By Victoria Lyons
Coming off the success of recent performances at the Larry Ellis and Greyhound Invitationals, the track and field team is looking to make an impact when they take to the track in the Penn Relays.
A strong performance in this event springboards the Broncs that much closer to the MAAC Championships.
According to Head Coach Bob Hamer, the men and the women were competitive in many areas at both meets.
“We had several athletes that were waiting for a breakthrough performance and they were able to achieve that result this past weekend,” he said. “We had some ups and downs, but you need to learn how to deal with adversity at times and learn how to rebound and learn from the experience.”
Rider had a few winners from the previous meet. Freshman Anthony Dentino won the 5,000-meter, junior Erin Fitzgibbons placed first in the 3,000-meter steeplechase and junior Nicole Tassello finished first in the 5,000-meter.
“Anthony, Erin and Nicole ran the races according to the plan we developed for each of them,” Hamer said. “They were able to execute the race plan perfectly and then really race the last third of the race very hard to earn the victory. I am hopeful that this will contribute to give them confidence for the remainder of the season.”
Expecting the race to be faster, Fitzgibbons was a little surprised with her victory.
“I thought I was going to have more competitors that could run with me, but [I didn’t],” she said. “So I wasn’t expecting a win, but I’m happy I got it.”
The possibility of finishing first was unanticipated for Tassello as well.
“The heat made it really hard, but it was big effort,” Tassello said.
As for the Larry Ellis Invitational in Princeton, junior Mia Riley came in eighth in the 100-meter, earning an IC4A qualifying time, while junior Ashley Hunter was 24th in the 400-meter.
“Mia and Ashley are competing very well right now and we are hopeful that we can get another increase in their performance over the next few weeks,” Hamer said.
Other accomplishments for the Broncs include junior James Burroughs placing third in the 110-meter hurdles with an IC4A qualifying time at Princeton and freshman Nasser Zayer finishing second in the 1,500-meter at Moravian.
Also in store for the track and field team this weekend is the TCNJ Invitational, which takes place Saturday.
As for the Rider men and women competing at Penn Relays, they are ready to show what they have worked for as they enter the final weeks of the outdoor season.
“We are hoping to be very competitive in the events that we are in and that we can put the finishing touches on our preparation for the MAAC Championships next week,” Hamer said.