Top College Programs, 12 Premier Invitational Events and 4 Sensational High School Runners Set for 5th Annual Dr. Sander Invitational Columbia Challenge at The Armory
Robby Andrews, Sage Hurta and high school standout Juliette Whittaker will run in the 5th annual Dr. Sander Invitational Columbia Challenge at The Armory New Balance Track & Field Center. Photos by John Nepolitan.
NEW YORK, NY, Feb. 3, 2022 – The 5th Annual Dr. Sander Invitational Columbia Challenge is scheduled to take place this weekend, February 4th-5th, at The Armory’s New Balance Track & Field Center.
Honoring the life and legacy of the late Dr. Norbert Sander, founder of The Armory Foundation, the Dr. Sander Invitational has become one of the premier collegiate track and field meets in the entire country. In addition to the exciting NCAA action, several professional events will also heat up the track following last weekend’s Millrose Games.
“Dr. Sander, himself an outstanding runner in college, maintained a strong interest for student-athletes to continue their track & field careers while pursuing a degree,” said Armory Foundation Co-President Rita Finkel. “He would be proud knowing this meet that includes so many outstanding college programs would be named for him.”
Twenty-seven NCAA Division I teams are scheduled to take part in the meet, led by the host Columbia Lions. They will be joined by several of their Ivy League rivals, including Brown, Cornell, Dartmouth, Penn, and Princeton. Other top programs set to compete from across the country include Brigham Young, Iona, Maryland, Penn State, South Carolina, Syracuse, UCLA, Virginia, and many others.
There is no shortage of speed or talent in the 12 Invitational events, all to take place on Saturday. Sage Hurta looks to keep the momentum going in the women’s 800m, after running a personal best in the mile at the Millrose Games. On the men’s side, 2016 Olympian Robby Andrews hopes to rebound in the mile, where he will compete against former national champion Ryan Hill. Two-time national champion and Tokyo Olympian Marquis Dendy opens his season as the headliner in the men’s long jump.
Other names to look out for include Inika McPherson (women’s high jump), Joey Berriatua (men’s mile), Amere Lattin (men’s 400m), Dani Aragon (women’s mile), and Tori Franklin (women’s triple jump). All of these athletes and many more hope to put down strong performances in advance of this month’s USATF Indoor Championships in Spokane, Wash.
Four top-flight high school student-athletes will also be testing their talents at this meet. Three of these runners hail from Newbury Park, Calif., which just produced the greatest cross country season in high school history. Lex Young and Aaron Sahlman will race in the men’s 3000m, with their eyes on the national record of 7:56.97, set by former teammate and Lex’s older brother Nico Young. Aaron’s brother Colin Sahlman will race in the men’s mile.
Fresh off her victory in the Millrose Games High School Mile, Juliette Whittaker (Mount De Sales, MD) will level up against a pro field in the women’s mile. Whittaker, one of the top middle-distance runners in the country, has committed to Stanford University next fall.
The 2022 Dr. Sander Invitational Columbia Challenge will bring together elite NCAA and professional competition, while also giving a select group of high school stars the chance to shine. Reserved seating for this one-of-a-kind track & field meet is available and can be purchased HERE. Meet schedule can be found HERE.
The Dr. Sander Invitational Columbia Challenge will be live streamed by USATF.TV on Friday beginning at 9 a.m. and Saturday from 8:30 a.m.-4 p.m. NBC Peacock, the premium video streaming service, will broadcast Saturday from noon-2 p.m.