NEW ROCHELLE, NY -- Four gold medals that includes two each from the Iona College men's and women's track & field teams in two events highlighted the first day of competition at the MAAC Outdoor Championships at Rider University.
The first event the Gaels claimed gold on both sides of the meet was the 3,000 meter steeplechase as a personal best was also set. Rachel Garn finished her final split in 1:21.229 to earn the first place time of 10:33.28, eclipsing her previous personal best by nearly seven seconds. She also finished less than two seconds behind the meet record of 10:31.48, set by Iona alum Maya Rehberg in 2014.
On the men's side, top seeded Johannes Motschmann outlasted his competition by six seconds to put forth a winning time of 8:52.84 for the Maroon & Gold. Mostchmann closed out his final lap in 1:10.839, his fastest split of the afternoon. Additionally, he finished .48 seconds shy of the meet record of 8:52.36 by Iona alum Xavier King in 2015.
The final two gold medals of the day came in the 10,000 meter distance as Cassandra Gill paced herself to a winning time of 35:50.49 for her first MAAC title. Gill ran her fastest lap of 1:22.937 during her third time around while she closed out at 1:23.600. In the race, Julia Flower added a five-point, fourth place finish of 37:08.72 for the Gaels ahead of a sixth place time of 37:33.07 for Orlaith Moynihan.
Kieran Clements, earning his second MAAC Outdoor Championship title, edged out teammate Gilbert Kirui in the men's 10,000 meter with respective times of 30:19.30 and 30:19.59. Clements put forth a final lap time of 1:12.893, just behind his fastest lap of 1:11.033 to open the race. Kirui earned second place by recording five splits under 1:12.00. Clements previous outdoor title came in 2015 with a victory in the 5,000 meter.
In the same race, the Maroon & Gold added five points thanks to sixth and seventh place finishes from Thomas McClellan and Christian Alberico. McClellan ran a 1:08.997 final lap for a sixth place time of 31:24.16 while Alberico crossed in at 31:35.20.
Nine individuals throughout the day earned spots in the finals of five different events on Sunday after finishing within the top of the preliminaries today.
In the women's 1,500 meter, Gemma Nuttall leads a group of three into tomorrow's final with a preliminary time of 4:39.75. Meanwhile, Chartt Miller recorded the fastest time of the day on the men's side with a preliminary time of 4:00.83.
In the 800 meter, Julia Kearley timed a personal best of 2:13.87 to represent Iona in tomorrow's final while the men's team placed three in the finals, led by a 1:53.18 from Robert Kirsty. Additionally, Gerom Solis earned a spot in the 100 meter final with a preliminary time of 11.36.
At the end of day one, the Iona men are ranked third in the standings with a total of 33 points, with the women slotted behind 28 points. The Monmouth women accumulated 80 points to lead after day one as the men's team is also in first with 58 points.