Rider races past competition, sets record

By Dylan Manfre

The Rider track and field team saw a plethora of strong outings at the Rider 5-Way at the Michael P. Brady Track on March 30, as both the men’s and women’s teams claimed victories.

The men scored 248 points and the women tallied 269. The Broncs won seven of the 19 events and recorded 11 Intercollegiate Association of Amateur Athletes of America performances.

Rider hosted the Rider 5-Way on March 30, which featured Fordham University, Saint Joseph’s University, Sacred Heart University, Fairleigh Dickinson University and Rutgers-New Brunswick’s men’s team.

One of the meets’ biggest moments came in the men’s javelin throw when freshman Anthony Ragusa hurled his way to a first place finish and set a Rider record of 64.74 meters.

Ragusa’s teammates and coach surrounded him after he proudly pumped his fist as he jogged back with his record-breaking javelin.

“Never expected it to happen but [I] just have to build off it,” said Ragusa, who has been throwing javelin since his sophomore year at Old Bridge High School in Old Bridge, New Jersey. “Once I saw it was over the 200 [foot] line, I knew it was [a record].”

Graduate student Sara Gardner cruised to the finish line, running 13.95 seconds in the 100 meter hurdles. She also claimed first place in the women’s high jump reaching 1.65 meters.

The men’s sprinting team went out with a bang and saw three of their top sprinters score points in the men’s 400 meter run. 

Senior Russell Malko and freshmen James Green and Jerome Boyer each finished first in their sections with times of 48.36, 48.94 and 49.01 seconds respectively.

Junior Mario Ramos finished second in heat four, with a time of 52.76 seconds, but said the race in and of itself was a personal victory.

“Going into my junior year, I got a stress fracture in my hip so this is really my first time running in an outdoor meet since my sophomore year,” Ramos said. “Being able to run at this [level of competitiveness] today felt really good. It feels really good to be back out here again with my team and not worry about my hip anymore.”

Head Coach Bob Hamer mentioned that this meet in particular demonstrated the team’s determined attitude.

Hamer didn’t want his team to fall into the complacency that can set in during a long season. After second-place finishes in the MAAC during the indoor season for the men’s and women’s teams, he looked for the squads to build off successful fall campaigns.

“We had a strong indoor season and one of those things I try to avoid is that slide back where we get in midseason form,” Hamer said after the meet. “Let’s be great every day we can and hopefully we’ll get a good result. That [mentality] was representative in the meet.”

Sophomore Michaela Pampin got her first exposure to a long distance race as she made her collegiate debut in the 3,000 meter steeple. Pampin crossed the line in 12:38.09.

“I had the hurdling experience from high school and this year I moved up to cross-country so that was more distance [running] to build up to the steeple,” Pampin said. “It was a good first time.”

Junior Adam Maid fouled on a lot of throws earlier in the season, and saw this meet as a moment of redemption.

“I had a rough start to the season,” Maid said. “To come out today and have my first throw saved and then build up a little bit felt good.”

The next time the track and field team will be in action is at the Colonial Relays in Williamsburg, Virginia from April 4 to April 6.

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