NEW YORK, NY- Select Wheaton College men's and women's track & field athletes competed over the weekend at the two-day New Balance Collegiate Invitational, which came to an end on Saturday in the New York City Armory. Lyon men combined for one school record, an NCAA Championship standard and a couple more near misses of national meet cuts.
The men's 4x200-meter relay quartet eclipsed a year-old program record, running to a time of 1:28.95 during a fourth-place finish among 14 squads. Seniors Mark Cimino (Danbury, CT/Danbury) and Merzudin Ibric (Revere, MA/Phillips Academy), junior Raiyan Banaji (Mumbai, India/American School of Bombay) and sophomore Cailean Robinson (Newton, MA/Phillips Exeter Academy) combined to finish 0.66 seconds faster than the fifth-place University of Pittsburgh foursome.
Robinson provided another highlight for the Lyons by turning in an NCAA Championship provisional time of 6.91 during the 60-meter dash trials. During his event, he took 28th out of 59 runners, 52 of whom hailed from Divisions I or II. He was within 0.06 seconds of the top 14. During another running of the 60M, Banaji and Cimino were ninth and tied for 10th, respectively, as Banaji's time of 7.08 left him 0.06 ticks shy of the runner up.
Senior Howard Powell (Brooklyn, NY/Boys and Girls) recorded a seventh-place finish in a 32-runner 60-meter hurdles field, as his time of 8.38 was 0.05 seconds short of an NCAA Championship qualifying time. He came within 0.06 seconds of the runner-up racer from the University of North Carolina while edging out a Duke University competitor by 0.01 ticks. Junior Mark Williamson (Vienna, VA/James Madison) completed the 400M in 49.61, falling just 0.26 seconds short of an NCAA time while coming within 0.35 ticks of the top 10.
On the women's side, Wheaton's 4x200-meter relay was 0.03 ticks shy of placing among the top 10 in a field of 20. Junior Laurenmaria Smith (Providence, RI/Hope) and sophomores Lauren Cardarelli (Cranston, RI/La Salle Academy), Didine Jusme (Providence, RI/Classical) and Mickey Jusme (Providence, RI/Classical) clocked in at 1:43.05.
Wheaton's squads are back in action next weekend at Boston University's Valentine Invitational. The women's meet occurs on Friday before the men compete Saturday.