Deajah Stevens Returning Home For Columbia Challenge
NEW YORK – Olympian and New Yorker Deajah Stevens will make her Armory homecoming this weekend at the Columbia East-West Challenge, January 27-28 (Friday-Saturday).
The East-West Challenge features the University of Oregon and UCLA taking on five East Coast college programs: host Columbia, Connecticut, Cornell, Harvard and Penn.
The two-day meet begins Friday from 2:30 p.m.-4:15 p.m. with 60-meter dash and hurdles races as well as the DMRs. Saturday’s events are scheduled from 6 p.m-10 p.m., beginning with the women’s mile and field events.
The appearance by Oregon is notable. Stevens, a Benjamin Cardozo High School graduate, raced frequently at the Armory as a prep. Last year as an Oregon sophomore she placed second in the 200 meters at the U.S. Olympic Trials and advanced all the way to the Olympic final in Rio de Janeiro, where she was seventh. She also ran locally for New Rochelle and Mount Vernon in high school.
Stevens is scheduled to compete in the 60, 200 and the 4×400.
The Ducks also bring Edward Cheserek, a 15-time NCAA champion, who has been dubbed the “King” of college distance running. Cheserek is entered as part of Oregon’s distance medley relay on Friday and in the 3,000 meters on Saturday. The Saturday race will also feature three members of the HOKA New Jersey New York Track Club — Kyle Merber, Johnny Gregorek and Colby Alexander.
Oregon is also bringing double NCAA champion Ariana Washington, who captured titles in the 100 and 200 outdoors last spring. Raevyn Rogers is a two-time NCAA champion in the 800 meters. Katie Rainsberger, Samantha Nadel and Alli Cash were all part of Oregon’s NCAA cross country championship last fall.
Cornell will have Olympic Trials hammer champion Rudy Winkler competing on Saturday in the weight throw.
UCLA will bring sophomore Rai Benjamin, who competed many times at The Armory for Mount Vernon High School. Benjamin made the NCAA final last spring as a freshman in the 400-meter hurdles. He is entered in the 60 on Friday and the 200 and 4×400 on Saturday.
Harvard’s contingent is led by Gabrielle Thomas, who was third at the NCAA Championships last spring in the 200 meters. In a loaded field Saturday, Thomas will compete against Oregon trio Stevens, Washington and Hannah Cunliffe.
UConn is led by pole vaulter Craig Hunter, who was fourth at the NCAA Championships last spring.
Olympian Donn Cabral of the HOKA New Jersey New York Track Club is entered in the mile and 3,000.
Villanova is sending its women’s distance medley relay team to compete against the strong field on Friday. Villanova grad Angel Piccirillo will compete unattached in the women’s mile on Saturday.
The men’s DMR features Oregon taking on the NJNYTC and includes a strong entrant from the meet host, Columbia.
For more on the Columbia East-West Challenge, including meet schedule please click.HERE. To purchase tickets please click HERE. All students pay just $2 at the door to watch the meet. The East-West Challenge will be broadcast live via RunnerSpace + Plus.