It’s Valentine’s Day on the campus of Monmouth University and love was in the air for the Monmouth University Collegiate Open. Scratch that, SPEED was in the air… lightning-fast speed. Athletes from more than 16 Universities including NJIT, Rider and TCNJ descended on the West Long Branch campus for an indoor meet inside the friendly confines of the Monmouth Athletic Center.
The meet was MC’d by local running legend GP Pearlberg (also the head coach of Team Boomer, which fights CF through running). The upbeat, ever-inspirational Pearlberg shared his thoughts on the day’s events, “This is a great event in a great setting. A facility like this brings out the best in these athletes. A lot of these runners brought their A game today.” Pearlberg quickly thanked the supporters & organizers of the event and added “I saw a lot of strategy out there today! Coaches were very strategic with their runners.”
That strategy proved to be effective, particularly for runners from the Garden State. Despite an influx of respected out-of-state runners from Lafayette, Richmond, Manhattan and others, many of the events were won by local NJ talent.
TCNJ Junior Jon Stauber, took the tape for the Men’s 5000. We spoke with the former Colts Neck standout who shared his feedback, “I wanted to run as many 73’s as possible”. When asked about this race being a confidence booster, Stauber went on to say “Our next meet is conferences and I’m hoping to set a quicker time. Today, I’m just happy to help my team”.
Nasser Zayer, a former Rider Bronc, won the Men’s 3000. He shared his thoughts noting “I wanted to hang in there as long as I could and I picked it up for the last 2 laps.”
Across the board, superb performances were turned in from athletes from all the NJ schools. MU’s Domenick D’Agostino took the Men’s Mile in an impressive 4:17:57. Also winning were Fairleigh Dickinson’s Jenya Dyagilev (Men’s 500), Ben Boyd of Monmouth (Men’s 400) and Molly McKeon (Women’s Mile).
Overall, the Monmouth University Men took the team title posting an astounding 245 points. The Monmouth Women fought an impressive field throughout the day to notch second place honors behind the Quakers of Penn.
This well-organized Valentine’s Day event proved to be a superb one. The number of broken hearts was minimal, however broken PR’s…..well that’s a different story.
A special thank you to The Monmouth University Athletic Department for their access and assistance.