By Ryan Connelly
Both the men’s and women’s track and field teams placed first in the five-way meet that was hosted by Rider on March 31.
The men’s team combined for a total of 250 points, with the next closest opponent being St. Joseph’s at 93.
“We had a really strong day today,” said Head Coach Bob Hamer. “It was filled with many wins and [personal records] by both teams. I was really pleased with the effort, and it appears as though we are progressing along from the indoor season.”
Junior Russell Malko had two first place finishes in the 200- and 400-meter dashes, with times of 22.56 and 48.64 seconds. Freshman Marcquis Smallwood won the 100 with an 11.12-second sprint.
Senior Anthony Ardino came home with gold in the 800 with a time of 1:54.35. Senior Danniel Belay placed second in the 1500 with a Intercollegiate Association of Amateur Athletes of America (IC4A)-qualifying 3:55.31.
Rider managed to sweep all the hurdle races, placing first in the 110 and 400, as well as the 3000-meter steeplechase. Senior Christin Patrick won the 110 with a run of 15.30. Not only did Patrick come out on top in the hurdles, he also captured a first place victory in the high jump with a height of 2.02 meters. Patrick was named MAAC Men’s Field Performer of the Week after the pair of first-place finishes.
For the 400, freshman Christian Wiedman crossed the line first with a time of 56.13, and in the steeplechase, senior Bradley Kaufmann did the same with his run of 9:35.61.
Junior Michael Horn was able to secure a win in the triple jump with a distance of 14.39 meters.
Rider truly shined in the throwing portion of the meet. Freshman Adam Maid placed first in the shot put with a throw of 15.55 meters. Junior Cody Campbell won gold in discus with a 41.10-meter hurl. Although the Broncs didn’t win the hammer throw, they had four members place in the top five. For javelin, freshman Stephen Chesonis came in first with his throw of 54.24 meters.
The women’s team also had a stellar performance, scoring 238 points. The St. Joseph’s women’s team was the next closest, putting up 143 points.
Senior Sara Gardner had a strong 100-meter dash with a time of 14.10, taking first place. Gardner was awarded the MAAC Women’s Track Performer of the Week, her second weekly honor of this season.
“Sara is always a consistent, high-level performer for the team,” said Hamer. “She is looking really good right now, and if she can get the right weather and the right competition, she will have a really big breakthrough.”
Rider also won the 4×100 relay behind senior Lexie Fraction, senior Cleopatra Morrison, senior Naomi Clarke and sophomore Asia Young. Sophomore Peri Pavicic placed first in the steeplechase with a time of 11:25.75.
The Broncs also had a spectacular performance in the jumps portion, placing first in all events except the pole vault. Sophomore Yohanny Rodriguez won the high jump with a height of 1.65 meters and finished second in the triple jump. Rodriguez was named MAAC Women’s Field Performer of the Week with a pair of top-two finishes at the meet. Both finishes placed in the top 10 in Rider history.
“It’s always rewarding to see results putting in so much work at practice,” said Rodriguez. “I know that there is definitely more to come, and I can’t wait to keep making my goal further and further.”
Sophomore Lindsay Bauer won the long jump with a 5.69 meter leap, and junior Destiny Kearney won a gold medal in the triple jump with a distance of 11.66 meters.
In throwing, Rider excelled again. Junior Ashley Berry won discus with a throw of 39.58 meters, while Karoline Sandvig continued to have a great senior season by placing first in the hammer throw with a hurl of 52.35 meters.
The next meet is set for April 5 to 7 at the Colonial Relays in Williamsburg, Virginia.