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Brandon Cruz Wins First Event For Track & Field Program as Wilmington Competes at Rider Invitational

Copyright 2019; Wilmington University. All rights reserved. File photo of Brandon Cruz (left) who won the 5,000-meter event at the Rider Invite on Saturday. Photo by George Kubas.
Copyright 2019; Wilmington University. All rights reserved. File photo of Brandon Cruz (left) who won the 5,000-meter event at the Rider Invite on Saturday. Photo by George Kubas.

LAWRENCEVILLE, N.J. - - Freshman Brandon Cruz highlighted the Wilmington University track and field team at the 2019 Rider Invitational on Saturday, becoming the first Wildcat to win an event in program history.

As a team, the men earned the most points in a meet this season, placing eighth out of 14 scoring teams at the event with 26 points. The women earned the most points this season as well, capturing nine points to finish 13th out of 17 scoring teams.

Brandon Cruz (Bel Air, Maryland/C. Milton Wright) etched his name in program history by winning the 5,000m event on Saturday, crossing the line in 15:56.33. He beat a field of 17 runners in the event. For the win, he earned 10 points towards the team's total of 26.

The other distance runners did well as well for the Wildcats, as Mark Corrigan finished 16th out of 49 runners in the 1500m event. He finished the 3+ lap event in 4:08.09. Manuel Suero raced the 400-meter event in 52:45 to finish 22nd out of 39 runners while he also finished 36th out of 62 runners in the 800-meter event, finishing in 2:02.42.

In the shorter events, James Keenan led the Wildcats in the sprints, running the 100-meter event in a time of 11:40 to finish 19th out of 43. He also finished 22nd out of 48 sprinters in the 200-meter race, crossing the line in 23.57.

Kareem Lewis Ra gave the Wildcats three points with a seventh place finish in the 400m hurdles while Daniel Loyo gave the Wildcats three more points in the triple jump, coming in sixth with a distance of 12.36 meters.  

On the women's side, Julia Merritt led the Wildcats with a seventh place finish for two points in the 5,000 meter event. She ran the fastest 5,000 meters of the season for the team, finishing the 5K in 20:52.87.

Dyonne Hicks finished 20th out of 52 sprinters in the 100-meter event, finishing in 13.18 seconds, the fastest time of the year for the Wildcats. Hicks also placed 30th overall in the 200-meter race, running in 27.47. Rosemary Gillam ran the fastest 800-meter event of the season for the Wildcats, finishing in 12th out of 42 runners with a time of 2:24.49. Grace Slate also set a PR in the 800-meter, placing 21st overall in 2:27.94.

The Wildcats are back in action this weekend when they travel to Bethlehem, Pennsylvania to compete in the two-day event at Moravian College. The Greyhound Invitational begins Friday at Timothy Breidegam Track.