competition at the Great Dane
Invite featured two other Big East
teams. Seton Hall won the Classic,
fi nishing with 98 points, while
Villanova fi nished seventh with 37.50
points. St. John’s scored 22 points.
Toledo, Penn, Albany and University
of Massachusetts-Amherst rounded
out the top fi ve.

In order to participate in the Big
East Tournament, Eastern College
Athletic Conference Tournament or
NCAA Tournament, a player must
reach their qualifying score. It must
happen at a sanctioned event, but
can happen at any time during the
season. A player can compete in all
three of the Tournaments.

Nettles was confi dent she would
qualify for the Big East Tournament
eventually this year. The senior
qualifi ed for the postseason
tournament the past two years.
Yet, that doesn’t mean she wasn’t
nervous before the race.
“I get really really nervous before
I run,” Nettles said.

Nettles fi nished seventh in the
400-meter dash, but attained a
personal best 57.36 time. Ellis, a freshman,
fi nished eighth with 57.49.
“It felt really good,” Nettles said.
“It’s a big relief since it’s only the
third meet out. You don’t have to
chase the time, now you can kind of
relax and work on my training.”
Senior Sarah Fry also exceeded
a personal-best, as she fi nished the
3,000-meter race with a 10:50:64
time, 30-seconds less than her

Although Lovely, another
freshman, she wasn’t completely
satisfi ed with her time, even though
she qualifi ed. The race, which
featured two rare false starts, was
close. Lovely was neck-and-neck with Albany’s Feyisara Adaramola. As Lovely approached the fi nish line however, she held up, which she called a “rookie mistake.”

“I think I did all right today,” Lovely
said. “I think I could have done better.
My start off was pretty good, I came off pretty good.”